The Problem with Paul Bloom on Empathy

Paul Bloom, eminent psychologist at Yale, is at work on a new book explaining the problem with empathy. I have little to go on in reference to the content of the book (since it's not out yet) aside from this short video: This is less to go on than is preferable, but enough, I … Continue reading The Problem with Paul Bloom on Empathy

Chantal Mouffe on the Common Good

As I mentioned in the last post, Chantal Mouffe looks for a "third way" between Rawls-ian individualism and (what she understands to be) Sandel-ian collectivism. Mouffe spends considerable time adapting to the communitarian critique of liberalism, claiming, "liberalism's exclusive concern with individuals and their rights has not provided content and guidance for the exercise of … Continue reading Chantal Mouffe on the Common Good

Chantal Mouffe’s Critique of Michael Sandel

There's much I admire about Chantal Mouffe's work, which I'm sure I'll write about in the future... Here I want to talk about her critique of Michael Sandel. In an article entitled "American Liberalism and Its Communitarian Critics," Mouffe provides a survey of the liberal-communitarian debate. [1] After agreeing with Sandel's critique of Rawls (laid out … Continue reading Chantal Mouffe’s Critique of Michael Sandel

Honneth’s Reconstructive Theory of Justice

I might have over-stressed Honneth's break with procedural liberalism in my last post, casting Honneth's and procedural liberalism as contrasting theories. While it's true they're different, it's wrong to imply that Honneth wants to part ways entirely with Rawls and company. Rather, Honneth sees his "reconstructive theory" of justice as a development from procedural liberalism. Honneth claims … Continue reading Honneth’s Reconstructive Theory of Justice

Axel Honneth on the Material of Justice

In an essay entitled, "The Fabric of Justice: On the Limits of Contemporary Proceduralism" (in his recent collection The I in We: Studies in the Theory of Recognition) Axel Honneth explains where and why his Hegelian-inspired theory of recognition differs from procedural liberalism. Honneth argues (via Hegel's understanding of the emergence of self-consciousness) that autonomy is … Continue reading Axel Honneth on the Material of Justice