: This essay examines the possible systematic bias against the disabled in the structure and practice of genetic counseling. Finding that the profession's "nondirective" imperative remains problematic, the authors recommend that methodology developed by feminist standpoint epistemology be used to incorporate the perspective of disabled individuals in genetic counselors' education and practice, thereby reforming society's view of the disabled and preventing possible negative effects of genetic counseling on the self-concept and material circumstance of disabled individuals.
What's wrong with markets in everything? Markets today are widely recognized as the most efficient way in general to organize production and distribution in a complex economy. And with the collapse of communism and rise of globalization, it's no surprise that markets and the political theories supporting them have seen a considerable resurgence. For many, markets are an all-purpose remedy for the deadening effects of bureaucracy and state control. But what about those markets we might label noxious-markets in addictive drugs, (...) say, or in sex, weapons, child labor, or human organs? Such markets arouse widespread discomfort and often revulsion. In Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale, philosopher Debra Satz takes a penetrating look at those commodity exchanges that strike most of us as problematic. What considerations, she asks, ought to guide the debates about such markets? What is it about a market involving prostitution or the sale of kidneys that makes it morally objectionable? How is a market in weapons or pollution different than a market in soybeans or automobiles? Are laws and social policies banning the more noxious markets necessarily the best responses to them? Satz contends that categories previously used by philosophers and economists are of limited utility in addressing such questions because they have assumed markets to be homogenous. Accordingly, she offers a broader and more nuanced view of markets-one that goes beyond the usual discussions of efficiency and distributional equality--to show how markets shape our culture, foster or thwart human development, and create and support structures of power. An accessibly written work that will engage not only philosophers but also political scientists, economists, legal scholars, and public policy experts, this book is a significant contribution to ongoing discussions about the place of markets in a democratic society. (shrink)
This paper examines the morality of kidney markets through the lens of choice, inequality, and weak agency looking at the case for limiting such markets under both non-ideal and ideal circumstances. Regulating markets can go some way to addressing the problems of inequality and weak agency. The choice issue is different and this paper shows that the choice for some to sell their kidneys can have external effects on those who do not want to do so, constraining the options that (...) are now open to them. I believe that this is the strongest argument against such markets. (shrink)
This paper points to a lost and ignored strand of argument in the writings of liberalism's earliest defenders. These “classical” liberals recognized that market liberty was not always compatible with individual liberty. In particular, they argued that labor markets required intervention and regulation if workers were not to be wholly subjugated to the power of their employers. Functioning capitalist labor markets (along with functioning credit markets) are not “natural” outgrowths of exchange, but achievements hard won in the battle against feudalism. (...) Further, and crucially, the existence of such markets required closing off other market choices. Footnotesa I would like to thank the other contributors to this volume, and its editors, for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this essay. (shrink)
Green and Shapiro's critique of rational choice theory underestimates the value of unification and the necessity of universalism in science. The central place of intentionality in social life makes both unification and universalism feasible norms in social science. However, ?universalism? in social science may be partial, in that the independence hypothesis?that the causal mechanism governing action is context independent?may hold only locally in certain classes of choice domains.
The late Susan Moller Okin was a leading political theorist whose scholarship integrated political philosophy and issues of gender, the family, and culture. Okin argued that liberalism, properly understood as a theory opposed to social hierarchies and supportive of individual freedom and equality, provided the tools for criticizing the substantial and systematic inequalities between men and women. Her thought was deeply informed by a feminist view that theories of justice must apply equally to women as men, and she was deeply (...) engaged in showing how many past and present political theories failed to do this. She sought to rehabilitate political theories--particularly that of liberal egalitarianism, in such a way as to accommodate the equality of the sexes, and with an eye toward improving the condition of women and families in a world of massive gender inequalities. In her lifetime Okin was widely respected as a scholar whose engagement went well beyond the world of theory, and her premature death in 2004 was considered by many a major blow to progressive political thought and women's interests around the world. -/- This volume stems from a conference on Okin, and contains articles by some of the top feminist and political philosophers working today. They are organized around a set of themes central to Okin's work, namely liberal theory, gender and the family, feminist and cultural differences, and global justice. Included are major figures such as Joshua Cohen, David Miller, Cass Sunstein, Alison Jaggar, and Iris Marion Young, among others. Their aim is not to celebrate Okin's work, but to constructively engage with it and further its goals. (shrink)
Martha Nussbaum has argued in support of the view (supposedly that of Aristotle) that we can, through thought-experiments involving personal identity, find an objective foundation for moral thought without having to appeal to any authority independent of morality. I compare the thought-experiment from Plato’s Philebus that she presents as an example to other thought-experiments involving identity in the literature and argue that this reveals a tension between the sources of authority which Nussbaum invokes for her thought-experiment. I also argue (...) that each of her sources of authority presents further difficulties for her project. Finally, I argue that it is not clear that her thought-experiment is one that actually involves identity in any crucial way. As a result, the case she offers does not offer any satisfactory support for her view on the relation between identity, morality and thought-experiments, but we do gain some insights into what that relation really is along the way. (shrink)
Martha Nussbuam is one of the most prolific and original philosophers working today. Influenced by ancient philosophy, she has written on the relationship between fiction, the emotions and moral reasoning. With Amartya Sen she developed the capabilities approach to human well-being, which helped shape the UN’s Human Development Index. She is Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago.
I begin in the same friendly spirit of alliance that Martha Nussbaum refers to when she notes that â€œUtilitarianism has contributed more than any other ethical theory to the recognition of animal entitlements.â€ In purely practical terms, I welcome her attempt to show that a distinct approach to political justice not only includes animals, in a fundamental way, within its scope, but also leads to consequences that in major respects are very similar to those that have for some years (...) been advocated by utilitarians. Of the greatest possible importance, in this respect, is our agreement on the ethical imperative that we end factory farms as we know them.Every year, worldwide, tens of billions of animals suffer - and, one could add, are unable to exercise their most basic capabilities â€“ through being crowded indoors, unable to form the social groups natural to them, in many cases unable even to stretch their limbs, some of them so tightly caged that they are unable even to turn around or walk a single step. Undoubtedly, in terms of the sheer numbers involved and the vast amount of suffering that results, ending factory farming should be the priority issue for all concerned with either the welfare, the preference satisfaction, or the capabilities, of nonhuman animals. (shrink)
In "Upheavals of Thought", Martha Nussbaum offers a theory of the emotions. She argues that emotions are best conceived as thoughts, and she argues that emotion-thoughts can make valuable contributions to the moral life. She develops extensive accounts of compassion and erotic love as thoughts that are of great moral import. This paper seeks to elucidate what it means, for Nussbaum, to say that emotions are forms of thought. It raises critical questions about her conception of the structure of (...) emotion, and about her conception of compassion, in particular. Finally, the paper seeks to show how analyzing the structure, as well as the moral value, of the emotions ultimately requires entering the realm of religious ethics. (shrink)
Rawls's Law of Peoples has not gathered a great deal of public support. The reason for this, I suggest, is that it ignores the differences between the international and domestic realms as regards the methodology of reciprocal agreement. In the domestic realm, reciprocity produces both stability and respect for individual moral agency. In the international realm, we must choose between these two values seeking stable relations between states, or respect for individual moral agency. Rawls's Law of Peoples ignores the (...) stark nature of this choice by insisting that the only legitimate extension of liberal toleration abroad is the toleration of different forms of political organization. It is this attempt to overcome liberalism's tragic dilemma which, I suggest, has made Rawls's international theory less attractive than his domestic theory. I also suggest that this difficulty is at the base of the further difficulties identified by Henry Shue and Martha Nussbaum in their accompanying essays. Key Words: Rawls international toleration reciprocity state Nussbaum Shue. (shrink)
Martha Nussbaum's Poetic Justice undertakes a defense of the novel by showing it to develop the sympathetic imagination. Three parts of her argument come in for criticism, with implications for other such political defenses. Nussbaum sometimes interprets the imagination practically, sometimes theoretically; the two forms have different effects on deliberation. Nussbaum credits the novelistic tradition with fostering the imagination; her example of Hard Times interferes with establishing this general point. Nussbaum suggests an aesthetic element in literature that produces its (...) effect, but does not succeed in identifying that element so as to preserve the consequences of art while avoiding reductionism. (shrink)
The writings of Martha Nussbaum broadly defend an account of transcendence as internal, always rooted in the human context. Her account implies that any and all projects of normative theological ethics are superfluous, since they transcend the natural bounds of human experience and reason. This essay points toward a space for theology, specifically Jewish theology, in Nussbaum's work, through an analysis of her recent philosophical and autobiographical writings on Judaism. Nussbaum's account in Upheavals of Thought associates Judaism with carnality (...) and vulnerability; this essay supplements her account by pointing to a non-natural origin of emotional judgments in some of the texts Nussbaum treats. This move serves to temper the emphasis on autonomy in liberal Jewish thought, and provides an account of transcendence which can serve as the basis of a more traditional Jewish theological ethics. (shrink)
Floor Brouwer, Teunis van Rheenan, Shivcharn S. Dhillion, and Anna Martha Elgersma (eds.) Sustainable Land Management: Strategies to Cope with the Marginalisation of Agriculture Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-21 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9313-7 Authors Douglas Seale, 21 Turner Ridge Road, Marlborough, MA 01752, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
Renewed philosophical discourse about virtue ethics motivates the search for examples to inform and extend our thinking. In the case of environmental virtue ethics, I have decided to consult “America’s Lifestyle Expert,” Martha Stewart. Oft dismissed as a pop icon or model of domesticity, Martha’s business success is arguably a result of her claimed authority on what the good life entails and how we get it. Reviewing over 60 signed “Letters From Martha” from her monthly magazine (...) class='Hi'>Martha Stewart Living. (MSL) I explored her presentations of current environmental topics including biodiversity, obligations to animals, gardening, global warming, and reliance on technology. I find that her work ultimately makes managing a household interesting, and encourages her public to take personal pride in everyday tasks done well. These are trademark Martha Stewart “good things.” Moreover, by connecting with a large audience few philosophers or scientists ever court, she is poised to help us manage our larger planetary household (sensu Gr. “oikos”) and frame a quality of life for future generations. (shrink)
Some theorists argue that rather than advocating a principle of educational equality as a component of a theory of justice in education, egalitarians should adopt a principle of educational adequacy. This paper looks at two recent attempts to show that adequacy, not equality, constitutes justice in education. It responds to the criticisms of equality by claiming that they are either unsuccessful or merely show that other values are also important, not that equality is not important. It also argues that a (...) principle of educational adequacy cannot be all there is to justice in education. (shrink)
On a currently popular reading of Locke, an idea represents its cause, or what God intended to be its cause. Against Martha Bolton and my former self (among others), I argue that Locke cannot hold such a view, since it sins against his epistemology and theory of abstraction. I argue that Locke is committed to a resemblance theory of representation, with the result that ideas of secondary qualities are not representations.
Nussbaum seems to have had a spell during which she made villains heroes (and sometimes visa versa). Thus she has argued, in effect, that Steerforth is the hero of David Copperfield, and Heathcliff the most admirable character in Wuthering Heights. Here I discuss her more or less explicit claim that Alcibiades is the hero, (and Socrates the villain) in Plato’s Symposium. -/- .
There is quite a long-standing tradition according to which the morally proper treatment of animals does not rely on what we owe them, but on our benevolence. Nussbaum wishes to go beyond this tradition, because in her view we are dealing with issues of justice. Her capabilities approach secures basic entitlements for animals, on the basis of their fundamental capacities. At the same time Nussbaum wishes to retain the possibility of certain human uses of animals, and to see them as (...) morally justifiable. This article shows that these things do not go together with her capabilities approach to animal rights. More specifically, they clash with the attitude towards animals that Nussbaum's approach intends to foster in human beings. (shrink)
Nussbaum’s theory of the emotions draws heavily on the Stoic account. In her theory, emotions are a kind of value judgment or thought. This is in stark contrast to the well-known proposal from William James, who took emotions to be bodily feelings. There are various motivations for taking emotions as judgments. One main reason is that emotions are intentional mental states. They are always about something, directed at particular objects or state of affairs. For example, fear seems to involve the (...) anticipation of danger. To grief for the passing of a loved one involves the thought that someone dear to us is now gone. In Upheavals of Thought and also in her Hochelaga Lecture, Nussbaum analyzed compassion as a set of judgments, including for example the judgment that someone is experiencing serious suffering, and that the person in question does not deserve the suffering. (shrink)
In this paper, I assess Martha Nussbaum's application of the capabilities approach to non-human animals for both its philosophical merits and its potential to affect public policy. I argue that there are currently three main philosophical problems with the theory that need further attention. After discussing these problems, I show how focusing on factory farming would enable Nussbaum to demonstrate the philosophical merits of the capabilities approach as well as to suggest more powerful and effectives changes in our public (...) policies. (shrink)
Taking Ourselves Seriously and Getting It Right is written in a manner that is accessible to all. Frankfurt’s arguments are, as usual, clear and persuasive. Korsgaard’s, Bratman’s, and Dan-Cohen’s comments are thought provoking. There are, however, two main areas in which Frankfurt’s arguments need clarification (the notion of wholehearted identification, and the concept of ambivalence), and there are misunderstandings of Frankfurt at work in Korsgaard’s (relationship between the self and the will, and concept of the will for Frankfurt) and Bratman’s (...) (meaning of "necessity" for Frankfurt) comments. (shrink)
Martha Nussbaum's work has been characterized by a sustained critique of Stoic ethics, insofar as that ethics denies the validity and importance of our valuing things that elude our control. This essay explores the idea that the very possibility of morality, understood as social or interpersonal ethics, presupposes that we do value such things. If my argument is right, Stoic ethics is unable to recognize the validity of morality (so understood) but can at most acknowledge duties to oneself. A (...) further implication is that moral luck, so far from undermining morality as some have held, is presupposed by the very possibility of morality. (shrink)
Common sense says that visual agnosia is impossible. It ought not exist. If an object like a safety pin or a bar of white soap is in full view, you see it, and you know what a "safety pin" or a "bar of soap" is, then you cannot fail to recognize what you see. If you identify the safety pin as "something silver and shiny like a watch or a nail clipper," or you identify the bar of white soap as (...) "a piece of paper," then common sense would dictate that either you fail to see the object, or your knowledge is somehow deficient. But visual agnosics, who make such responses, clearly do--in some sense--"see" the objects in question. Often they can, for example, make accurate and recognizable drawings of what they see. Some lack measurable visual field defects; they have a full visual field. And they clearly know what a "safety pin" or a "bar of soap" is: if allowed to touch the object, or its use is pantomimed, correct identification is immediate. "I see it now," they may say. We get a failure specifically in visual recognition, even though sufficient sensory functions and cognitive functions are demonstrably intact. Such is the mystery of visual agnosia. (shrink)
I argue for a conception of health as a person's ability to achieve or exercise a cluster of basic human activities. These basic activities are in turn specified through free-standing ethical reasoning about what constitutes a minimal conception of a human life with equal human dignity in the modern world. I arrive at this conception of health by closely following and modifying Lennart Nordenfelt's theory of health which presents health as the ability to achieve vital goals. Despite its strengths I (...) transform Nordenfelt's argument in order to overcome three significant drawbacks. Nordenfelt makes vital goals relative to each community or context and significantly reflective of personal preferences. By doing so, Nordenfelt's conception of health faces problems with both socially relative concepts of health and subjectively defined wellbeing. Moreover, Nordenfelt does not ever explicitly specify a set of vital goals. The theory of health advanced here replaces Nordenfelt's (seemingly) empty set of preferences and society-relative vital goals with a human species-wide conception of basic vital goals, or ‘central human capabilities and functionings’. These central human capabilities come out of the capabilities approach (CA) now familiar in political philosophy and economics, and particularly reflect the work of Martha Nussbaum. As a result, the health of an individual should be understood as the ability to achieve a basic cluster of beings and doings—or having the overarching capability, a meta-capability, to achieve a set of central or vital inter-related capabilities and functionings. (shrink)