Ideas of Will Kymlicka, by Theme

[Canadian, fl. 1988, Taught by G.A. Cohen. At the University of Toronto.]

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16. Persons / E. Rejecting the Self / 2. Self as Social Construct
The 'Kantian' self steps back from commitment to its social situation
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / c. Right and good
Teleological theories give the good priority over concern for people
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / c. Particularism
Maybe the particularist moral thought of women is better than the impartial public thinking of men
23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 1. Utilitarianism
Utilitarianism is not a decision-procedure; choice of the best procedure is an open question
One view says start with equality, and infer equal weight to interests, and hence maximum utility
A second view says start with maximising the good, implying aggregation, and hence equality
24. Political Theory / A. Basis of a State / 2. Population / a. Human population
To maximise utility should we double the population, even if life somewhat deteriorates?
24. Political Theory / A. Basis of a State / 4. Original Position / c. Difference principle
The difference principles says we must subsidise the costs of other people's choices
24. Political Theory / B. Nature of a State / 2. State Legitimacy / c. Social contract
Social contract theories are usually rejected because there never was such a contract
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 4. Social Utilitarianism
Utilitarianism is no longer a distinctive political position
We shouldn't endorse preferences which reject equality, and show prejudice and selfishness
Using utilitarian principles to make decisions encourages cold detachment from people
The quest of the general good is partly undermined by people's past entitlements
Utilitarianism is irrational if it tells you to trade in your rights and resources just for benefits
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 6. Liberalism / a. Nature of Liberalism
Liberalism tends to give priority to basic liberties
Modern liberalism has added personal privacy to our personal social lives
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 6. Liberalism / f. Liberal problems
Liberals are not too individualistic, because people recognise and value social relations
Marxists say liberalism is unjust, because it allows exploitation in the sale of labour
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 7. Communitarianism
Communitarian states only encourage fairly orthodox ideas of the good life
The 'Kantian' view of the self misses the way it is embedded or situated in society
Communitarians say we should pay more attention to our history
25. Social Practice / A. Freedoms / 1. Slavery
If everyone owned himself, that would prevent slavery
25. Social Practice / A. Freedoms / 4. Free market
Libertarians like the free market, but they also think that the free market is just
25. Social Practice / A. Freedoms / 5. Freedom of lifestyle
The most valuable liberties to us need not be the ones with the most freedom
25. Social Practice / A. Freedoms / 6. Political freedom
Ancient freedom was free participation in politics, not private independence of life
25. Social Practice / B. Equalities / 2. Political equality
Equal opportunities seems fair, because your fate is from your choices, not your circumstances
Equal opportunity arbitrarily worries about social circumstances, but ignores talents
25. Social Practice / B. Equalities / 3. Legal equality
Marxists say justice is unneeded in the truly good community
25. Social Practice / C. Rights / 1. Basis of Rights
The Lockean view of freedom depends on whether you had a right to what is restricted
25. Social Practice / D. Justice / 1. Basis of justice
Justice corrects social faults, but also expresses respect to individuals as ends