Other-Directedness in Contract Theory
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Other-Directedness in Contract Theory book
Pervasive social inequalities in the domain of care have tainted our intuitions and considered judgements about what we can reasonably expect from others. Intersecting systems of oppression that include patriarchy, sexism, and racism correlate with highly differentiated systems of expectations about whether one is responsible for responding to the needs of others. Widespread injustices in caring labor result. This chapter defends the value of caring actions in a just society while simultaneously excluding caring motivations and attitudes from the model of persons used in the modified Rawlsian social contract theory device of the original position. Engaging with Sandra Bartky and Anita Superson’s work on deformed desires and adaptive preferences, I argue that the theory of liberal dependency care should retain the Rawlsian assumption of the mutual disinterestedness of the parties in the original position. The caring person should not supplant the “rational parties” because an expectation to be caring can simply perpetuate social inequalities. Instead, agents of construction should be modeled in ways that avoid the effects of feminine socialization as subservience, but they should also avoid the residue of masculine domination. The chapter then supplies principles of justice that are consistent with the requirements of the modified Rawlsian hypothetical acceptability.