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Liberalism and Individually Scripted Ideas of the Good: Meeting the Challenge of Dependent Agency


Anita Silvers


San Francisco State University - Department of Philosophy

Leslie P. Francis


University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

December 2, 2009

Social Theory and Practice, Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 311-334, 2007

Abstract:     
A core commitment of much liberal theory is the idea of individuals as the judges of their good. Models of agents as self-originating sources of their good, however, falter at the challenge of dependent agents who cannot on their own formulate their accounts of their good. The result has been that such agents have been assigned dependent moral status for purposes such as the selection of principles of justice. This paper diagnoses a deep confusion in this account of agents as judges of their good: individually-tailored, subjectively-anchored conceptions of individual good need not be arrived at independently. It then develops and defends a practice for dependent agents to work with surrogates to develop individually scripted accounts of their good.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

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Date posted: December 4, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Silvers, Anita and Francis, Leslie P., Liberalism and Individually Scripted Ideas of the Good: Meeting the Challenge of Dependent Agency (December 2, 2009). Social Theory and Practice, Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 311-334, 2007 . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1517435

Contact Information

Anita Silvers
San Francisco State University - Department of Philosophy ( email )
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132
United States
Leslie P. Francis (Contact Author)
University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )
332 S. 1400 East Front
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

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