Rational planning for individual needs and capacities. Principles and Contexts

Abstract : Practical rationality, when collective choices are at stake, should certainly rely on principles. These principles are perhaps not without effect on our representation of the problems to be addressed in collective action. The authors investigate how this structuring role of pragmatic principles accounts for notable context-dependent features of governance procedures. In the field of social policies, for example, the enhancement of personal autonomy has come to the forefront of collective challenges. Capacity-based approaches indicate a way to put into question those conceptions of autonomy which lead to an excessively uniform treatment of individuals. Following these approaches, the beneficiaries of social policies should be treated as concrete beings with their personal history, living in specific social contexts and so on. The authors analyse the individualizing logic which is exemplified in interactive problem-structuring and institutional decision-making about the provision of apt, context-sensitive care and services for ageing handicapped persons. It is suggested that the sought-for adaptation to specific circumstances is made possible through a complex process of description of problems and challenges for collective action, in which procedural aspects are important. This process is by no means reducible to a passive process of adjustment to independent states of affairs. If the authors' analysis is correct, there is no such thing as the "real" nature of individual situations, as opposed to the fictions associated with ordinary social policies: the process under scrutiny really redefines the nature of institutional interactions, responsibilities and the underlying picture of the individual person.
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Emmanuel Picavet, Caroline Guibet Lafaye. Rational planning for individual needs and capacities. Principles and Contexts. F. Doridot et al. Ethical governance of emerging technologies development, IGI Global, p. 26-36, 2013, IGI Global. ⟨hal-01070797⟩

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