OKIN’S FEMINIST CHALLENGE TO RAWLS’S THEORY OF JUSTICE. FROM THEORY TO PUBLIC ACTION

Studia Philosophica (1):51-64 (2011)

Authors
Alexandra Dobra
University of York
Abstract
The present paper aims to analyze Okin’s critique of Rawls’s theory of justice via a held argumentative dialogue. This critique is centred on Rawls’s dichotomy between public and private sphere, and its commitment to a purely political liberalism, both hindering the application of justice within the family. Hence, gender inequality is not inhibited at its origin, at the level of the patriarchal family. In order to achieve this inhibition, Okin aspires to use Rawls’s theory of justice as an epitome in a pro modo manner, so that the personal becomes the political. With the aim to apply justice directly within the family, this paper argues that Okin’s critique emphasizes the imperative for the Rawlsian theory of justice to be reconstructed as a teleological comprehensive liberal model. The form that public action should take will be critically analyzed. It will help to sustain the need to deconstruct gender as a nomos inherently responsible for hierarchical relations. With this aim, this paper has developed a new feminism, the so-called “feminism of opposition”. In addition, it will be evidenciated that the political and the private must form a symbiosis governed by the prerequisite of “the moral point of view”, enabling impartiality and autonomy.
Keywords Theory of justice  Political liberalism  Comprehensive liberalism  Teleological comprehensive liberalism
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