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Equal Citizenship and Public ReasonA Feminist Political Liberalism$
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Christie Hartley and Lori Watson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190683023

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190683023.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 October 2020

Public Reason and Prostitution

Public Reason and Prostitution

Chapter:
(p.163) 7 Public Reason and Prostitution
Source:
Equal Citizenship and Public Reason
Author(s):

Christie Hartley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190683023.003.0008

This chapter critically engages with the “sex work” approach to prostitution and argues that treating “sex work” like any other form of work is neither possible nor compatible with valuing the freedom and equality of women as citizens. Liberals often claim, erroneously, that liberalism’s commitment to a kind of neutrality among competing conceptions of the good life and its commitment to antipaternalism requires either decriminalization or legalization of prostitution. While arguments that rest on a particular conception of the “good” of sex or of the role of sex in a broader conception of the good are illegitimate grounds for state policy, it is argued that there are, nonetheless, good public reason arguments against decriminalization or legalization of prostitution. A defense of the Nordic model is offered.

Keywords:   prostitution, public reason, sex work, Nordic model, health and safety, sex trafficking, civil rights, sex equality, sex, decriminalization

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