Anderson, Elizabeth, and . What is the Point of Equality?

1999, Ethics 109(2): 287-337.

Comment: This article asks the question: 'What is the point of equality?'. It provides a really clear diagnosis of some of the problems facing luck egalitarianism and goes on to articulate a particular version of the capability approach. Anderson argues that individuals are entitled to whatever they need to escape or overcome oppressive social relationships and to the capabilities necessary to participate as an equal citizen in a democratic state.

Anderson, Elizabeth, and . Justifying the Capabilities Approach to Justice

2010, Brighouse, H. & Robeyns, I. (Eds.) Measuring Justice: Primary Goods and Capabilities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 81-100.

Comment: A defense of the capability approach as a superior (objective) metric of justice with a particular focus on ends vs. means, discrimination against the disabled, individual variations in functioning, and the delivery of public services such as health and education. Contains a useful overview of the capabilities approach and where it fits into a complete theory of justice. Compares and contrasts the CA with a resourcist approach.

Baier, Annette, and . Reflections on How We Live

2010, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Back Matter: The pioneering moral philosopher Annette Baier presents a series of new and recent essays in ethics, broadly conceived to include both engagements with other philosophers and personal meditations on life. Baier’s unique voice and insight illuminate a wide range of topics. In the public sphere, she enquires into patriotism, what we owe future people, and what toleration we should have for killing. In the private sphere, she discusses honesty, self-knowledge, hope, sympathy, and self-trust, and offers personal reflections on faces, friendship, and alienating affection.

Comment: The essays in this book are self-contained and accessible conversation starters. A number of them would make good initial readings for a class or unit on political ethics (concerning toleration, nationalism, and patriotism), friendship and love (concerning trust, friendship, and intimacy), and the ethics of reproduction and population.

Begon, Jessica, and . Paternalism

2016, Analysis 76(3): 355-373.

Summary: Analysis review article of recent work on the topic of paternalism. Discusses different ways in which the term is defined, reviews the debate between ‘paternalists’ and ‘anti-paternalists’, and presents soft paternalism.

Comment: Could be used as an introductory reading to the topic of paternalism, or a further reading to provide a comprehensive background to recent work in the area.

Brake, Elizabeth, and . Rawls and Feminism: What Should Feminists Make of Liberal Neutrality?

2004, Journal of Moral Philosophy 1 (3):293-309.

Abstract: I argue that Rawls’s liberalism is compatible with feminist goals. I focus primarily on the issue of liberal neutrality, a topic suggested by the work of Catharine MacKinnon. I discuss two kinds of neutrality: neutrality at the level of justifying liberalism itself, and state neutrality in political decision-making. Both kinds are contentious within liberal theory. Rawls’s argument for justice as fairness has been criticized for non-neutrality at the justificatory level, a problem noted by Rawls himself in Political Liberalism. I will defend a qualified account of neutrality at the justificatory level, taking an epistemic approach to argue for the exclusion of certain doctrines from the justificatory process. I then argue that the justification process I describe offers a justificatory stance supportive of the feminist rejection of state-sponsored gender hierarchy. Further, I argue that liberal neutrality at the level of political decision-making will have surprising implications for gender equality. Once the extent of the state’s involvement in the apparently private spheres of family and civil society is recognized, and the disproportionate influence of a sexist conception of the good on those structures—and concomitant promotion of that ideal—is seen, state neutrality implies substantive change. While—as Susan Moller Okin avowed—Rawls himself may have remained ambiguous on how to address gender inequality, his theory implies that the state must seek to create substantive, not merely formal, equality. I suggest that those substantive changes will not conflict with liberal neutrality but instead be required by it.

Comment: A sympathetic treatment of Rawls's Political Liberalism from a feminist perspective. It introduces the alleged clash between liberalism and feminism in a clear way and goes on to argue that (political) liberalism's commitment to substantive rather than merely formal equality makes it compatible with core feminist concerns.

Brock, Gillian, and . Global Justice: A Cosmopolitan Account

2009, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Publisher: Gillian Brock develops a viable cosmopolitan model of global justice that takes seriously the equal moral worth of persons, yet leaves scope for defensible forms of nationalism and for other legitimate identifications and affiliations people have. Brock addresses two prominent kinds of skeptic about global justice: those who doubt its feasibility and those who believe that cosmopolitanism interferes illegitimately with the defensible scope of nationalism by undermining goods of national importance, such as authentic democracy or national self-determination. The model addresses concerns about implementation in the world, showing how we can move from theory to public policy that makes progress toward global justice. It also makes clear how legitimate forms of nationalism are compatible with commitments to global justice. Global Justice is divided into three central parts. In the first, Brock defends a cosmopolitan model of global justice. In the second, which is largely concerned with public policy issues, she argues that there is much we can and should do toward achieving global justice. She addresses several pressing problems, discussing both theoretical and public policy issues involved with each. These include tackling global poverty, taxation reform, protection of basic liberties, humanitarian intervention, immigration, and problems associated with global economic arrangements. In the third part, she shows how the discussion of public policy issues can usefully inform our theorizing; in particular, it assists our thinking about the place of nationalism and equality in an account of global justice.

Comment: This text is a comprehensive set of arguments concerning global economic justice, with application to areas such as taxation, immigration, and military-humanitarian intervention. It responds to a wide variety of literature, but takes as its starting point Rawls' Law of Peoples. Individuals chapters could be taught in a lower-level undergraduate class, while entire sections could be taught in an upper-division undergraduate class.

Brownlee, Kimberley, and . Conscience and Conviction: The Case for Civil Disobedience

2012, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Comment: An original approach to the morality of civil disobedience and the question of what protections should be enshrined in law for adherence to the dictates of one's conscience. Particularly interesting because the author argues that a stronger case can be made for permitting and protecting public civil disobedience than can be made for private conscientious objection.

Cassidy, Lisa, and . Starving Children in Africa: Who Cares?

2005, Journal of International Women's Studies 7 (1): 84-96.

Abstract: The current state of global poverty presents citizens in the Global North with a moral crisis: Do we care? In this essay, I examine two competing moral accounts of why those in the North should or should not give care (in the form of charity) to impoverished peoples in the Global South. Nineteen years ago feminist philosopher Nel Noddings wrote in Caring that ‘we are not obliged to care for starving children in Africa’ (1986, p. 86). Noddings’s work belongs to the arena of care ethics – the feminist philosophical view that morality is about responding to, caring for, and preventing harm to those particular people to whom one has emotional attachments. By contrast, Peter Singer’s recent work, One World, advances an impartialist view of morality, which demands that we dispassionately dispense aid to the most needy (2002, p.154). Thus this question needs answering: am I obliged to give care to desperately poor strangers, and if so, which moral framework (Singer’s impartialism, or feminism’s care ethics) gives the best account of that obligation? I argue that as an American feminist I should care for Africans with whom I will never have a personal relationship. However, this obligation can be generated without relying on the impartialist understanding of morality.

Comment: This text responds to Peter Singer and Ned Noddings on the question of global poverty (though, one need not have read either previously as she provides an overview). It would be useful in a course that focused on questions of economic justice, poverty, care ethics, or charity.

Cudd, Ann E., and . Enforced Pregnancy, Rape, and the Image of Woman

1990, Philosophical Studies, 60 (1-2): 47-59.

Summary: In this essay, Cudd argues that enforced pregnancy constitutes a group harm against women, harming even women who are not forced to carry a fetus to term against their will. In this essay, she develops a theoy of group harm, arguing that forced pregnancy constitutes a similar sort of group harm as rape. Ultimately, she claims that both rape and enforced pregnancy constitute a group harm via degredation of a class (women) and an individual harm via the individual negative effects caused by enforced pregnancy.

Comment: This text serves as a good introduction to the idea of a group harm. Further, it would fit well in a class that covers the ethics of sex, sexual violence, pregnancy, or abortion. If you plan to utilize this reading in the context of a biomedical ethics course covering abortion, it would be helpful to have first covered other classical readings on the topic (Marquis and Thomson, at least).

Cutas, Daniela, and . Postmenopausal Motherhood: Immoral, Illegal? A Case Study

2007, Bioethics, 21 (8): 458-463.

Abstract: The paper explores the ethics of post-menopausal motherhood by looking at the case of Adriana Iliescu, the oldest woman ever to have given birth (so far). To this end, I will approach the three most common objections brought against the mother and/or against the team of healthcare professionals who made it happen: the age of the mother, the fact that she is single, the appropriateness of her motivation and of that of the medical team.

Comment: This text presents a case study useful for a course on biomedical ethics, parenthood, or procreation. Further, the author considers a number of objections to postmenopausal motherhood and evaluates them for their ethical merit, providing a good introduction to questions of reproduction and parenting in non-traditional circumstances.