Feasibility as Deliberative Jurisdiction

ABSTRACT: Questions of feasibility are pervasive in social and political life. But what exactly does this preoccupation with feasibility amount to? In virtue of what does bringing about some outcome count as feasible or infeasible? I suggest that bringing about an outcome counts as feasible when and because it exhibits the modal profile that is required in order to play a certain kind of special role with regard to the exercise of practical reasonIn particular, I suggest that the role of feasibility is to delimit the domain of our deliberative jurisdiction: the domain within which it is correct and incorrect to engage in deliberation about what to do. An account along these lines has been hinted at elsewhere. But it hasn’t been developed in any detail. My aim is to do just that. I shall begin by outlining the account. I shall then defend it from some difficult objections. And I shall conclude by considering its implications for a number of enduring puzzles about feasibility.

BIO:  Nicholas Southwood is Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow at the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University.  He is also Director of the Centre for Moral, Social and Political Theory at ANU and Co-Editor of The Journal of Political Philosophy. His work is primarily in moral and political philosophy but also engages with related issues in epistemology, philosophy of law and philosophy of social science. He is author of two monographs, 

Contractualism and the Foundations of Morality (OUP, 2010) and Explaining Norms (OUP, 2013).  His current research investigates the nature and proper role of feasibility in politics.