Going with the Flow of Human Aspirations
The final chapter considers ways in which policy and practice can best “go(…) with the flow of human aspirations”. It does this first by considering the treatment of children, as they constitute one of the various ‘minority’ groups that classical liberal perspectives have tended to regard as less than fully rational, so not to be trusted to follow their own preferences (‘Minority’ groups here include women, in some cases, though they do not form a numerical minority.). Drawing on a range of utilitarian writers, including Bentham, an approach to balancing the Will and Interest rights of children and young people is suggested. The implications of this position are then explored further: first for the treatment of adults generally, and secondly in terms of the possible limitations of a position solely based on conceptions of universal human rights. It is argued that a position grounded in the Capabilities approach developed by Amartya Sen can offer an appropriate response to such limitations.
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