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dc.contributor.authorBreakey, Hughen_US
dc.date.accessioned2017-04-24T12:28:42Z
dc.date.available2017-04-24T12:28:42Z
dc.date.issued2010en_US
dc.date.modified2011-07-22T06:36:55Z
dc.identifier.issn13284576en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10072/39598
dc.description.abstractAdaptive preferences are preferences formed in response to circumstances and opportunities - paradigmatically, they occur when we scale back our desires so they accord with what is probable or at least possible. While few commentators are willing to wholly reject the normative significance of such preferences, adaptive preferences have nevertheless attracted substantial criticism in recent political theory. The groundbreaking analysis of Jon Elster charged that such preferences are not autonomous, and several other commentators have since followed Elster's lead. On a second front, Capability Theorists Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen have objected that adaptive preferences lead people away from objective goods and constitute an impediment to progressive change in developing countries. In this paper I argue that the criticisms of Elster, Sen and Nussbaum fail on the one hand to take into account what may be positively said in favour of this type of preference formation, and fail on the other hand to distinguish between different types of psychological changes - with the result that many of the critiques offered have a narrower purview than is currently allowed. My analysis of adaptive preferences, even in their most ideal form, is however not entirely positive; I adduce reasons why we can be cautious about allowing adaptive preferences to play certain types of roles in political processes, even as we accept those very preferences as normative and autonomous for the agent holding them. [International scholars without access to the AJPAE are invited to email h.breakey@griffith.edu.au for a pdf copy of this article.]en_US
dc.description.peerreviewedYesen_US
dc.description.publicationstatusYesen_AU
dc.languageEnglishen_US
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherCentre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Charles Sturt Universityen_US
dc.publisher.placeAustraliaen_US
dc.publisher.urihttp://www.cappe.edu.au/publications/ajpae.htmen_AU
dc.relation.ispartofstudentpublicationNen_AU
dc.relation.ispartofpagefrom29en_US
dc.relation.ispartofpageto39en_US
dc.relation.ispartofissue1en_US
dc.relation.ispartofjournalAustralian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethicsen_US
dc.relation.ispartofvolume12en_US
dc.rights.retentionYen_AU
dc.subject.fieldofresearchEthical Theoryen_US
dc.subject.fieldofresearchcode220305en_US
dc.titleAdaptive Preferences and the Hellenistic Insighten_US
dc.typeJournal articleen_US
dc.type.descriptionC1 - Peer Reviewed (HERDC)en_US
dc.type.codeC - Journal Articlesen_US
gro.date.issued2010
gro.hasfulltextNo Full Text


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