Top PDF Realism and liberalism in the political thought of Bernard Williams

Realism and liberalism in the political thought of Bernard Williams

Realism and liberalism in the political thought of Bernard Williams

The other major claim that Williams makes is that shame is more ethically sophisticated than modern moral philosophers suppose. He insists that the idea that individuals who inhabited shame cultures ‘were overwhelmingly concerned with their own success at the expense of other people is wrong at the level of principle: the structures … are essentially interactive between people, and they serve to bond as much as to divide’ (SN, p. 81). For such structures to work the various reciprocal attitudes that sustain them must have a more complex content than is often appreciated: ‘some kinds of behaviour are admired, others accepted, others despised, and it is those attitudes that are internalised, not simply the prospect of hostile reactions. If that were not so, there would be, once more, no shame culture, no shared ethical attitudes at all’ (SN, pp. 83–4). This explains why ‘the other’ on whom shame focuses ‘need not be a particular individual or merely the representative of some socially defined group’. In fact, they may ‘be identified in ethical terms … as one whose reactions I respect … [and] who would respect those same reactions if they were appropriately directed to him’ (SN, p. 84). To this end, the internalised other ‘can provide the focus of real social expectations of how I should live if I act in one way rather than another, of how my actions and reactions will alter my relations to the world about me’ (SN, p. 84). The central conclusion that Williams draws from this is that the Greek understanding of shame transcends both ‘assertive egoism’ and ‘a conventional concern for public opinion’ (SN, p. 88).
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Realism, Liberalism and Non-ideal Theory Or, Are there Two Ways to do Realistic Political Theory?

Realism, Liberalism and Non-ideal Theory Or, Are there Two Ways to do Realistic Political Theory?

While the accusation that political theory is too detached from the real world of politics is hardly a new claim, it has been made repeatedly throughout the years by those more sympathetic to the empirical study of politics or who see themselves as men (or women) 'of action', this charge is now being loudly and forcefully voiced from within the sub-discipline itself. Both the ideal/non- ideal theory debate and the recent resurgence of interest in realist political thought pursue this line of criticism, most often in relations specifically to the work of John Rawls and the form of neo-Kantian liberal theorising which he has inspired. However, though non-ideal theory and political realism make prima facie similar claims regarding the need for contemporary liberal theory to be more in touch with reality, this thematic similarity obscures a series of significant differences in relation to their critiques of liberalism and their suggestions as to how political theory can be more realistic. These differences are being lost in an increasing and unfortunate tendency in the literature to elide the realist critique of liberalism with the non-idealist critique of ideal liberal theory, and more generally, realism with non-ideal theory. Realism is often presented as a variation of a non-ideal theme. This conflation is a mistake. Whereas the ideal/non-ideal theory debate is a series of methodological issues that take place squarely within the liberal framework and hence retains many (if not all) of its assumptions regarding the purpose of politics and the ambitions of political theory, realism is a competing theory of politics in its own right, and, importantly, one that presents a radical challenge to those liberal assumptions. In the context of ongoing concerns about the relationship between political theory and political practice including the question of how realistic our theorising of politics needs to be, it is important that these significantly different accounts of what it is to do realistic political theory are highlighted and preserved.
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Realism and idealism in the political thought of Reinhold Niebuhr.

Realism and idealism in the political thought of Reinhold Niebuhr.

In order to understand what was happening to Niebuhr at this time, it is necessary to realise that if he might be con­ sidered to be a child of American Nineteenth Century Liberalism on the one hand, on th® other he was also a child of Nilllam James* pragmatic revolt. As Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., points out, Niebuhr is an instinctive empiricist with sharp political intuitions as well as an instinct for realism. His first re­ action to any problem has always been as a pragmatist, not as a moralists witness the fact that he was able to discover that the answer to the plight of automobile workers in his own parish, lay not in some benign optimism, but in a direct program of political and social action involving the us® of the stuff of which politics is mad® - power* Schlesinger continues the com­ parison with James in th® following wordss
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Politics and the Limits of Philosophy: Political Realism and the Limits of the Political Realist Critique

Politics and the Limits of Philosophy: Political Realism and the Limits of the Political Realist Critique

36 Finally, while this is outside the scope of this chapter, I want to mention another source of reasons for why political realists believe that there is a normativity that is internal to politics that is distinct from moral normativity. Political realists are not nihilists when it comes to morality, in the sense that they do not deny that morality exists or hold that it is unintelligible to say that someone can make moral claims or give moral reasons and justifications. However, they generally are sceptical about the universality of most moral claims; our moral frameworks are for us here and now as they are the outcome of a particular history. As Geuss famously argues “ethics is usually dead politics: the hand of a victor in some past conflict reaching out to try to extend its grip to the present and the future” (Geuss, 2009, 42). Sleat makes a more moderate claim about the relationship between ethics and politics when he argues that “politics cannot be ‘applied ethics’ because our moral frameworks and discourses have a history, at least part of which is going to be political. And so morality does not ground politics because morality is itself partly the result of past politics and political battles” (Sleat, 2018, 17). How can we evaluate politics from the perspective of morality if morality itself was the outcome of previous political battles? We should also be somewhat sceptical about universal moral claims because ‘what has won political battles’ is not a good or reliable way of tracking moral truths. Williams shares a similar stance when he states that political moralists have “no answer in its own terms to the question of why what it takes to be the true moral solution to the questions of politics, liberalism, should for the first time (roughly) become evident in European culture from the late seventeenth century onward, and why these truths have been concealed from other people. Moralistic liberalism cannot plausibly explain, adequately to its moral pretensions, why, when, and by whom it has been accepted and rejected.” (IBWD, 9). I refer to this type of scepticism as the Historicist Scepticism claim, and it plays a significant role in the political realist position. It explains why we should think of political legitimacy in the way that they do and why the way moralists think of political legitimacy is problematic. I provide a much more comprehensive account of the claim in the last chapter of the thesis.
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A Set of New Interpretations in Political Thought

A Set of New Interpretations in Political Thought

When we are told to take “right seriously”, what rights are we talking about: Hayekian rights regulating laissez faire [62], Barry’s impartiality that is condu- cive to democratic socialism, etc. [63]. The debate over natural law—ordinary law still continues, with Dworkin as its strongest adherent today. His chief criti- que R. A. Posner today argues that natural law according to (Q1) and (Q2) is merely a set of moral prescriptions, and not LAW at all [64] [65]. I agree with Posner in his rejection of Dworkin’s confusion of jurisprudence and moral phi- losophy. If Dworkin managed to smash legal positivism of Hart’s kind with his rejuvenated natural law philosophy, he certainly did not crush the other alterna- tives, legal realism and legal pragmatism. Law is not a set of Platonic ideas, as ju- risprudence is a practical discipline.
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The 1848 Revolutions and European Political Thought

The 1848 Revolutions and European Political Thought

The enumeration of these ‘overlooked’ issues is more than just the standard complaint that the editors have not produced a different book. The essence of 1848 was its multinationalism. Revolutionary contagion spreading from France, and comparable events taking place across a number of different polities, spurred intensive analysis of foreign politics as well as new kinds of self-examination and abstract theorising. Ideas about and inspired by the revolutions were not cemented within specific national contexts: clearly, the revolutions could not have happened in the first place if that was how mid-19th-century political thought worked. So a series of studies nearly all of which remain enclosed within specific national borders can only take us so far in understanding the intellectual impact of 1848. The ‘comparative pan-European perspective’ we are promised in the introduction never arrives, or at least, the readers are expected to do the comparative heavy lifting themselves. Much ‘Cambridge’ work on early modern political thought has been exceptionally good at reaching across geographical borders in thinking about the circulation and influence of specific texts, and indeed it clearly lies, in part, behind work now being done in modern European history which applies similar interpretative structures. It seems a pity, given the range of approaches already encompassed by the volume, that it could not make any gestures in these crucial directions.
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The Social and Political Thought of Yen Fu

The Social and Political Thought of Yen Fu

The emergence of Neo-Confucianism in the eleventh century revived Confucianism as the dominant force in the Chinese intellectual world after its decay for centuries under challenges from Buddhism and Taoism. While Neo-Confucianism gave Confucianism a new complexion by developing metaphysics and cosmology, it, however, was responsible for what James Liu has characterized as the transition to the 'inward-looking* in Chinese culture.** One illustration of this 'inward-looking* tendency was that the distinction between righteousness and profit became even more rigid. The preoccupation of Neo-Confucian philosophy was with the question of how the Confucian gentleman cultivates himself. It paid little attention to 'such practical problems as peasants, village life, townspeople, religious practices, social conditions, and the art of government*.*’ Two major schools of Neo-Confucianism, the school of Ch*eng I (1033-1107 A.D) and Chu Hsi (1130-1200 A.D.) and the school of Lu Hsiang-shan (1139-1193 A.D.) and Wang Yang-ming (1472-1529), while disagreeing on many important philosophical issues, nevertheless upheld Mencius* distinction between righteousness and profit as the basis of moral and political philosophy. This was particularly so for the Ch*eng-Chu school, which gained dominance over the Chinese intellectual world until the late nineteenth century. This school held that moral behaviour is that which follows the Heavenly principle {t’ien-li) rather than any consideration of practical consequences.^® This is particularly important when people*s desires and interests conflict with the Heavenly principle. Under such
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Liberty and self in the political argument of republicanism, liberalism and postmodernism

Liberty and self in the political argument of republicanism, liberalism and postmodernism

133 This has even extended itself to scholarsly/work on Hobbes, which until recently almost exclusively concentrated on the seemingmodemity of his ‘rationalism’ and individualism. In particular, some scholars have begun to read some of Hobbes’ central works, like De cive, Behemoth, and Leviathan, as addressing not only standard sixteenth century humanist concerns such as rhetoric and liberty (critically of course), but also as explorations of the dispositions necessary to citizenship; ie. as a theorist of civic virtue. Like Pufendorf (and to some extent Locke), Hobbes didn’t articulate an entire panopoly of moral virtues, but mainly those (not inconsiderable) ones which teach men their duty to public ends, rather than matters of ‘spiritual conscience’. The laws of nature paradigmatically ground this ‘civic personality’ - submission equals allegiance and obedience equals ‘duty to the public’ - and thus civil law, the rights of the sovereign, and the commonwealth as a whole, are only secured when duty seems to spring ‘naturally’. Of course, this isn’t a republican love of civic virtue, since few of the attributes Hobbes delineates equip ‘his’ citizens for a life of participatory government. And yet again, this is not an indifference to virtue, in fact it becomes a ‘science of virtue and vice’, where rather than resting exclusively on the efficacy of fear and containment, the sovereign attempts to put his ‘Theorems’ to practice, and reconstitute his subjects as citizens (see Leviathan, ed. C.B. Macpherson, Penguin, 1988, II, chap. 25, pp. 307-8; cf. and chp 31, pp. 407-8) faithfully committed to the terms of the social contract On this ?ee Mary G. Deitz, ‘Hobbes’s Subject as Citizen’ in Mary G. Deitz ed. Thomas Hobbes and Political
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The role of economic and political measures of the palliation of poverty in Croatia

The role of economic and political measures of the palliation of poverty in Croatia

Scientific and political discussions in the world often quarrel about the efficiency of welfare programs because it is stated that the welfare system – like many other expressions of human intention – contains a seed of corruption. Often, it is stated – but only partly jus- tified – that excessive and long-term unemployment benefits or significant rights in the welfare system (which is not the case in Croatia) encourage the unemployed and poor to a longer and more selective job search, as well as to lower work efforts and earlier with- drawal from employment. Formally huge expenditures for welfare purposes are not a guar- antee of efficient targeting and use. The situation with welfare program efficiency is par- ticularly unfavourable in transitional countries where the (limited available) resources are mostly not very well targeted towards the most vulnerable groups in society. Also, some programs that are at first glance costly or luxurious maybe really help poor people, while some others – less expensive or generous – actually do not have any effect (or the effect is very weak is very weak) on reducing and palliating poverty. Thus it, is necessary con- stantly to monitor and survey the implementation of particular programs.
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Financial Intermediation and Economic Growth: Bank Credit Maturity and Its Determinants

Financial Intermediation and Economic Growth: Bank Credit Maturity and Its Determinants

principles. His criticism relies on the claim that to establish and maintain a pluralistic democracy, political principles must stem from a convergence of all views within the populace (nonpolitical as well as political). Rawls’ method of construction excludes the use of nonpolitical views, and thus Klosko claims that Rawls’ method fails to generate principles reflective of actual ideas within the public. This failure would result in a lack of socio-political stability, and thus Rawls’ goal would not be attained. I argue that Klosko misconstrues Rawlsian constructivism and the goal of Rawls’ project in addition to relying too heavily on ad populum arguments. Furthermore, Klosko’s alternative method, which he believes rectifies Rawls’ errors, is faulty in that it allows the sacrifice of just principles for the sake of stability.
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Qanun and the Modernisation of Political thought in Iran

Qanun and the Modernisation of Political thought in Iran

Iranians became aware of ‘modern law and order’ in European countries they have struggled to implement this system in Iran. This struggle is a continuous one in the social and political discourses of Iranian intellectuals. They see the problem as being one of ‘understanding’ and ‘enforcing’ the law, a problem which as yet remains unresolved. Because of the importance of law in society, the analysis of this concept requires some more attention. Malkum Khan had talked in various forms about law and its significance in society. To establish a clear idea about the concept of modern law he used different forms of interpretation and analysis. I have classified almost all of what Malkum Khan has said about ‘law’ in Qanun newspaper and have categorised it under various headings. All the selected sentences do not necessarily fit just the one subject to which they are allocated. Rather, many sentences can be seen and evaluated in different ways and thus put under different subject headings. My main aim here is to show how Malkum Khan used a different language and different interpretations in order to convince the people of the importance of the law for development and progress. Therefore, what I suggest to be a kind of interpretation is no more than a model for explaining what Malkum Khan tried to say about this important matter in society.
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Victorian Political Thought on France and the French

Victorian Political Thought on France and the French

Victorian Political Thought on France and the French is a convincing and readable volume that will be invaluable for scholars and postgraduate students. The significant cogency of this monograph stems from two important theoretical premises. Firstly, Varouxakis does not slip into shallow, one-dimensional explanations: rather he succeeds in maintaining a subtle balancing act between a number of interesting antitheses throughout the entire narrative. Accordingly, he has an eye for relevant life experiences of the various writers, as well as for integrating crucial general factors, such as the British feeling of superiority (which was based upon the idea of moderate liberty above all else); and the intricate relationship between the Irish problem and the belief in the Celtic roots of French culture. In addition, he strikes a balance between short-term responses to actual political events, such as regime changes on the one hand, and the recording of more settled long-term visions regarding the national character of the French on the other.
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Machiavelli and the Foundation of the Modern Political Thought

Machiavelli and the Foundation of the Modern Political Thought

based on a theory, but since it is present in the do- main of investigation, it acts as the cornerstone of a theory whose identification is not possible (Taba- tabaee, Op, Cit: 589). It can be said that investiga- tion in the humanistic fundamentals in the political thought of Machiavelli, plays an important role in understanding his ideas. For him, since human beings are subject to ego, and is instinctively sel- fish and ambitious, as a result any relation and in- teraction between them is based on acquiring profit and repelling damage. Centrality and nobility of individuals‟ passions and their disobedience from the ethical and religious obligations and their doubt about their instinctive preference and their doubts about their instructive preference, and principally doubt in calling them virtues lead to a new ap- proach which is contrary to the old thinking and in contradiction with it. In explaining the idea of Machiavelli, it should be stated that “the most im- portant motivation for everybody in his life, is his wishes, and these wishes, contrary to the ideas of the ancients who consider them as the outcomes of passions and the causes of ethical corruption, and, in fact, ethics and politics of the ancients did not have any objective except egotism, in Machiavel- li‟s political thinking, it is a natural issue (Ibid: 496). Exploration of disputes, tension, friendship and generally, any social relations, and any inter- state ones, with the help of explanation of instinc- tive characteristics of individuals who are, as was mentioned before, ambitious and selfish, can help illustrating the definition and elaboration of the politics in the new era.
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The Concept of the Political in Contemporary Western and Non-Western Political Thought

The Concept of the Political in Contemporary Western and Non-Western Political Thought

The initial step is to consider the five most notable attempts to rectify this situation that have been made during the past few decades by thinkers who would all claim to be offering, with varying degrees of success, a genuinely political theory. The first is the response of neo-Kantian liberal thinkers best represented by the later work of John Rawls. A second response involves a different version of neo-Kantianism best exemplified by the discourse theory of Jürgen Habermas. The third response is the agonal theory of the political originally developed in particular by Koselleck’s mentor Carl Schmitt, but which I will consider here in the revised and more moderate form found in the work of Chantal Mouffe. The fourth is the postmodern response, of which I shall take the late Richard Rorty as the main representative. Finally, I will consider the pragmatic (or modus vivendi) response represented by John Gray.
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The Epistemology of Islamic Political Thought in Indonesia

The Epistemology of Islamic Political Thought in Indonesia

1. Synergy of religious and national political paradigm In al-Jabiry‟s perspective, epistemologically, ideal integrity is a form of dimensional integrity between bayani (idealistic-political religiosness) and burhani (concerning real problem in social reality-national politics). The integrity of political thought to small extent will leave us with linear and parallel types of epistemology, which brings ideological-political and psychological-sociological unrest among both of the currents‟ adherents. Idea about necessary coalition between PKS and PDIP, for example, is exactly the ideal outlook for national interest in the future. Prior to this similiar concept actually has risen as personal coalitions of political figures with differing ideological background such that reflected in presidential pairs (religious-nationalist vice versa) in the 2004 General Election by SBY-Yusuf Kalla, Megawati Soekarnoputri - Hasyim Muzadi, Hamzah Haz-Agum Gumelar, Amien Rais – Siswono Sudirohusodo and Wiranto-Sholahuddin Wahid. In the General Election 2009 later the tradition to integrate political currents, both personally and institutionally by political parties proceeded and this would better be continued and perfected.
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Jürgen Habermas and the Political Realism: A Critique

Jürgen Habermas and the Political Realism: A Critique

There are those who, like the libertarian sociologist Belohradsky, have recently reactivated in this very perspective the realist critique of the instrumental use of the idea of «neutrality», by observing how modern politics are entirely focused on the desire to «neutralize», that is to say to proceed toward a continual dislocation of potential places of conflict, to the quest – by its very nature endless – for a claim to rationality able to regulate by law all conflicts. It is clear that by going down this road one overlooks the fact that the terrain on which the political form of human existence rests can never be made neutral, or – what amounts to the same thing – pacified in the sublimated form of universality, under the jurisdiction of a procedural reason understood as the supreme protection and bulwark of impartality36. Here, it must be said, impartiality is mystification. And it is significant to have to point out in relation to the thesis of an author like Habermas, who was born as a “culture critic”, even if it is true that the transition he underwent from a radical critique of society to what has long been in effect just a sophisticated (and devitalized) form of Kantianism. Certainly, such ‘twists and turns’ would have been considered just a few decades ago with far greater suspicion by European thought, then perhaps – it must be said – more demanding than today37.
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Frederick Rosen : from ethology to political economy

Frederick Rosen : from ethology to political economy

One useful and stimulating addition to the debate on Mill and democracy in Part I is Rosen’s discussion of Mill’s ‘method of reform’, by which Rosen means Mill’s development, during the 1830s, of a dialectic form of discovering truth where ‘contraries’ were posed as opposing ends of the same spectrum, and from the contemplation of both one could see a new truth which was not merely somewhere between the two, but a synthesis of the true aspects of both (49-71). Bentham and Coleridge provide the first of these two contraries, but Mill continues to use such a method much later, for instance in the Considerations of Representative Government where the liberal and ‘new’ conservative positions also form a pair of ‘contraries’ (65-6). Part I concludes with a very interesting discussion of Mill’s projected science of ‘ethology’ and the importance to Mill of character and character-formation, which deserves a good deal more study and incorporation into mainstream thinking on Mill and his social and political thought. Some very stimulating and important topics are, therefore, raised in Part I, though an explicit link to the Logic is sometimes missing, and it might perhaps have benefitted from a brief exegesis of what the main arguments or themes of the Logic are rather than presupposing such knowledge. The same might be said for some of the discussion of existing criticisms of Mill.
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The Concept of “Political Legitimacy” in Shia Political Thought (With Focus on Imam Khomeini’s Political Thought)

The Concept of “Political Legitimacy” in Shia Political Thought (With Focus on Imam Khomeini’s Political Thought)

lectual conditions of the Muslim’s society in recent century. Although we do not seek to search for exact causes of this phenomenon, it is hardly necessary to point out three issues about it: First, this dualism does not represent an apparent contradiction or a paradox, since it isn’t rationally acceptable that Imam Kho- meini, as a prominent Shia theologian, or other scholars have understood a contradic- tion and did not avoid it. Second, this seem- ingly contradiction cannot be attributed to application of contradictory statements in different contexts so as to increase the domi- nance over all strata of society, because these statements and quotations could be find in any condition and its basically impossible to distinguish application cases of discussed views (divine legitimacy and popular legiti- macy) according to contexts and conditions. Third, it will be a great mistake to assume that what really has validity and should be considered as the main criteria for analyzing Imam’s view on legitimacy are exclusively the contents of his systematically structured published works in the field of Fiqh; in other words, all of his speeches, quotations, state- ments or interviews are entirely invalid and worthless because these are especially context based and related to temporary conditions of society, while organized works such as books are virtually associated with general/permanent aspects of political life. However, this argument is incomplete, as all of Imam’s works are at- tributed to him and must be relied upon equally in the analysis (Jamshidi, 2005: 643).
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A New Scene of Thought: studies in Romantic realism

A New Scene of Thought: studies in Romantic realism

realism is the view that art should or can show social or physical phenomena as the most detailed and exact observation finds them, not as we commonly, superficially or imprecisely see t[r]

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Political liberalism and epistemic permissivism

Political liberalism and epistemic permissivism

In Chapter 3, I argued that at least intrapersonal uniqueness is true. The two main arguments for this were the Arbitrariness Objection and the Evidence Pointing Problem. The permissivist’s reply to these arguments would be that at most one doxastic attitude is rational given the evidence relative to an epistemic standard, but people could have different epistemic standards. This reply mirrored Rawls’s second burden of judgment according to which people could rationally disagree about a proposition if they disagreed about the strength of an evidential consideration. People’s disagreement about the strength of a given evidential consideration can plausibly be thought of as reflecting their possession of different epistemic standards. In questioning how people could permissibly have different epistemic standards, two possible answers can be offered. The first of these answers, which I shall call intrapersonal permissivism about standards, is that for any given agent, more than one epistemic standard is rationally permissible for her. Thus on this view, an agent, Sally, who could permissibly make inferences on the basis of a standard S1 could also permissibly make inferences on the basis of S2. The alternative answer, which I shall call intrapersonal uniqueness about standards, is that for any given agent only one epistemic standard is rationally permissible for her. On this view, if Sally permissibly reasons on the basis of S1, then no other epistemic standard is appropriate for her. This, however, does not preclude that some other standard S2, but not S1, is appropriate for another agent, Susan. The subject of this chapter is the former view. I shall argue that both the Arbitrariness Objection and the Evidence Pointing Problem can be extended against intrapersonal permissivism about standards. If these arguments succeed, then the only viable accounts of permissivism are those which are consistent with intrapersonal uniqueness about epistemic standards.
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