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  • 1.
    De Vries, Bouke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Is Multiculturalism Discriminatory?2019In: Res Publica, ISSN 1356-4765, E-ISSN 1572-8692, p. 1-14Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many political theorists are multiculturalists. They believe that states ought to support and accommodate minority cultures, even if they disagree about when such support and accommodations are due and what forms they should take. In this contribution, I argue that multiculturalists have failed to notice an important objection against a wide range of multiculturalism policies. This objection is predicated on the notion that when states support and accommodate minority cultures, they should support and accommodate many subcultures and individualistic conceptions of the good as well. However, since a significant proportion of multiculturalism policies imposes financial costs on society, it will often be prohibitively expensive for states to support and accommodate citizens’ subcultures and individualistic conceptions of the good on an equal basis. The result is that implementing such policies is likely to end up discriminating against certain groups, which might include e.g. fervent football fans, globe-trotters, mountain climbers, motor bikers, Hippies, and artists. I conclude by considering six reasons for giving preferential treatment to minority cultures that would allow multiculturalists to avoid this implication, which invoke, inter alia, the depth, duration, and involuntariness of cultural commitments; the role of culture in allowing people to live autonomously; and cultural rights to political self-determination. None are found to be convincing.

  • 2.
    Grill, Kalle
    Department of Philosophy, KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
    The Normative Core of Paternalism2007In: Res Publica, ISSN 1356-4765, E-ISSN 1572-8692, Vol. 13, p. 441-458Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The philosophical debate on paternalism is conducted as if the property of being paternalistic should be attributed to actions. Actions are typically deemed to be paternalistic if they amount to some kind of interference with a person and if the rationale for the action is the good of the person interfered with. This focus on actions obscures the normative issues involved. In particular, it makes it hard to provide an analysis of the traditional liberal resistance to paternalism. Given the fact that actions most often have mixed rationales, it is not clear how we should categorize and evaluate interfering actions for which only part of the rationale is the good of the person. The preferable solution is to attribute the property of being paternalistic not to actions, but to compounds of reasons and actions. The framework of action-reasons provides the tools for distinguishing where exactly paternalism lies in the complex web of reasons and actions.

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