The perfectionism of Nussbaum's adaptive preferences

Journal of Global Ethics 10 (2):183-198 (2014)
Authors
Rosa Terlazzo
Kansas State University
Abstract
Although the problem of adaptiveness plays an important motivating role in her work on human capabilities, Martha Nussbaum never gives a clear account of the controversial concept of adaptive preferences on which she relies. In this paper, I aim both to reconstruct the most plausible account of the concept that may be attributed to Nussbaum and to provide a critical appraisal of that account. Although her broader work on the capabilities approach moves progressively towards political liberalism as time passes, I aim to show that her account of adaptive preferences continues to maintain her earlier commitment to perfectionism about the good. I then distinguish between two obligatory kinds of respect for persons, which I call, respectively, primary and secondary recognition respect. This distinction allows us to see that her perfectionist account of adaptive preferences allows her to show persons primary but not secondary recognition respect. Ultimately, I claim that an acceptable account of adaptive prefer..
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DOI 10.1080/17449626.2014.931874
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References found in this work BETA

The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Political Liberalism: Expanded Edition.John Rawls - 2005 - Columbia University Press.
Inequality Reexamined.John Roemer & Amartya Sen - 1994 - Philosophical Review 103 (3):554.
Human Functioning and Social Justice.Martha C. Nussbaum - 1992 - Political Theory 20 (2):202-246.
Perfectionist Liberalism and Political Liberalism.Martha C. Nussbaum - 2011 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 39 (1):3-45.

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