Sapientia Lecture Series

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Sapientia Lecture Series

Ken Baynes, Syracuse. "Autonomy, Social Oppression, and Adaptive Preference Formation."

Friday, March 7, 2014
3:00pm-4:30pm
103 Thornton Hall
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Part of the Department of Philosophy's Sapientia Lecture Series, funded by The Mark J. Byrne 1985 Fund in Philosophy. Free and open to all. Reception follows.

Abstract:

Autonomy, Social Oppression, and Adaptive Preference Formation

Kenneth Baynes, Philosophy and Political Science, Syracuse University

The notion of adaptive preference is familiar from Aesop’s fable of the fox and the grapes: The fox’s preferences are unconsciously modified in light of his restricted options. More recently, the idea of adaptive preferences has played a controversial role within feminism, development studies and disability studies. Doesn’t the ascription of an adaptive preference to a person necessarily deny her agency and autonomy? I argue that, despite challenges, the notion of adaptive preference, properly conceived, remains an important tool for constructive social and political criticism. I do this by proposing an account of adaptive preference in connection with a normative-competence and “relational” model of personal autonomy (for which the “competence for answerability” is central).

For more information, contact:
Marcia Welsh
603) 646-3738

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.