Habilitation, Health, and Agency: A Framework for Basic Justice

Overview


Lawrence C. Becker introduces an unconventional set of background ideas for future philosophical work on normative theories of basic justice. The organizing concept is habilitation -- the process of equipping a person or thing with functional abilities or capacities. The specific proposals drawn from the concept of habilitation are independent of any particular set of distributive principles. The result is a framework for theory that includes a metric for the pursuit of basic ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $4.49   
  • New (5) from $14.98   
  • Used (4) from $4.49   
Sending request ...

Overview


Lawrence C. Becker introduces an unconventional set of background ideas for future philosophical work on normative theories of basic justice. The organizing concept is habilitation -- the process of equipping a person or thing with functional abilities or capacities. The specific proposals drawn from the concept of habilitation are independent of any particular set of distributive principles. The result is a framework for theory that includes a metric for the pursuit of basic justice, but not a normative theory of it.

The basic idea is that receiving and providing habilitation is a lifelong necessity for human beings, from their nearly helpless newborn state through their struggles to survive and thrive thereafter, even into the most severe diminishments of old age. This lifelong human necessity underlies all questions about basic justice, and the possibilities for habilitation define the circumstances under which those questions arise.

Focusing on the circumstances of habilitation calls attention to the central role of physical and psychological health. Without basic good health in both domains, it is not possible to cope with the habilitative demands of one's physical and psychological endowments, and one's physical and social environments. And for human beings, a particular aspect of human health effectively sums up these matters: namely human agency; the nature and extent of the ability to act effectively.

The book proposes, specifically, that normative theories of basic justice adopt the habilitation framework. What then appears to follow is that the most plausible comprehensive metric for assessing progress toward basic justice will be the level and distribution of basic good health. Moreover, achieving robustly healthy agency will be the most plausible tactical target for making progress toward basic justice -- no matter what one's favored distributive principles might be.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Becker's discussion of health is fascinating and raises many important questions for further pursuit."--Lorraine Besser-Jones, Social Theory and Practice

"[An] innovative and challenging volume."--David A. Crocker, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"It is widely agreed that if your health is seriously impaired, then little else matters. In his strikingly original new book Lawrence Becker turns this folk wisdom into a reorientation of political philosophy. Becker proposes a new conceptual framework for political philosophy in terms of 'habilitation into healthy agency.' He argues that basic justice demands that each person is to be equipped with good physical and psychological health and the social and material environments to sustain it. This claim in one way seems very familiar, yet it has gone missing in contemporary political philosophy. Hence, we are in Becker's debt for introducing a new set of ideas into debates about justice. This book is bound to stimulate wide debate."--Jonathan Wolff, University College London

"This book represents Becker at his best: challenging existing paradigms in a way that is quirky but also compelling. It adds to debates about justice in a manner that is absolutely original."--Leslie Francis, University of Utah

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199917549
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/17/2012
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Lawrence C Becker is a Fellow of Hollins University, and Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, College of William and Mary. He is the author of four previous monographs, including Property Rights (1977), Reciprocity (1986), and A New Stoicism (1998). With Charlotte B. Becker he co-edited two editions of The Encyclopedia of Ethics (1992; 2001).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction
Part One: Habilitation and Basic Justice
Preface to Part One
1. Basic Justice and Habilitation: Concept and Conception
1. Basic Justice
2. Habilitation: Concept and Conception
3. Normative Theories with a Close Connection to Habilitation
4. Habilitation: Conception and Framework
2. The Circumstances of Habilitation for Basic Justice
1. Functional Abilities in a Given Range of Environments
2. Summary of the Circumstances of Habilitation
3. The Centrality of Health and Agency

Part Two: Health, Healthy Agency, and the Health Metric
Preface to Part Two
3. Eudaimonistic Health: Complete Health, Moral Development, Well-Being, and Happiness
1. Health, Well-Being, and Virtue
2. A Unified Conception of Health, Positive and Negative
3. The Science of Mental Health, Happiness, and Virtue
4. Health, Happiness, and Basic Justice
4. Good Health as Reliably Competent Functioning
1. Basic health: An Integrated, Limited General Concept
2. Habilitation, Coping Abilities, and Agency
3. Good (basic) Health as Reliably Competent Functioning
5. Robustly Healthy Agency
1. The Health Metric
2. Health Science: Limited and Unified
3. Habilitation into Robustly Healthy Agency
6. Healthy Agency as the Representative Good for Basic Justice
1. Healthy Agency versus Wealth and Income
2. Healthy Agency versus Pluralism
3. The Representativeness of Habilitation into Healthy Agency
4. Theory All the Way Down: A Public Policy Objection

Part Three: Healthy Agency and the Norms of Basic Justice
Preface to Part Three
7. Healthy Agency and Its Behavioral Tendencies
1. Dispositions Toward Health and Habilitation
2. Dispositions About the Subject Matter of Justice
8. Healthy Agency and the Norms of Basic Justice
1. Habilitative Necessities and Justice
2. Habilitative Stability, Strength, and Efficiency
3. Second-Order Norms,
4. Moving Beyond Basic Justice

Part Four: Relevance, Influence, and Prejudice Revisited
Preface to Part Four
9. Relevance, Influence, and Prejudice
1. Exclusionary Reminders
2. Comprehensiveness and Representativeness
10. Conclusion and Extrication
1. Health, Individual Liberty, and Social Stability: A Fantasy
2. Approximations to Health
3. Pseudo-Problems and Elusive Targets: Sensible Replies to the Foole
4. Hope Rather than Fantasy
Acknowledgments
Bibliography

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)