Bulisik

Annette C Baier: The Need for More Than Justice

Posted on: March 12, 2009

Chapter: 12- Annette C. Baier: The Need for More Than Justice

Book: Contemporary Moral Problems

Author: James E. White

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Moral-Problems-James

White/dp/0495553204/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234122156&sr=1-1

Quote: “The best moral theory is one that harmonizes justice and care.”

What I expect to learn:

The learning expectation for this chapter review would be discussion about justice and care.

Chapter Review:

For me, this chapter is all about discussing justice and care. Baier distinguishes between the justice perspective of philosophers such as Kant and Rawls and the care perspective Gilligan found in her studies of the moral development of women. Baier argues that the justice perspective by itself in inadequate as a moral theory. It overlooks inequalities between people, it has an unrealistic view of freedom of choice, and it ignores the importance of moral emotions such as love. The best moral theory, she claims, is one that harmonizes justice and care.

The theory of moral development has two dimensions the first is to aim at achieving satisfying community with others, the other aiming at autonomy or equality of power. The relative predominance of one over the other development will depend both upon the relative salience of the two evils in early childhood, and on early and later reinforcement or discouragement in attempts made to guard against these two evils. Baier said that these provides the germs of a theory about why, given current customs of childrearing, it should be mainly woman who are not content with only the moral outlook that she calls the justice perspectives, necessary though that was and is seem by them so have been to their hard worn liberation from sexist oppression. They, like the blacks, used the language of rights and justice to change their own social position, but nevertheless see limitations in that language, according to Gilligan’s findings as a moral psychologist. She reports the “discontent: with the individualist more or less Kantian moral frame woks that dominates Western moral theory and which influenced moral psychologist such as Lawrence Kohlberg, to whose conception of moral maturity she seeks an alternatives. The target of Gilligan’s criticism is the dominant Kantian traditions.

The three important differences between Kantian liberals and critics Baier says are, first it was dubious record, second was its inattention to relations inequality or its pretence of equality. The third reason is its exaggeration of scoop of choice, or its inattention to unchosen relations.

What I’ve learned:

What have I learned is that real morality is when there is justice and care.

Integrative Questions:

1. What is justice perspective?

2. What is care perspective?

3. What is the best moral theory according to Baier?

4. What is Kohlberg’s theory of moral development?

5. What are the three important differences between Kantian liberals and their critics?

Review Questions:

1. Distinguish between the justice and care perspectives. According to Gilligan, how do these perspectives develop?

Baier distinguishes between the justice perspective of philosophers such as Kant and Rawls and the care perspective Gilligan found in her studies of the moral development of women. Baier argues that the justice perspective by itself in inadequate as a moral theory. It overlooks inequalities between people, it has an unrealistic view of freedom of choice, and it ignores the importance of moral emotions such as love. The best moral theory, she claims, is one that harmonizes justice and care.

2. Explain Kohlberg’s theory of moral development. What criticisms do Gilligan and Baier make of this theory?

The theory of moral development has two dimensions the first is to aim at achieving satisfying community with others, the other aiming at autonomy or equality of power. The relative predominance of one over the other development will depend both upon the relative salience of the two evils in early childhood, and on early and later reinforcement or discouragement in attempts made to guard against these two evils. Baier said that these provides the germs of a theory about why, given current customs of childrearing, it should be mainly woman who are not content with only the moral outlook that she calls the justice perspectives, necessary though that was and is seem by them so have been to their hard worn liberation from sexist oppression. They, like the blacks, used the language of rights and justice to change their own social position, but nevertheless see limitations in that language, according to Gilligan’s findings as a moral psychologist. She reports the “discontent: with the individualist more or less Kantian moral frame woks that dominates Western moral theory and which influenced moral psychologist such as Lawrence Kohlberg, to whose conception of moral maturity she seeks an alternatives. The target of Gilligan’s criticism is the dominant Kantian traditions.

3. Baier says there are three important differences between Kantian liberals and their critics. What are these differences?

The three important differences between Kantian liberals and critics Baier says are, first it was dubious record, second was its inattention to relations inequality or its pretence of equality. The third reason is its exaggeration of scoop of choice, or its inattention to unchosen relations.

4. Why does Baier attack the Kantian view that the reason should control unruly passions?

Baier attacked the Kantians view because the Kantian picture of a controlling reason dictating to possibly unruly passions also tends to seem less useful when we are led to consider what sort of person we need to fill the role of parent, or indeed want in any close relationship. It might be important to fathers figure to have rational control over their violent urges to beat to death the children whose screams enrage them, but more than control of such nasty passions seems needed in the mother or primary parent, or parent-substitute by most psychological theories. They need to love their children’s not just to control their irritation so the emphasis in Kantian theories on rational control of emotions. Rather than on cultivating desirable forms of emotions, in challenged by Gilligan, along with the challenge to the assumption of the centrality of autonomy, or relations between equals, and of freely chosen relations.

Discussion Questions:

1. What does Baier mean when she speaks of the need “to transvalue the values of our patriarchal past”? Do new values replace the old ones? If so, then do we abandon the old values of justice, freedom, and right?

2. What is wrong with the Kantian view that extends equal rights to all rational beings, including women and minorities? What would Baier say? What do you think?

3. Baier seems to reject the Kantian emphasis on freedom of choice. Granted, we do not choose our parent, but still don’t we have freedom of choice about many things, and isn’t this very important?

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