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

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

24 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2009

See all articles by Anita Silvers

Anita Silvers

San Francisco State University - Department of Philosophy

Leslie P. Francis

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

Date Written: December 2, 2009

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.

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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1517435

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 )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

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