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Ryan Thurber Fischbeck
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Fair enough. I'll have to take a look at the Shouten as I'd be interested in her overall defense of this sort of line.
Cynthia: I think that it can lead to unequal liberty. While there are certainly many cases where caring for dependents is not a violation, social norms or institutions which place the burdens of a, presumably, necessary task upon a particular social group, in a way that prevents them from achieving their aims seems unjust. Maybe I just don't understand "gendered conceptions of the good" but I take it that such conceptions hold that women are obligated to perform all aspects of child care without any form of compensation. Given that that both parties want to have a child, the burdens should be distributed equally. My point was that even in cases where the care-giver holds such a conception, compensation would not entail a strain of commitment. And since such compensation would mitigate the fact that care-givers loose the opportunity to develop marketable skills (which can restrict future opportunities) we should compensate. Is that any clearer or did I just miss your original point?
Cynthia: As a proponent of political liberalism who's in favor of paying domestic care-givers, I figure I should weigh in. While I believe that this issue is about distributive justice (if not equal liberty, then certainly equal democratic participation), I take it that the "reconceptualization" move is to claim that interfering with traditional gender roles somehow generates a "strain of commitment" for citizens with a gendered conception of the good. For example, the Amish have argued for social security exemptions on grounds that the presence of social security undermines their duty to take care of their elders (it's supposed to the family that provides care, not the government). I suppose the objection to subsidizing domestic care givers is that the subsidy encourages the break up of families: if they didn't have the option, they'd commit to trying to fix things. I'm not sure this line works since forced dependency is a pretty clear violation of equal liberties. Moreover, strains of commitment only obtain when you are coerced into violating your comprehensive doctrine. And it's hard to see how pay for care givers is coercion of this sort. If the care giver is committed to the gendered conception she can just relinquish the funds like she would if she worked a market job. If she wants to leave, then that's reasonable evidence that she doesn't endorse the doctrine. Though I'm some will disagree (especially given how pay for care givers is cashed out institutionally).
Hi Jennifer, Very interesting paper. Similarly to David, I wonder what the relevant conditions for what counts as a "positive response" are. Are they determined by the theory of well-being? You state that a positive response can be either a emotional or rational response (or some combination). My worry is that, depending on how a positive response is cashed out, Rupina may not be capable of responding positively. If, say, we hold that a positive response requires that Rupina judge that X is consistent with her values, beliefs, principles, etc., she may be unable to respond positively to most things (given her diminished state). I also share Dan's intuition that the "original" Rupina is "dead" in the sense that she is no longer a person with a robust self conception which governs how she goes about her life. The problem being that, on a practical level, claiming that Rupina is essentially dead seems to ignore the importance of specifying an advance directive.
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Mar 7, 2014