Elizabeth S. Anderson

Elizabeth S. Anderson
University of Michigan | U-M · Department of Philosophy

Ph.D. Philosophy, Harvard University 1987

About

58
Publications
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Introduction
I am currently working on 3 projects: 1. The history of the Protestant work ethic from the 17th c. to the present, with lessons for today. Includes a history of classical political economy from the perspective of the work ethic. 2. Can We Talk?: a short book advocating adoption of a democratic ethos of political communication in our polarized age. 3. The epistemology of moral learning at the level of whole societies, taking the abolition of slavery in the UK, Haiti, and US as case studies.

Publications

Publications (58)
Article
The distinguished US philosopher Elizabeth Anderson, who teaches at the University of Michigan, answers questions put to her by John White about educational aspects of her work in moral and political philosophy. She begins by describing her indebtedness to Dewey in his views on developing students’ capacities for intelligent enquiry and as citizens...
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Now published on JOPE Online Early The distinguished US philosopher Elizabeth Anderson, who teaches at the University of Michigan, answers questions put to her by John White about educational aspects of her work in moral and political philosophy. She begins by describing her indebtedness to Dewey in his views on developing students’ capacities for...
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Haslanger's ‘Cognition as a Social Skill’ shows how ideology as embedded in perceptions, habits, and practical skills cannot be changed merely by changing people's conscious beliefs. In this commentary, I explore the roles of emotions in ideology. Oppressive ideologies propagate stigmatizing images and ideas about subordinate groups in order to evo...
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O igualitarismo democrático dá às sociedades um meio para entender os princípios da justiça e como eles se aplicam a elas próprias e a outras. Ao perceber a forma como a justiça exige respeito mútuo para funcionar, os cidadãos de uma comunidade política podem se tornar ativos no sentido de garantir que suas estruturas sociais e políticas facilitem...
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Lawrie Balfour, Benjamin Hertzberg, Jack Knight and Cara Wong offer comments on my book, The Imperative of Integration, that raise critically important questions about the ways a pragmatist methodology should treat ideals in non-ideal theory. In this article, I reply to their comments as well as provide some reflections on the proper level of abstr...
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In this article, I argue that mass incarceration belongs to a category of social status interventions by which the modern state either withholds the ordinary protections and benefits of the law from outlawed groups or subjects them to private punishment based on their mere membership in those groups. In the US these groups include immigrants and re...
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This article criticizes the view that, if cultural factors within the black community explain poor educational outcomes for blacks, then blacks should bear all of the disadvantages that follow from this. Educational outcomes are the joint, iterated product of schools’ responses to students’ and parents’ culturally conditioned conduct. Schools are n...
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In Epistemic injustice, Miranda Fricker makes a tremendous contribution to theorizing the intersection of social epistemology with theories of justice. Theories of justice often take as their object of assessment either interpersonal transactions (specific exchanges between persons) or particular institutions. They may also take a more comprehensiv...
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Responsible public policy making in a technological society must rely on complex scientific reasoning. Given that ordinary citizens cannot directly assess such reasoning, does this call the democratic legitimacy of technical public policies in question? It does not, provided citizens can make reliable second-order assessments of the consensus of tr...
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More than forty years have passed since Congress, in response to the Civil Rights Movement, enacted sweeping antidiscrimination laws in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. As a signal achievement of that legacy, in 2008, Americans elected their first African American president. Some would a...
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The present study addresses the distinction between contemporary and old-fashioned prejudice using survey data from a national sample (n=600) of self-identified whites living in the United States and interviewed by telephone in 2001. First, we examine associations among indicators of contemporary and old-fashioned prejudice. Consistent with the lit...
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Many problems of inequality in developing countries resist treatment by formal egalitarian policies. To deal with these problems, we must shift from a distributive to a relational conception of equality, founded on opposition to social hierarchy. Yet the production of many goods requires the coordination of wills by means of commands. In these case...
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Inequality Reexamined, AmartyaSen. Harvard University Press, 1992, 207 + xiv pages. - Volume 11 Issue 1 - Elizabeth Anderson
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In Democratic Authority , David presents a major new defense of democracy, called epistemic proceduralism. The theory claims that democracy exercises legitimate authority in virtue of possessing a modest epistemic power: its decisions are the product of procedures that tend to produce just laws at a better than chance rate, and better than any othe...
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Individuals in capitalist societies are increasingly exposed to market risks. Luck egalitarian theories, which advocate neutralizing the influence of luck on distribution, fail to cope with this problem, because they focus on the wrong kinds of distributive constraints. Rules of distributive justice can specify (1) acceptable procedures for allocat...
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This paper investigates the epistemic powers of democratic institutions through an assessment of three epistemic models of democracy: the Condorcet Jury Theorem, the Diversity Trumps Ability Theorem, and Dewey's experimentalist model. Dewey's model is superior to the others in its ability to model the epistemic functions of three constitutive featu...
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sunstein represents moral heuristics as rigid rules that lead us to jump to moral conclusions, and contrasts them with reflective moral deliberation, which he represents as independent of heuristics and capable of supplanting them. following john dewey's psychology of moral judgment, i argue that successful moral deliberation does not supplant mora...
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Au-dela du modele de l'interet personnel, l'A. etudie les raisons de la cooperation sociale au sein des groupes humains. Examinant les strategies de la theorie du choix rationnel, de la theorie evolutionniste et de la theorie de la rationalite sociale, l'A. defend l'idee de la complementarite de l'homo economicus et de l'homo sociologicus.
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abstract This article considers the justice of requiring employment as a condition of receiving public assistance. While none of the main theories of justice prohibits work requirements, the arguments in their favour are weak. Arguments based on reciprocity fail to explain why only means-tested public benefits should be subject to work requirements...
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It is predicted that the rapid acquisition of new genetic knowledge and related applications during the next decade will have significant implications for virtually all members of society. Currently, most people get exposed to information about genes and genetics only through stories publicized in the media. We sought to understand how individuals...
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This paper evaluates the economic assumptions of economic theory via an examination of the capitalist transformation of creditor–debtor relations in the 18th century. This transformation enabled masses of people to obtain credit without moral opprobrium or social subordination. Classical 18th century economics had the ethical concepts to appreciate...
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It is predicted that the rapid acquisition of new genetic knowledge and related applications during the next decade will have significant implications for virtually all members of society. Currently, most people get exposed to information about genes and genetics only through stories publicized in the media. We sought to understand how individuals...
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Full-text available
Adam Swift objects to private schools on the grounds of equal opportunity and efficiency, and to both private and selective public schools on the grounds of solidarity and improving the academic achievement of less advantaged students. I argue that private schools are not inefficient, and that a meritocratic ideal of equality of opportunity in K-12...
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The underdetermination argument establishes that scientists may use political values to guide inquiry, without providing criteria for distinguishing legitimate from illegitimate guidance. This paper supplies such criteria. Analysis of the confused arguments against value-laden science reveals the fundamental criterion of illegitimate guidance: when...
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Amartya Sen's ethical theorizing helps feminists resolve the tensions between the claims of women's particular perspectives and moral objectivity. His concept of "positional objectivity" highlights the epistemological significance of value judgments made from particular social positions, while holding that certain values may become widely shared. H...
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This Article defends racial integration as a central goal of race-based affirmative action. Racial integration of mainstream institutions is necessary both to dismantle the current barriers to opportunity suffered by disadvantaged racial groups, and to create a democratic civil society. Integration, conceived as a forward-looking remedy for de fact...
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Feminist philosophy of science is committed to the view that science neither is, nor ought to be, neutral among social and political values. Scientific theories, recognized as legitimate contributions by the scientific community, often embody androcentric or sexist values, and hence are subject to criticism by feminists. Feminists also seek to adva...
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The concept of preference dominates economic theory today. It performs a triple duty for economists, grounding their theories of individual behavior, welfare, and rationality. Microeconomic theory assumes that individuals act so as to maximize their utility that is, to maximize the degree to which their preferences are satisfied. Welfare economics...
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Expressive conceptions of practical reason, morality, and law are gaining increasing currency. This article provides the first general statement of the aims and features of expressivism in law and morality. Two central themes structure the analysis. First, what precisely does it mean for action, either of individuals or collectives, such as democra...
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Convergence upon Empiricism in Feminist Accounts of the Justification of Scientific KnowledgeConvergence upon Empiricism in Treatments of Contextual ValuesBibliography
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McLachlan and Swales dispute my arguments against commercial surrogate motherhood. In reply, I argue that commercial surrogate contracts objectionably commodify children because they regard parental rights over children not as trusts, to be allocated in the best interests of the child, but as like property rights, to be allocated at the will of the...
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Not available En este trabajo se plantea que la soberanía del consumidor descansa sobre un conjunto de confusiones conceptuales, de presupuestos empíricamente falsos y de afirmaciones normativamente dudosas. La sección 1 muestra cómo estas confusiones conceptuales enmascaran una ambigüedad fundamental en el principio de la soberanía del consumidor...
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Comment on Dawson's ‘Exit, Voice and Values in Economic Institutions’ - Volume 13 Issue 1 - Elizabeth Anderson
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Elizabeth Anderson offers a new theory of value and rationality that rejects cost-benefit analysis in our social lives and in our ethical theories. This account of the plurality of values thus offers a new approach, beyond welfare economics and traditional theories of justice, for assessing the ethical limitations of the market. In this light, Ande...
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Feminist epistemology has often been understood as the study of feminine “ways of knowing.” But feminist epistemology is better understood as the branch of naturalized, social epistemology that studies the various influences of norms and conceptions of gender and gendered interests and experiences on the production of knowledge. This understanding...
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What is the proper role of politics in higher education? Many policies and reforms in the academy, from affirmative action and a multicultural curriculum to racial and sexual harassment codes and movements to change pedagogical styles, seek justice for oppressed groups in society. They understand justice to require a comprehensive equality of membe...
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A distinctive feature of modern capitalist societies is the tendency of the market to take over the production, maintenance, and distribution of goods that were previously produced, maintained, and distributed by nonmarket means. Yet, there is a wide range of disagreement regarding the proper extent of the market in providing many goods. Labor has...
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...A commercial surrogate mother is anyone who is paid money to bear a child for other people and terminate her parental rights, so that the others may raise the child as exclusively their own. The growth of commercial surrogacy has raised with new urgency a class of concerns regarding the proper scope of the market. Some critics have objected to c...
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Most relational theories assert both that spatial discourse is reducible to talk about physical objects and their spatial relations, and that the relation of congruence derives from a non-metrical relation which intervals bear or possibly bear to measuring instruments. We have shown that there are serious logical difficulties involved in maintainin...

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Projects (2)
Project
A short article explaining in accessible terms the methods of pragmatist moral inquiry.