Steiner’s book is an engaging and challenging romp through important issues in rights theory, moral and economic reasoning, theories of freedom, and questions of justice. An Essay on Rights develops and connects themes pursued by Steiner in a series of articles written over the past two decades.
This chapter is about micro-inequities and their connection to the problem of implicit bias. It begins by defining micro-inequities, goes on to discuss what makes them wrong and what solutions might be appropriate given the institutional context in which they occur.
The essays in this volume present versions of feminism that are explicitly liberal, or versions of liberalism that are explicitly feminist. By bringing together some of the most respected and well-known scholars in mainstream political philosophy today, Amy R. Baehr challenges the reader to reconsider the dominant view that liberalism and feminism are 'incompatible.'.
RÉSUMÉ: La mort d’une personne peut-elle être intrinsèquement mauvaise pour la personne qui meurt? Et pourquoi est-il mal de tuer une autre personne? Je soutiens qu’une réponse adéquate à l’une ou l’autre de ces questions requiert d’apprécier l’importance morale de l’autonomie. J’examine ici la conception dominante de ce qui rend la mort mauvaise — la théorie de la dépossession —, ainsi que deux conceptions rivales de ce qui fait qu’il est mal de tuer — la théorie de la dépossession appliquée (...) à l’acte de tuer, et la thèse des droits liminaux de Judith Thomson. Bien que mon objectif principal dans cet article soit d’établir l’importance de l’autonomie pour expliquer à la fois que la mort est mauvaise et qu’il est mal de tuer, je pense également qu’une réflexion sur ce qui rend la mort mauvaise nous apprend quelque chose au sujet des droits et de leur force, et qu’une réflexion sur les droits nous apprend quelque chose quant à ce qui fait que la mort et l’immortalité sont toutes deux de mauvaises choses. (shrink)
The often‐posed dichotomy between the interest and choice theory of rights can obfuscate a proper understanding of children's rights. We need a gradualist model in which the grounds for attributing rights to a being change in response to the development of autonomy. Rights for children initially function to protect their interests but, as they develop into full‐fledged autonomous choosers, rights function to ensure that their choices, even those that do not serve their welfare, are respected.
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How should feminist philosophers regard the inequalities that structure the lives of women? Some of these inequalities are trivial and others are not; together they form a framework of unequal treatment that shapes women’s lives. This paper asks what priority we should give inequalities that affect women; it critically analyzes Claudia Card’s view that feminists ought to give evils priority. Sometimes ending gender-based inequalities is the best route to eliminating gender-based evil.
If you believe that there are restrictions on what we as moral agents can do to others, but that these restrictions can give way in the face of competing considerations, then you believe in thresholds for rights. In this dissertation I develop an account of thresholds for rights, in defence of a position which is often stated but rarely explained or defended. I begin with the obvious question: How much needs to be at stake before a right's claim is overridden? (...) ;Less obvious, but equally crucial, are questions about the distribution of the total which needs to be at stake. After developing a framework for answering that question, in subsequent chapters I deal with other factors which may influence our judgements about the overridability of rights' claims, including the numbers and identities of the agents involved. (shrink)
In this unique volume, some of today's most eminent political philosophers examine the thought of John Rawls, focusing in particular on his most recent work. These original essays explore diverse issues, including the problem of pluralism, the relationship between constitutive commitment and liberal institutions, just treatment of dissident minorities, the constitutional implications of liberalism, international relations, and the structure of international law. The first comprehensive study of Rawls's recent work, The Idea of Political Liberalism will be indispensable for political philosophers (...) and theorists interested in contemporary political thought. (shrink)
Writing this review on a plane headed to a conference on queering sexuality, with newly shorn pink hair, I note to myself that I’m hitting a lot of stereotypes. I’m a philosopher, a professor of women studies, a feminist researcher, a parent who identifies as bisexual, and it’s with all these hats on that I’m reading and reviewing Maggie Nelson’s book The Argonauts. I’m starting this way because it seems odd to review The Argonauts without any personal detail, though the (...) inclusion of personal information isn’t something I get to do much as an academic philosopher. But The Argonauts is such a personal and philosophical book that it calls for that kind of response from those who read it. I won’t... (shrink)
Can all goods or bads be broken down into smaller and smaller pieces? Can all goods or bads be added together with some other good or bad to get a larger amount? Further, how does moral significance track the disaggregation and the aggregation of moral goods and bads? In Part 1, I examine the limits placed on aggregation by moderate deontological moral theories. This paper focuses in particular on the work of Judith Thomson and T.M. Scanlon as well as on (...) some of my own past work on the question of aggregation in the context of overriding rights. In Part 2, I examine consequentialist criticism that harms and benefits can be broken down into smaller pieces than the deontological theory allows and the argument that the moderate deontological view is too permissive since it allows aggregation of benefits within a single person's life. In Part 3 I suggest how a moderate deontological moral theory might respond to the criticisms. I cast my answer in terms of the existence of lumpy goods and bads. I argue that consequentialist critics of deontology are wrong to insist that all goods and bads can be disaggregated and aggregated at will. Instead, I offer the suggestion that most, or many, goods and bads come in morally significant lumps. That said, it will not always be obvious what those lumps are. Determining the texture of moral value is a substantive project in normative ethics. All I have hoped to do in this paper is suggest that two standard positions on how to group moral value are mistaken and give hope that we need not adopt one of the two. Part 4 of the paper responds to an objection and sets the stage for further work in value theory. (shrink)
Should feminist ethical theories include rights as a component? There is a tension between feminist politics and the endorsement of the language of “women’s rights,” and feminist ethics and its critique of rights.1 In this paper I begin the project of reconciling moral theories that include rights as a component with feminist criticisms of rights. There are two parts to this project. First, I must respond to the criticisms feminists have made against rights theories in order to show that it (...) is possible for a moral theory that includes rights to be a feminist moral theory. Answering these criticisms is necessary if I am to establish that moral theories that include rights are among the candidate theories from which feminists might choose. Second, I must develop a feminist moral theory that encompasses rights, and argue for its superiority to other sorts of moral theories in order to show that a moral theory that encompasses rights is a plausible feminist moral theory. Going beyond responding to criticisms and developing a positive feminist rights theory is necessary if feminists are to find rights theories to be attractive candidate moral theories.2 In this paper I am concerned mostly with the first part of the project, responding to some feminist arguments against theorizing about morality in terms of rights, although in the course of responding to the objections I make remarks that might suggest ways in which some rights theories might be developed as feminist moral theories. (shrink)
This paper argues that a major contribution to women’s under-representation and the gender pay gap in surgery is the interaction and aggregation of many small wrongs, or as they have come to be called in the literature, microinequities. Further, the paper argues that existing strategies do not adequately address the problems faced by women surgeons and cannot do so without an understanding of those wrongs as microinequities. Insights from the literature on ethics and microinequities are thought to be able to (...) inform new strategies.1 The study identifies four different kinds of gender bias: workplace discrimination, epistemic injustice, stereotyped roles and objectification. The different kinds of gender bias interact with one another and add up in ways that pose serious setbacks to the careers of women surgeons. In addition to being small wrongs, microinequities share other features. They are cumulative; they interact with one other; they are often invisible; and they are implicit or unintended. My comments are going to focus on the response to microinequities, …. (shrink)
When, if ever, are we justified in infringing a rights claim on the basis of benefit to the right bearer? If we assume that the rights of individuals can be overridden on the basis of what is at stake for others- that is, that rights have thresholds - we can ask how these thresholds are affected when the person who will benefit from the right being overridden is the right bearer herself.
Speaking from our experience as department chairs in fields in which women are traditionally underrepresented, we offer reflections and advice on how one might move beyond the chilly climate and create a warmer environment for women students and faculty members.
I'm going to focus my comments on a relatively small part of Joe Heath's book, the section on the household division of labour. Although it's a small piece of a much larger picture, I've chosen this area for two reasons: First, it connects with my own interests in issues of family justice. Second, I think for me it highlights a potentially larger problem concerning the relationship between justice and efficiency. When Heath puts the contrast between those who place rights before (...) efficiency in terms of a contrast between the US and Canadian health care systems, I find that I'm in agreement with the argument for efficiency. But when I think about the contrast in terms of the question of the gendered division of domestic labour, I'm less certain that I want to accord efficiency the kind of status it has according to Heath. (I must confess that I've always thought of Canada as the just society, rather than the efficient society. If it turns out.. (shrink)
This special issue of IJFAB starts from the premise that fitness is a feminist issue, and, more specifically, it is an issue that ought to be of concern to feminists interested in bioethics. While a neglected concept in feminist bio-ethics, fitness is of key importance to women’s health and well-being. Not only that, it is also an area of women’s lives that invites unwelcome policing and advice from friends, family members, medical practitioners, and even strangers. People have a difficult time (...) prying apart the idea of fitness from that of weight loss. Most women who embark on a fitness routine have weight loss among their primary goals.Since late 2011, we and a host of guest authors have been exploring the... (shrink)