Adaptive Preferences and Agency: The Selective Effects of Adaptive Preference

Serene J. Khader

in Adaptive Preferences and Women's Empowerment

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199777884
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919055 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Feminist Philosophy

Adaptive Preferences and Agency: The Selective Effects of Adaptive Preference

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The deliberative perfectionist approach says that the existing values of people with adaptive preferences should shape development interventions. It will be difficult to endorse it if we believe that people with adaptive preferences do not have senses of self that would support values that were genuinely their own. This chapter argues that adaptive preferences are best conceived as selectively affecting people's conceptions of self-entitlement. It claims that if we view people's self-concepts and preferences as multiple and occasionally contradictory, we can see how it is possible for people to retain positive concepts of self-entitlement in the face of oppression and deprivation. It shows that adaptive preferences may sometimes affect people's self-entitlement only relative to certain others and in certain domains, oppressed people may retain positive self-images through interaction with other oppressed people, and that adaptive preferences are sometimes attempts to secure higher-order goals that are consistent with flourishing.

Keywords: oppression; deprivation; entitlement; flourishing

Chapter.  13371 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

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