Engineering Human Beauty

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (4):998-1011 (2023)
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Abstract

ABSTRACT Individual differences in bodily beauty result in significant differences in life outcomes. Some such differences seem unwarranted. On this basis, various authors have argued that there is a kind of discrimination—lookism—that affects those who are aesthetically disadvantaged. Several strategies have been proposed to address lookism. One aim of this paper is to draw a distinction between two sorts of anti-lookist strategies. Redistributive approaches propose to alter the current distribution of beauty, either by broadening beauty standards, or by giving individuals more options to improve their appearance. Revisionary approaches argue that we should drop our current conception of human beauty in favour of one that is more compatible with social justice goals. Another aim of the paper is to argue that two problems posed by revisionary strategies represent a prima facie reason to prefer redistributive ones. Both problems are rooted in a trade-off between value and justice that is characteristic of revisionary approaches.

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Matteo Ravasio
Peking University

Citations of this work

Personal Beauty and Personal Agency.Madeline Martin-Seaver - 2023 - Philosophy Compass 18 (12):e12953.
Engineering Human Beauty with More Caution.Xinkan Zhao - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Equality and priority.Derek Parfit - 1997 - Ratio 10 (3):202–221.
Moral Beauty, Inside and Out.Ryan P. Doran - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):396-414.
Equality as a moral ideal.Harry Frankfurt - 1987 - Ethics 98 (1):21-43.
Ethics.William Frankena - 1967 - Philosophy of Science 34 (1):74-74.

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