Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Beyond BiofatalismHuman Nature for an Evolving World$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Gillian Barker

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231171885

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231171885.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

Choosing Environments

Choosing Environments

(p.97) [ 7 ] Choosing Environments
Beyond Biofatalism

Gillian Barker

Columbia University Press

Using utilitarian or cost-benefit thinking to assess possible large-scale social chagnes is problematic because it is unclear how to value the costs and benefits--in particular, because some social changes will affect the ways people assign value to their life circumstances. This problem is related to what Sen and Nussbaum call "adaptive preferences," but considering this issue in light of biologists' understanding of phenotypic plasticity suggests that the problem goes further than philosophers had recognized, since differing developmental environments may have permanent effects on people's capacities and preferences.

Keywords:   Social costs, adaptive preference, life-cycle strategies, developmental plasticity, risky behaviors, capacities approach

Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .