Journal of Philosophical Research


published on August 3, 2018

Asha Bhandary

Dependency Care before Pizza
A Reply to Narveson

This essay responds to Jan Narveson’s libertarian commentary on my earlier work “Liberal Dependency Care.” There, I argued that the underlying logic of the circumstances of justice warrants adding care to a liberal theory of justice. In this essay, I rebut Narveson’s skeptical claims about the liberal credentials of my justificatory argument by identifying the extent to which my view shares the same reasonable constraints on liberty as those defended by John Stuart Mill. I also suggest that a libertarian refusal to add care to the core functions of the state is plausible only if women’s labor remains invisible. Finally, I refute Narveson’s contention that my strong procedural principle of care provision is incipiently totalitarian. The case for public support to teach basic levels of attentiveness and responsiveness is analogous to the case for teaching the foundational skills of arithmetic, which are legitimately taught in primary and secondary schools.