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Thoughts on Nancy Fraser’s essay “From...

Thoughts on Nancy Fraser’s essay "From Redistribution to Recognition": I Why is it that for academics, the solution to any problem is “a new critical theory” (69)? II It is an interesting starting point that requires the assumption that “both redistribution and recognition” (69) are necessary in a theory of Justice. This may well be the case, but I would like to see on what grounds she...

Should individuals be required to sacrifice for th...

Should individuals be required to sacrifice for the greater good? Sacrificing for the greater good is an interesting paradox. I would see that as one of the highest goals of morality, but never an obligation. That is, if anyone choose to sacrifice for the greater good than that is to be applauded to the highest degree. But should someone choose to sacrifice someone else for the greater good then it may be necessary, but...

Is the “Right to Exit” sufficient to p...

The "right of exit" that Kwame Anthony Appiah mentions in The Ethics of Individualism is the escape valve for any abuse identified as being caused by a group. It is a "workhorse" because it is trotted out frequently as the primary protection individuals have against abusive groups in moral schemes where groups are given wide privileges over their members. If the group asks you to do something you not...

Minority Languages redux

Following up on my previous post (How engaged should the government be in preserving minority languages?) I should note that Charles Taylor in his essay Multiculturalism spent a good deal of time on the question of minority languages from an ethical point of view. His primary example involved the implications of a law mandating French in Québec. Taylor identified a conflict between two principles, on the one hand...

How engaged should the government be in preserving...

Should the state preserver minority languages? This is a question that ethical philosophers have been discussing a lot over the last twenty years. Those who are for government involvement focus on the communal aspects of identity and the role language plays in maintaining it. They argue that each sub-group’s language should be preserved, and even promoted. The argument from the other side focuses on the inhibitions to...

Richard Rorty and the problem of hyptheticals in m...

In "Justice as a Larger Loyalty" Richard Rorty argues that Justice is simply a sub-category of loyalty. Skipping his main argument, I started thinking about his examples and how he went about discussing the issue. The problem with hypothetical examples for moral dilemmas is that they invariably oversimplify the situation. It trying to highlight the dilemma, they posit a few facts, and then ask the reader to...