Tournament of Books 2015

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    The Powell's Playlist | February 2, 2015

    Irvine Welsh: IMG The Powell’s Playlist: Irvine Welsh

    When I started writing The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins, I went through my usual routine of making a music playlist to immerse myself in and help me... Continue »


On Order

New Hardcover
Currently out of stock.
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Qty Store Section
- Local Warehouse Philosophy- Ethics

Adaptive Preferences and Empowerment (Studies in Feminist Philosophy)


Adaptive Preferences and Empowerment (Studies in Feminist Philosophy) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Women and other oppressed and deprived people sometimes collude with the forces that perpetuate injustice against them. Women's acceptance of their lesser claim on household resources like food, their positive attitudes toward clitoridectemy and infibulations, their acquiescence to violence at the hands of their husbands, and their sometimes fatalistic attitudes toward their own poverty or suffering are all examples of "adaptive preferences," wherein women participate in their own deprivation.

Adaptive Preferences and Women's Empowerment offers a definition of adaptive preference and a moral framework for responding to adaptive preferences in development practice. Khader defines adaptive preferences as deficits in the capacity to lead a flourishing human life that are causally related to deprivation and argues that public institutions should conduct deliberative interventions to transform the adaptive preferences of deprived people. She insists that people with adaptive preferences can experience value distortion, but she explains how this fact does not undermine those people's claim to participate in designing development interventions that determine the course of their lives. Khader claims that adaptive preference identification requires a commitment to moral universalism, but this commitment need not be incompatible with a respect for culturally variant conceptions of the good. She illustrates her arguments with examples from real-world development practice.

Khader's deliberative perfectionist approach moves us beyond apparent impasses in the debates about internalized oppression and autonomous agency, relativism and universalism, and feminism and multiculturalism.

About the Author

Serene Khader is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Stony Brook University. She is also a women's rights activist who has worked in both national and international contexts, and her activist experience informs her philosophical work.

Table of Contents



Adaptive Preferences and Global Justice

1. A Deliberative Perfectionist Approach to Adaptive Preference Intervention

2. Adaptive Preferences and Choice: Are Adaptive Preferences Autonomy Deficits?

3. Adaptive Preferences and Agency: The Selective Effects of Adaptive Preferences

4. The Deliberative Perfectionist Approach, Paternalism, and Cultural Diversity

5. Reimagining Intervention: Adaptive Preferences and the Paradoxes of Empowerment

Product Details

Khader, Serene J.
Oxford University Press, USA
Serene J. Khader
null, Serene J.
General Philosophy
Philosophy | Feminist
Philosophy | Ethics
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
6.3 x 9.3 x 0.9 in 1.1 lb

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
Humanities » Philosophy » Ethics
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Adaptive Preferences and Empowerment (Studies in Feminist Philosophy) New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$120.25 Backorder
Product details 264 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199777884 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at