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How practices do not matter
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2017 (English)In: Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, ISSN 1369-8230, E-ISSN 1743-8772Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

In his most recent work, Sangiovanni has retreated from his stronger claims about practice-dependence. Instead of claiming that principles of justice must be practice-dependent, he now expresses his claim in a modal form, arguing that there are several ways in which practices may matter. While merely mapping out the logical space of possibilities seems to look like a modest ambition, the conditions for when practices do matter according to Sangiovanni’s analysis are easily met in actuality. Consequently, if he is right, the practice-dependent approach covers a significant number of political theories. Sangiovanni’s main claim is that higher-level principles with an open texture, which include most higher-level principles in political philosophy, justify a practice-dependent method in the form of a mode of application called ‘mediated deduction,’ according to which a thoroughgoing investigation is made of the nature of the target practice. Our task in this paper is to reject this claim. This is done in two steps. First, we question Sangiovanni’s distinction between instrumental application and mediated deduction, arguing that it remains unclear whether it marks out two sufficiently distinct ‘modes’ to do any theoretical work. Second, we argue that the practice-dependent method is not required even if two such modes are established.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
Practice-dependence, regulative principles, practices, moral principles, Sangiovanni, mediated deduction
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-134561DOI: 10.1080/13698230.2017.1403130OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-134561DiVA, id: diva2:1034177
Available from: 2016-10-11 Created: 2016-10-11 Last updated: 2018-04-25

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