Justice and the demands of realism
Author(s)Munro, Daniel K., 1972-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
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The dissertation examines how concerns about the demands of realism should be addressed in political theories of justice. It asks whether the demands of realism should affect the construction of principles of justice and, if so, how principles should respond to those demands. To address the problems posed by the demands of realism, the dissertation focuses on two specific realist concerns - namely, a concern about the motivational demands of justice and a concern about moral and religious pluralism - and asks what role, if any, these concerns should play in the articulation of principles of justice. Through a critical interrogation of the theories of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Rawls, and Jurgen Habermas, the author argues that a conception of justice should be attentive to citizens' motivational capacities and reasonable moral and religious worldviews but should not automatically accommodate their determinate preferences, opinions, and beliefs which may be objectionable. Endorsing an ideal of deliberative democracy and a conception of deliberative citizenship, the author argues that institutional arrangements which encourage democratic deliberation can help citizens to be more reflective about their determinate motives and beliefs and help them to acquire the desire and reason necessary to support just principles and institutions.(cont.) At the same time, however, the author holds that appropriate institutions will be stable only when citizens acquire the necessary motivation and reason which leads to the defense of a dynamic model of justice, motivation, and reasonable pluralism in which just institutions and a just social ethos are regarded as mutually reinforcing. The author concludes that theorizing about justice should be limited not by what is given by the social and political status quo, but instead by the limits fixed by political hope.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science, 2006."February 2006."Includes bibliographical references (leaves 253-260).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology