Economics and Philosophy 17 (1):67-88 (2001)
|Abstract||Any defense of universal norms involves drawing distinctions among the many things people actually desire. If it is to have any content at all, it will say that some objects of desire are more central than others for political purposes, more indispensable to a human being's quality of life. Any wise such approach will go even further, holding that some existing preferences are actually bad bases for social policy. The list of Central Human Capabilities that forms the core of my political project contains many functions that many people over the ages have preferred not to grant to women, either not at all, or not on a basis of equality. To insist on their centrality is thus to go against preferences that have considerable depth and breadth in traditions of male power. Moreover, the list contains many items that women over the ages have not wanted for themselves, and some that even today many women do not pursue – so in putting the list at the center of a normative political project aimed at providing the philosophical underpinning for basic political principles, we are going against not just other people's preferences about women, but, more controversially, against many preferences (or so it seems) of women about themselves and their lives. To some extent, my approach, like Sen's, avoids these problems of paternalism by insisting that the political goal is capability, not actual functioning, and by dwelling on the central importance of choice as a good. But the notion of choice and practical reason used in the list is a normative notion, emphasizing the critical activity of reason in a way that does not reflect the actual use of reason in many lives.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
D. M. Hausman (2011). Mistakes About Preferences in the Social Sciences. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 41 (1):3-25.
Duncan Macintosh (1991). Co-Operative Solutions to the Prisoner's Dilemma. Philosophical Studies 64 (3):309 - 321.
Philip Pettit (2001). Symposium on Amartya Sen's Philosophy: 1 Capability and Freedom: A Defence of Sen. Economics and Philosophy 17 (1):1-20.
Donald W. Bruckner (2009). In Defense of Adaptive Preferences. Philosophical Studies 142 (3):307 - 324.
Ann Levey (2005). Liberalism, Adaptive Preferences, and Gender Equality. Hypatia 20 (4):127-143.
Douglas A. Hicks (2002). Gender, Discrimination, and Capability: Insights From Amartya Sen. Journal of Religious Ethics 30 (1):137 - 154.
Mozaffar Qizilbash (2007). Social Choice and Individual Capabilities. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (2):169-192.
H. E. Baber (2010). Worlds, Capabilities and Well-Being. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (4):377 - 392.
Hugh Breakey (2010). Adaptive Preferences and the Hellenistic Insight. Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics 12 (1):29-39.
Lisa H. Schwartzman (2007). Can Liberalism Account for Women's “Adaptive Preferences”? Social Philosophy Today 23:175-186.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads46 ( #28,086 of 722,750 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #36,438 of 722,750 )
How can I increase my downloads?