Mason and McCall Smith's classic textbook discusses the relationship of medical practice and ethics with the operation of the law. The subjects covered include natural and assisted reproduction, the impact of modern genetics on medicine, medical confidentiality, consent to medical treatment, the use of resources and problems surrounding death in the new medical era. It is of significance to anyone with an interest in the ethical and legal practice of medicine.
The Hypothesis of Extended Cognition (HEC)—that many cognitive processes are carried out by a hybrid coalition of neural, bodily and environmental factors—entails that the intentional states that are reasons for action might best be ascribed to wider entities of which individual persons are only parts. I look at different kinds of extended cognition and agency, exploring their consequences for concerns about the moral agency and personal responsibility of such extended entities. Can extended entities be moral agents and bear responsibility for (...) actions, in addition to or in place of the individuals typically held responsible? What does it mean to be autonomous when one’s cognition is influenced and supported by a milieu of environmental factors? To answer these questions, I explore strong parallels between HEC’s critique of individualism in cognition, and feminist critiques of individualist accounts of self, agency, and autonomy. This relational and social conception of autonomous agency, as scaffolded and supported (or undermined and impaired) by a milieu of social, relational, and normative factors, has important lessons for HEC. Drawing together these two visions of distributed and decentralized aspects of personhood highlights how cognition, action, and responsibility are inextricably linked. It also encourages a reconceptualization of all cognition and all concerns about responsibility for actions, not simply as sometimes extended around individuals, but as fundamentally communal, social, and normative, with individual cognition and individual moral responsibility being derivative special cases, not the paradigm examples. Individuals are merely one of many possible loci of cognition, action, and responsibility. (shrink)
Many now accept the thesis that norms are somehow constitutively involved in people's contentful intentional states. I distinguish three versions of this normative thesis that disagree about the type of norms constitutively involved. Are they objective norms of correctness, subjective norms of rationality, or intersubjective norms of social practices? I show the advantages of the third version, arguing that it improves upon the other two versions, as well as incorporating their principal insights. I then defend it against two serious challenges: (...) (1) If content is constituted by others' normative judgments, how can content be causally efficacious? (2) This account appears to make having contentful thoughts a matter of people having contentful thoughts about your thoughts. That appears to be viciously circular and so can't be naturalistic. (shrink)
James Lenman argues that consequentialism fails as a moral theory because it is impossible to predict the long-term consequences of our actions. I agree that it is impossible to predict the long-term consequences of actions, but argue that this does not count as a strike against consequentialism. I focus on the principle of indifference, which tells us to treat unforeseeable consequences as cancelling each other out, and hence value-neutral. I argue that though we cannot defend this principle independently, we cannot (...) do without it in practical rationality. Thus abandoning the principle of indifference would involve abandoning all of rationality, not just consequentialist reasoning. I suggest that we should understand the principle as P. F. Strawson understands inductive reasoning – as being part of rationality. Correspondence:c1 Elinor.Mason@colorado.edu. (shrink)
This collection of previously unpublished essays addresses a number of issues arising out of philosophical controversies over the possibility of genuine moral dilemmas. Issues addressed include the form of a moral dilemma; the paradoxes a moral dilemma is said to entail; the question of whether a moral dilemma must exhibit inconsistency; the role of intractable circumstances in occasioning moral dilemmas; and the plausibility of supposing that there might be rational ways of addressing moral dilemmas in practice. The contributors, writing from (...) a number of widely differing points of view, include Simon Blackburn, Ruth Barcan Marcus, Alan Donagan, Terrance McConnell, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Mary Mothersill, Norman Dahl, David Brink, Peter Railton, Thomas E. Hill, Jr., Christopher Gowans, and H.E. Mason. (shrink)
: Focusing on a textbook controversy that emerged in Kanawha County, West Virginia, in 1974, Mason explores the discursive production of white ethnicity in the rhetorical, visual, and political strategies used during an organized protest against the new multicultural curriculum adopted by the local school board. What the author finds puzzling is the ways in which these productions of "soul" and "nation" enabled unlikely political alliances between national conservative elites and the local, historically left-leaning working class protesters. The author (...) argues that "soul" is reproduced through racialized discourse signifying the spiritual and ethnic purity of whiteness, the consolidation of white ethnicity, and the spirit of white resistance, articulated through campaigns to save children from future captivity in an "alien" world. Through this on-site theoretical analysis, the author demonstrates how a right-wing narrative of victimhood facilitates the reproduction of ethnic identification among the protesters, whose whiteness apparently can be jeopardized by reading the "wrong" books. (shrink)
I argue that motivational internalism should not be driving metaethics. I first show that many arguments for motivational internalism beg the question by resting on an illicit appeal to internalist assumptions about the nature of reasons. Then I make a distinction between weak internalism and the weakest form of internalism. Weak internalism allows that agents fail to act according to their normative judgments when they are practically irrational. I show that when we clarify the notion of practical irrationality it does (...) not support motivational internalism. Weakest internalism only claims that agents are irrational if they entirely lack motivation to do what they judge they ought to. I do not argue against weakest internalism, but I argue that it is not an important view. (shrink)
The 20th century has been a tumultuous time in psychology – a century in which the discipline struggled with basic questions about its intellectual identity, but nonetheless managed to achieve spectacular growth and maturation. It’s not surprising, then, that psychology has attracted sustained philosophical attention and stimulated rich philosophical debate. Some of this debate was aimed at understanding, and sometimes criticizing, the assumptions, concepts and explanatory strategies prevailing in the psychology of the time. But much philosophical work has also been (...) devoted to exploring the implications of psychological findings and theories for broader philosophical questions like: Are humans really rational animals? How malleable is human nature? and Do we have any innate knowledge or innate ideas? One particularly noteworthy fact about philosophy of psychology in the 20th century is that, in the last quarter of the century, the distinction between psychology and the philosophy of psychology began to dissolve as philosophers played an increasingly active role in articulating and testing empirical theories about the mind and psychologists became increasingly interested in the philosophical underpinnings and implications of their work. Our survey is divided into five sections, each focusing on an important theme in 20th century psychology which has been the focus of philosophical attention and has benefited from philosophical scrutiny. (shrink)
Peter Singer has argued for a radical anti-intuitionism on the basis of recent empirical research into the psychological and evolutionary origins of moral intuition. There is, however, a gap between the putative genealogy of moral intuition that Singer offers and his desired methodological claim. I explore three ways to bridge the gap, and argue that the promising way is to construe the genealogy as a debunking genealogy. I sketch an account of how debunking arguments work, and then show that this (...) causes problems for Singer, since utilitarianism itself is liable to be debunked. Finally, I suggest how we can take lessons for ethics from the empirical work, but that the result is a far more restricted kind of anti-intuitionism than Singer was hoping for. (shrink)
Philosophical suspicions about the place of shame in the psychology of the mature moral agent are in tension with the commonplace assumption that to call a person shameless purports to mark a fault, arguably a moral fault. I shift philosophical suspicions away from shame and toward its absence in the shameless by focusing attention on phenomena of shamelessness. In redirecting our attention, I clarify the nature of the failing to which ascriptions of shamelessness might refer and defend the thought that, (...) as an evasion of moral self-censure, shamelessness can be morally pernicious. Far from foregoing shame, I conclude, we should be mindful of its moral importance and unapologetic in its defense. (shrink)
Are the rights, duties, and virtues of citizenship grounded exclusively in considerations of justice, or do some or all of them have other sources? This question is addressed by distinguishing three different accounts of the justification of these rights, duties, and virtues, namely, the justice account, the common-good account, and the equal-membership account. The common-good account is rejected on the grounds that it provides an implausible way of understanding what it is to act as a citizen. It is then argued (...) that the justice account and the equal-membership account provide complementary perspectives that differ in terms of the scope of the duties they ground: the latter offers an analysis of the duties that citizens proper (those with an unconditional right of residence and full political rights) owe to each other, whereas the former provides an analysis of the duties that those who are under the jurisdiction of the same state, whether fellow citizens or not, owe to each other. The article concludes by arguing that the distinction between the justice account and the equal-membership account cuts across the traditional one that is drawn between liberal and republican theories of citizenship. (shrink)
In this paper I defend consequentialism against the objection that consequentialists are alienated from their personal relationships through having inappropriate motivational states. This objection is one interpretation of Williams' claim that consequentialists will have "one thought too many". Consequentialists should cultivate dispositions to act from their concern for others. I argue that having such a disposition is consistent with a belief in consequentialism and constitutes an appropriate attitude to personal relationships. If the consequentialist has stable beliefs that friendship is justifiable (...) in consequentialist terms, that friendship requires acting from concern for others, and furthermore if the consequentialist finds that she is concerned for others, then she will be able to form a disposition which involves acting from her concern for others without having one thought too many. (shrink)
Philosophers writing on moral responsibility inherit from P.F. Strawson a particular problem space. On one side, it is shaped by consequentialist accounts of moral criticism on which blame is justified, if at all, by its efficacy in influencing future behavior in socially desirable ways. It is by now a common criticism of such views that they suffer a "wrong kind of reason" problem. When blame is warranted in the proper way, it is natural to suppose this is because the target (...) deserves blame – thus opposing to consequentialist views of blame desert-based views. The latter, however, raise worries that blame is a form of retributive sanction whose justificatory burdens cannot be met. I evaluate T.M. Scanlon's recent attempt to maneuver this space. In doing so, I argue that although Scanlon’s relationship-impairment model of blame has clear advantages over consequentialist and desert-based alternatives, it fails: (1) to adequately appreciate the significance of person-focused emotional attitudes in constituting persons as agents subject to a nexus of normative expectations and demands, and (2) to recognize that a victim may owe nearly nothing *to* a blameworthy agent while nonetheless retaining unconditional moral obligations to act in certain ways (and forego acting in other ways) toward him. (shrink)
States that are about things are intentional, that is, they have content. The precise nature of intentional states is a matter of dispute.What makes some states, but not others, intentional? Of those states that are intentional, what makes them about what they are about as opposed to something else, i.e. what gives them their specific content?
It is often supposed that the point of equality of opportunity is to create a level playing-field. This is understood in different ways, however. A common proposal is what I call the neutralization view: that people's social circumstances should not differentially affect their life chances in any serious way. I raise problems with this view, before developing an alternative conception of equal opportunity which allows some variations in social circumstances to create differences in life prospects. The meritocratic conception which I (...) defend is grounded in the idea of respect for persons, and provides a less demanding interpretation of fair access to qualifications; it nevertheless places constraints on the behaviour of parents, and has implications for educational provision in schools. (shrink)
Despite contemporary moral philosophers' renewed attention to the moral significance of emotions, the attitudinal repertoire with which they equip the mature moral agent remains stunted. One attitude moral philosophers neglect (if not disown) is contempt. While acknowledging the nastiness of contempt, I here correct the neglect by providing an account of the moral psychology of contempt. In the process, I defend the moral propriety of certain tokens of properly person-focused contempt against some prominent objections -- among them, objections stemming from (...) Kantian worries that contempt is incompatible with the respect we owe to persons as such. (shrink)
Could someone who wants a gin and tonic have a normative reason to drink petrol and tonic? Bernard Williams and Michael Smith both say, 'No'. They argue that what an agent has normative reason to do is determined by rational deliberation that involves correcting the agent's beliefs and current motivations. On such an account of normative reasons, an agent who is motivated to act in some way due to a false belief does not have reason to act in that way. (...) I argue that the agent could have reason to drink the petrol, because an agent's epistemic circumstances, what that agent can come to know, can be as relevant to what the agent has reason to do as other aspects of his circumstances. Moreover, if an agent's epistemic circumstances are taken into account when determining what the agent has reason to do, this can still give an account of reasons that is normative, ensures that the agent and onlookers agree on what the agent has reason to do, is appropriately connected to rationality and fairly represents the agent's beliefs about the knowledge they need to have to know how they have reason to act. (shrink)
Miranda Fricker claims that a “gap” in collective hermeneutical resources with respect to the social experiences of marginalized groups prevents members of those groups from understanding their own experiences (Fricker 2007). I argue that because Fricker misdescribes dominant hermeneutical resources as collective, she fails to locate the ethically bad epistemic practices that maintain gaps in dominant hermeneutical resources even while alternative interpretations are in fact offered by non-dominant discourses. Fricker's analysis of hermeneutical injustice does not account for the possibility that (...) marginalized groups can be silenced relative to dominant discourses without being prevented from understanding or expressing their own social experiences. I suggest that a gap in dominant hermeneutical resources is ambiguous between two kinds of unknowing: hermeneutical injustice suffered by members of marginalized groups, and epistemically and ethically blameworthy ignorance perpetrated by members of dominant groups. (shrink)
What is moral reasoning? For that matter, what is any sort of reasoning? Let me begin by making a few distinctions. First, there is a distinction between reasoning as something that that people do and the abstract structures of proof or “argument” that are the subject matter of formal logic. I will be mainly concerned with reasoning in the first sense, reasoning that people do. Second, there is a distinction between moral reasoning with other people and moral reasoning by and (...) for yourself . Moral reasoning with others may involve discussion with them, bargaining with them, and possibly arguing with them. (shrink)
Presentism has received much scrutiny of late, yet little has been said of its definition. Many assume that it means simply that all that exists, exists at present. However, this definition will not do. It is defective in a multiplicity of ways. I consider and reject each of a number of intuitive ways in which to amend it. Each carries us a bit closer to our goal, but not until the end do we reach a definition that is wholly satisfactory. (...) The final definition has this remarkable feature: it has us posit abstracta of two kinds, namely, times and haecceities. (shrink)
Despite appeals to Hume in debates over moralism in art criticism, we lack an adequate account of Hume’s moralist aesthetics, as presented in “Of the Standard of Taste.” I illuminate that aesthetics by pursuing a problem, the moral prejudice dilemma, that arises from a tension between the “freedom from prejudice” Hume requires of aesthetic judges and what he says about the relevance of moral considerations to art evaluation. I disarm the dilemma by investigating the taxonomy of prejudices by which Hume (...) justifies the true judge’s moralism. The result distinguishes Hume’s aesthetic and moral points of view while defending aesthetic moralism. (shrink)
In this account of recent work on moral responsibility I shall try to disen- tangle various different sorts of question about moral responsibility. In brief, the tangle includes questions about whether we have free will, questions about whether moral responsibility is compatible with free will, and questions about what moral responsibility involves. As far as possible I will ignore the first sort of question, be as brief as possible on the second sort of question, and focus on the third question. (...) This is partly just in the interests of space—the total literature generated by the three questions together would be impossible to summarise here. (shrink)
Although the notion of an essentially contested concept may shed light on the logic of disputes over the proper application of some key political terms, it nevertheless plays no genuine role in explaining the intractability of these disputes. The notion of an essentially contested concept is defended against some influential criticisms, showing how it is possible for one conception of an essentially contested concept to be justifiably regarded as superior to other competing conceptions. Two possible answers are distinguished to the (...) question of why disputes over essentially contested concepts should be regarded as inevitable, but neither provides us with a plausible explanation for why they are so intractable. Disagreements over the proper use of key political concepts are better explained by features of moral and political discourse, such as the short reach of ?intellectual authority? and the fact that consensus is not one of its primary aims, in conjunction with empirical hypotheses from the social sciences, rather than by essential contestedness theses. (shrink)
I argue against the standard view that it is possible to describe extensionally different consequentialist theories by describing different evaluative focal points. I argue that for consequentialist purposes, the important sense of the word act must include all motives and side effects, and thus these things cannot be separated.
It seems that the debate between objective and subjective consequentialists might be resolved by appealing to the ought implies can principle. Howard-Snyder has suggested that if one does not know how to do something, cannot do it, and thus one cannot have an obligation to do it. I argue that this depends on an overly rich conception of ability, and that we need to look beyond the ought implies can principle to answer the question. Once we do so, it appears (...) that Prichard might have been at least partly right when he claimed that obligations are tryings. I go some way to defending a diluted version of Prichard's view. (shrink)
Some moral theorists defend a holistic account of practical reasons and deny that the possibility of moral thought depends upon the existence of moral principles. This article explores the implications of this position for theorising about justice, which has often aspired to provide us with an ordered list of principles to govern our institutions and practices.
This paper is an "ordinary language" analysis of the philosophical discussion of visual perception in the context of Twentieth Century British "sense datum" theorists, primarily G.E. Moore. -/- The title of the paper is derived from A.J. Ayer's "argument from illusion", which also forms part of the context of this paper. Both Moore and Ayer believed in sense datum theory, but Moore provides an interesting illustration that is intended to clarify (and also prove) sense datum theory in his paper, "A (...) Defence of Common Sense". Moore invites us to inspect his hand. I try to follow suit, but succeed only in falling out with the viewpoints of both Moore and Ayer. (shrink)
The paper demonstrates its ‘CSR at a tipping point’ thesis by juxtaposing views of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as essential for business and societal sustainability against those that see CSR as unaffordable or irrelevant in the current economic climate. Drawing from Kohlberg's seminal theory of moral development, CSR is conceptualised as the development of organisation moral reasoning, and the proposition is illustrated by demonstrating inter-disciplinary similarities in levels of ethical concern within different approaches to the practice of marketing, human resource (...) management (HRM) and performance management. Levels of concern for CSR are related to environmental and firm-specific drivers and constraints that influence the CSR dynamic. Environmental influences on organisational CSR stances emanate from a range of stakeholder constituencies, while the importance accorded to CSR is also influenced by firm-specific factors such as the organisation's stage of development, strategy and leadership. The paper's identification of inter-disciplinary similarities in the varying levels of concern for CSR and its delineation of CSR drivers and constraints contribute to CSR theory, and these frameworks also represent analytical tools that managers can use to assess or to change an organisation's CSR stance. The multi-level perspective on CSR adopted by the paper links an organisation's overall or ‘macro’ CSR stance to the ‘meso’ levels of CSR represented by practice within its specialist functions. It proposes that the ‘CSR at a tipping point’ proposition is assessed by utilising the conceptual model in the paper within a case-study research design to determine whether specific organisations – identified as ‘CSR-positive’ ones by their relatively high level of concern for stakeholder welfare – are changing the importance they accord to CSR as a result of the new business context, and the extent to which practice in their marketing, HRM and performance management functions are shapers or consequences of this. (shrink)
Although we are enthusiastic about a Darwinian approach to culture, we argue that the overview presented in the target article does not sufficiently emphasize the crucial explanatory role that psychology plays in the study of culture. We use a number of examples to illustrate the variety of ways by which appeal to psychological factors can help explain cultural phenomena. (Published Online November 9 2006).
This book is the fullest study in English for many years on the role of God in Spinoza's philosophy. Spinoza has been called both a 'God-intoxicated man' and an atheist, both a pioneer of secular Judaism and a bitter critic of religion. He was born a Jew but chose to live outside any religious community. He was deeply engaged both in traditional Hebrew learning and in contemporary physical science. He identified God with nature or substance: a theme which runs through (...) his work, enabling him to naturalise religion but - equally important - to divinise nature. He emerges not as a rationalist precursor of the Enlightenment but as a thinker of the highest importance in his own right, both in philosophy and in religion. (shrink)
Two contrasting types of individuals were each predicted to agree, for different reasons, that conventional ethical standards of society need not be upheld if organizational interests appear to demand otherwise. The hypotheses were investigated using questionnaire responses from two samples (employed and student, total N=308). Clear support was obtained for the prediction that individuals inclined toward self-interest and behavior counter to conventional standards would agree with the preceding position. Partial support was obtained for the hypothesis that individuals who simply feel (...) obligated to support an employing organization would also agree. While the latter's perspective may be somewhat narrow or perhaps even cynical, they do not seem to reflect the self-interest profile of the first group. This study also extends the groundbreaking work of Froelich and Kottke by exploring individual difference correlates of their promising ethics scale assessing the extent of agreement that organizational interests legitimately supersede more conventional ethical standards. (shrink)
There are many reports about the digital divideand many discrepant interpretations of what thereports indicate. This pattern of competinganalyses, often in relation to identical datasets, has endured for a good part of the lastdecade. It is argued here that a major problemwith much of the digital divide research is afailure to include ethical concerns as anexplicit part of analyzing and interpretingdigital divide gaps. If researchers includemore recognition of ethics with their findingsabout divide gaps, it is likely that they willproduce better (...) research and findings as well asmore defensible linkages between study reportsand policy deliberations. (shrink)
I introduce a distinction between two divergent trends in the literature on Hume and practical reason. One trend, action-theoretic Humeanism, primarily concerns itself with defending a general account of reasons for acting. The other trend, virtue-theoretic Humeanism, concentrates on defending the case for being an agent of a particular practical character, one whose enduring dispositions of practical thought are virtuous. I discuss work exemplifying these two trends and warn against decoupling thought about Hume's and a Humean theory of practical reason (...) from Hume's and a Humean ethics. I conclude that the virtue-theoretic approach is a fruitful one for pursuing future work on Hume and Humeanism about practical reason. (shrink)
This book examines a number of different accounts developed by philosophers and political theorists to explain why political disagreement is so extensive and persistent. The author argues that moral and political questions can have correct answers, but that not every reasonable person will necessarily be satisfied with these answers. He develops a framework that gives a role to the individual's reasons for his or her beliefs, but also to psychological and sociological factors, to explain the intractability of political disputes.
Ethics and associated values influence not only managerial behavior but also managerial success (England and Lee, 1973). Gender socialization theory hypothesizes gender differences in ethics variables whether or not individuals are full time employees; occupational socialization hypothesizes gender similarity in employees. The conflicting hypotheses were investigated using questionnaire responses from a sample of 308 individuals. Analysis of variance and hierarchical regression yielded unexpected results. Although no significant gender differences emerged in individuals lacking full time employment, significant differences existed between employed (...) women and men, with women appearing more ethical. While occupational socialization predicts an interaction between employment status and gender, these group differences were opposite to those predicted. An implication for the two theories and the current conflicting research support is that these commonly used theories may be of limited usefulness. Some alternative concepts are proposed. (shrink)
When we criticize someone for being unjust, deceitful, or imprudent -- or commend him as just, truthful, or wise -- what is the content of our evaluation? On one way of thinking, evaluating agents in terms that employ aretaic concepts evaluates how they regulate their actions (and judgment-sensitive attitudes) in light of the reasons that bear on them. On this virtue-centered view of practical reasons appraisal, evaluations of agents in terms of ethical virtues (and vices) are, 'inter alia', evaluations of (...) them as practical reasoners. Here I consider and respond to an objection that threatens to debunk the virtue-centered view. (shrink)
Individuals who disagree that organizational interests legitimately supersede those of the wider society may experience conflict between their personal standards of ethics and those demanded by an employing organization, a conflict that is well documented. An additional question is whether or not individuals capable of complex moral reasoning experience greater conflict than those reasoning at a less developed level. This question was first positioned in a theoretical framework and then investigated using 115 survey responses from a student sample. Correlational analysis (...) and hierarchical regression indicated that individuals scoring high on the Defining Issues Test measure of Kohlberg's stages of moral development experienced significantly greater workplace ethical conflict than low scorers. The finding that complex moral reasoners perceive greater conflict between their personal standards and typical organizational demands raises the issue of what reasoning orientation is rewarded in organizations. Individuals capable of complex moral reasoning may be likely to leave traditional organizations due to high conflict but more ethically friendly organizations for complex reasoners seem unlikely unless these people occupy influential positions. (shrink)
Presentism—the thesis that only those things that are present exist—seems to face an insurmountable barrier in the Special Theory ofRelativity (STR). For the STR entails that simultaneity, and so the present, are relative to inertial frame. But if the present is the real and the present is relative, so too is in the real relative. But this cannot be. The real is absolute. But what is the Presentist to do? I suggest that she craft an alternative to the STR that (...) is empirically equivalent to it but makes rooms for a present, and a real, that are absolute. (shrink)
It is widely presumed, at least among typical Western physicians and medical lay persons, that the Hippocratic and the Judeo-Christian traditions in medical ethics are closely connected or at least compatible. We examine the historical, metaethical, and normative relationships between them, and we find virtually no evidence of any historical links prior to the ninth century. In fact, important differences between them are found. The Hippocratic Oath appears to reflect the environment of a Greek mystery cult. It includes a (...) commitment to secrecy and a sense of community alien to Judeo-Christian tradition. Differences between the two traditions on the issues of killing and life prolongation, abortion, surgery, and normative ethical principles including truth-telling, autonomy, and justice are also explored. We conclude that important differences not only exist but also raise serious problems for persons identifying with both traditions. (shrink)
Some mental states are about things. For instance, the belief that the cat is white is about the cat. States that are about things are intentional, that is, they have content. The precise nature of intentional states is a matter of dispute.What makes some states, but not others, intentional? Of those states that are intentional, what makes them about what they are about as opposed to something else, i.e. what gives them their specific content?
A number of egalitarians have reached the conclusion that inequalities are just provided that they are the outcome of holding people appropriately responsible for their choices, and that only inequalities which can be traced back to the circumstances in which people happen to find themselves are objectionable. But this form of egalitarianism needs to be supplemented with an account of when it is appropriate to hold people responsible for their choices that is properly sensitive to the profound effects of socialisation. (...) Two of the most promising attempts to develop such an account-those of Ronald Dworkin and John Roemer-are found to be problematic in the light of a range of cases where gender socialisation influences values and aspirations. (shrink)