In this paper, I endorse the idea that age is a defensible criterion for eligibility to vote, where age is itself a proxy for having a broad set of cognitive and motivational capacities. Given the current (and defeasible) state of developmental research, I suggest that the age of 16 is a good proxy for such capacities. In defending this thesis, I consider alternative and narrower capacity conditions while drawing on insights from a parallel debate about capacities and age requirements in (...) the criminal law. I also argue that the expansive capacity condition I adopt satisfies a number of powerful and complementary rationales for voting eligibility, and conclude by addressing challenging arguments that, on the one hand, capacity should not underlie voting eligibility in the first place, and, on the other, that capacity should do so directly and not via any sort of proxy, including age. (shrink)
The article presents a theory of the basis and nature of parents’ rights that appeals to the goods distinctively produced by intimate-but-authoritative relationships between adults and the children they parent. It explores the implications of that theory for questions about parents’ rights to raise their children as members of a religion, with particular attention to the issue of religious schooling. Even if not obstructing the development of their children’s capacity for autonomy, parents exceed the bounds of their legitimate authority in (...) so far as they aim deliberately to influence their children’s religious views. Healthy familial relationships involve some identification of child with parent and require a sphere of spontaneous interaction between parent and child that are in any case likely to influence those views and constitute a standing threat to autonomy. Correcting over-deferential understandings of parents’ rights enables schools better to promote not only children’s autonomy but also other legitimate civic goals. (shrink)
Care-supporting policies incentivise women’s withdrawal from the labour market, thereby reinforcing statistical discrimination and further undermining equality of opportunities between women and men for positions of advantage. This, I argue, is not sufficient reason against such policies. Supporting care also improves the overall condition of disadvantaged women who are care-givers; justice gives priority to the latter. Moreover, some of the most advantageous existing jobs entail excessive benefits; we should discount the value of allocating such jobs meritocratically. Further, women who have (...) a real chance to occupy positions of advantage have most likely already enjoyed more than their fair share of opportunities; they lack a claim to more. Women can have a complaint grounded in the expressive disvalue of sexist discrimination. This gives them special claims against men occupying the vast majority of top positions and against their higher share of opportunities for positions of advantage. But their claim does not speak against care-supporting policies. (shrink)
Deontologists have been slow to address decision-making under risk and uncertainty, no doubt because the standard approaches to non-moral decision theory appear superficially similar to consequentialist moral reasoning. I identify some central tenets of simple decision theory and show that they should not put deontologists off, before showing where we should go next to develop a comprehensive deontological decision theory.