The Need for Others in Public Policy: An African Approach

In Motsamai Molefe & Chris Allsobrook (eds.), Towards an African Political Philosophy of Needs. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 21-37 (2021)

Abstract

When reflecting on human need as a moral-political category, it is natural to include some intersubjective conditions. Surely, children need to be socialized, adults need to be recognized, and the poor need to be given certain resources. I point out that there are two different respects in which such intersubjective factors could be considered needs. On the one hand, they might be needed roughly for their own sake, that is, for exemplifying relational values such as caring for others and sharing a way of life with them. On the other hand, those intersubjective conditions might be needed for the realization of intrinsic values distinct from them, such as autonomy, biological health, or the absence of pain. After spelling out this intrinsic/relational way of valuing intersubjectivity, I provide reason to take seriously the characteristically African idea that we need others in our lives largely because certain ways of relating are valuable as ends and not merely as means to intrinsic goods. I also argue that acknowledging that we need others for such relational considerations would affect public policy in revealing and plausible ways, specifically with respect to poverty, employment, education, and the fourth industrial revolution.

Download options

PhilArchive

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-08-10

Downloads
41 (#280,908)

6 months
26 (#34,491)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

I and Thou.Martin Buber - 1970 - New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons 57.
Meaningfulness and Time.Antti Kauppinen - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (2):345-377.
Self and Community in a Changing World.D. A. Masolo - 2010 - Indiana University Press.

View all 22 references / Add more references

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Goodness of Means: Instrumental and Relational Values, Causation, and Environmental Policies.Patrik Baard - 2019 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 32 (1):183-199.
The Political Import of Intrinsic Objections to Genetically Engineered Food.Robert Streiffer & Thomas Hedemann - 2005 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 18 (2):191-210.
A Dilemma About the Final Ends of Higher Education -- And a Resolution.Thaddeus Metz - 2013 - Kagisano (The Higher Education Discussion Series) 9:23-41.
Why 'Health' is Not a Central Category for Public Health Policy.Stephen John - 2009 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (2):129-143.
Why the Intrinsic Value of Public Goods Matters.Avigail Ferdman - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-16.
Intrinsic Moral Value and Racial Differences.Stephen Kershnar - 2000 - Public Affairs Quarterly 14 (3):205-224.
Public Policy, Consequentialism, the Environment, and Non-Human Animals.Mark Budolfson & Dean Spears - 2020 - In Douglas W. Portmore (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 592-615.