Social Freedom and Commitment

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (1):117-134 (2012)
Much of feminist theory takes issue with traditional, liberal theories of consent and obligation. Though none have proposed abandoning obligation outright, there has been a general shift among feminists towards a responsibility paradigm. Responsibility models acknowledge given relationships and interdependence, and so posit responsibilities as given, regardless of whether they are voluntary. But in theories that take freedom as a principal value, a move from a socially unembedded voluntarism to socially embedded responsibility leaves something missing. Constructive accounts of and prescriptions for freedom must consider the reality of social life; yet acknowledging that relations are given need not require subordinating the role of voluntarism and consent in most relationships. In this paper I offer a commitment framework that seeks to supplant obligation while also reconciling relational given-ness and voluntarism. I propose an analysis of commitment that takes relations as the starting point and then show how the concept can: 1. guide actions 2. account for responsibilities 3. enhance freedom and 4. avoid a large share of coercive forces that are believed as necessary for reinforcing obligation and responsibility fulfillment
Keywords Commitment  Consent  Freedom  Social  Obligation  Responsibility
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-010-9259-2
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Responsibility and Global Justice: A Social Connection Model.Iris Marion Young - 2006 - Social Philosophy and Policy 23 (1):102-130.
Moral Understandings: A Feminist Study In.Margaret Urban Walker - 1998 - In Stephen Everson (ed.), Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
Twilight of the Idols ;.Friedrich Nietzsche - 1997 - Dover Publications.

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