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Motivating Cosmopolitanism: A Political Critique

Erez, L; (2015) Motivating Cosmopolitanism: A Political Critique. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis defends a political version of the normative motivational critique of cosmopolitanism (hereafter NMC). It is a shared view by both proponents and critics of cosmopolitanism that this moral theory suffers from a ‘motivational gap’, i.e., the fact that people in general do not seem to be motivated to act in the way cosmopolitan theory prescribes.. This thesis aims to answer the following research questions: what, if any, is the normative significance of cosmopolitanism’s motivational gap? Could there be a plausible version of the normative motivational critique, and, if it exists, what will be its implications for cosmopolitan theory? Through framing this discussion in recent methodological debates on the role of facts in normative political theory, and an analytical distinction between the different variations of the NMC, this thesis argues that a robust and plausible NMC is possible. While it rejects the meta-ethical version, which views motivational capabilities of individuals as direct constraints on moral norms, and the ethical version, which maintains that the sacrifices cosmopolitanism will require will be too unreasonably demanding, this thesis argues that a political version of the NMC, which moves away from arguments over the content of individual moral duties to questions of political normativity, and situates its critique of cosmopolitanism on the lack of motivational preconditions of social justice, is a plausible and defensible position.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Motivating Cosmopolitanism: A Political Critique
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1460742
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