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John RawlsDebating the Major Questions$
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Jon Mandle and Sarah Roberts-Cady

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190859213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190859213.001.0001

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A Feminist Liberal Response to the Dependency Critique

A Feminist Liberal Response to the Dependency Critique

(p.219) 12 A Feminist Liberal Response to the Dependency Critique
John Rawls

Amy R. Baehr

Oxford University Press

A society satisfying Rawls’s principles would satisfy its dependency needs better than our society does today, but justice as fairness fails to appreciate the full array of issues of justice dependency raises. It does not recognize failure of noncooperating members of society to receive caregiving as an injustice; it does not recognize systematic disadvantage to caregivers as unjust; and it does not recognize as unjust when society’s basic arrangements render some unable to provide or procure the caregiving their dependents require. A just society is compliant with principles of justice in caregiving. Such principles can be presented in a Rawlsian way—as those chosen in a suitably designed initial situation, and as part of a political conception of justice in Rawls’s terms. This feminist political constructivism concedes as much to the dependency critique as it defends in Rawls, and is responsive to antiracist criticism of Rawlsian ideal theory.

Keywords:   liberalism, Rawls, constructivism, feminist political theory, gender justice, Eva Kittay, dependency, ideal theory, race and caregiving

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