The Case for our Widespread Dependency

Social Theory and Practice 30 (2):247-257 (2004)
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Abstract
Eva Kittay and Ellen Feder end their introduction to _The Subject of Care_ saying, "We must take account of the fact of dependency in our very conceptions of the self." In this review essay, I identify four liberalist views which the contributions to this collection tilt against: Dependency can be avoided, dependency should be avoided, independence can be achieved, and independence should be achieved (by adults and equals). I explore, sympathetically, contributors' reasons for casting all four assumptions into doubt, but discuss two questions arising from that exploration: Is the aim of this collection to show that we actually are all dependents, or more modestly that dependency is merely philosophically important? And is it correct to say that we are all dependents, whether this is the aim of the collection or not? Answers hinge on a definition of dependency.
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