Liberalism and Individually Scripted Ideas of the Good: Meeting the Challenge of Dependent Agency
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
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: 24Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 4, 2009
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