Educating for Autonomy: Liberalism and Autonomy in the Capabilities Approach

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (3):443-455 (2014)
Rosa Terlazzo
Kansas State University
Luara Ferracioli
University of Sydney
Martha Nussbaum grounds her version of the capabilities approach in political liberalism. In this paper, we argue that the capabilities approach, insofar as it genuinely values the things that persons can actually do and be, must be grounded in a hybrid account of liberalism: in order to show respect for adults, its justification must be political; in order to show respect for children, however, its implementation must include a commitment to comprehensive autonomy, one that ensures that children develop the skills necessary to make meaningful choices about whether or not to exercise their basic capabilities. Importantly, in order to show respect for parents who do not necessarily recognize autonomy as a value, we argue that the liberal state, via its system of public education, should take on the role of ensuring that all children within the state develop a sufficient degree of comprehensive autonomy
Keywords Political liberalism  Comprehensive liberalism  Autonomy  Children  Public education
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-013-9443-2
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Justice as Fairness: A Restatement.John Rawls - 2001 - Harvard University Press.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.

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