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    From Plato to Rawls political philosophers have tried to expose our institutional defects, guide reform, and inspire hope by describing a more perfect social world that they believe possible. To pessimists, cynics, and many clear-sighted realists the futility and dangers of focusing o utopias seems so evident that “utopian thinking” is now a dismissive pejorative term. Marxists, for example, managed to use it to disparage their opponents despite their own goal of a classless society and the with…Read more
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    Rüdiger Bittner on Autonomy
    Erkenntnis 79 (Suppl 7): 1341-1350. 2014.
    Rüdiger Bittner surveys with a skeptical eye classic and contemporary ideas of Kantian autonomy. He allows that we can be more or less free in a modest (quasi-Hobbesian) sense and that many people may want more of this freedom from impediments that make it difficult or impossible to do various things. He argues, however, that high-minded general affirmations of human freedom are unfounded and not likely to retain their grip on our thinking. While acknowledging the value of Bittner’s challenges, …Read more