Emails to Prof. Iris Marion Young


//////26 Jan. 20004/////

TATEIWA Shinya Assignment 1 (ver.0.0)

Welcome to Ritsumeikan University Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier
Sciences. I am associate professor of this graduate school, TATEIWA Shinya.

Sorry, I took a bad influenza a few day ago, Somehow I can go to Ritsumeikan today (on Monday), but I must not pass it on you and other participants. I'll be able to meet you on or after Tuesday.

And sorry, I am very very weak in English. (I suspect I have "learning disability" in English listening and speaking and writing.) I want to talk with you, but it is very difficult for me. So I decided to write self-introduction and questions etc. in bed in bad English and ask graduate student to print and hand you it. (I will hand you revised version few days later.)

My measure is sociology, and I love sociology, but my sociolgy is not standard one. My books and articles are taken sometimes as ethics, bioethics. In fact I have discussed euthanasia, surrogate motherhood, prenatal diagnosis and selective abortion etc. However I'm not particularly interested in medicine or biotechnology. I consistenly have been concerned with rule and value system of private property in modern society :1) rule that what one produced is the one's, and 2) value that what one produce represnt the one. And I have criticized and denied them most basically. They can't be justified, and denied from the viewpoint of freedom, and of affirmation and recognition of existence.
So I have thinking near the field of political philosophy. And I get the idea from social movements since late 1960s, when I was a primary school boy ( You wrote in [Justice and the Politics of Difference], "This book has its starting point in claims about social domination and oppression in the United States. Ideas and experience born in the new left social movement of the 1960s and 1970s …." (p.7) ) I have tried to theorize the idea, rather, the feeling in the movements, and at the same time to think out social structure which can be realized. I have researched since mid 1980s (I was garaduate student) the social movement of people with disability, and have studied social policy for the people, especially policy of personal assistance (care). So my works have normative orientation from first.
And I have thought about distributive justice. I can understand your criticism toward "distributive paradigm", but I will continue my works.
Distribution don't means only ditribution of consumer goods. it can contain distribution of producer goods, labors, knowledges and techniques. And we should think about where should distribution be done in the whole process from production to consumption and why should it be done there.
And I agree that there are many things which cannot and/or should not be distributed. I think that distribution is neccessary for the reason that things which shoud not be divided and separated are not forced to be divided and separated.
You criticized Nancy Fraser's "From Redistribution to Recognition? Dilemmas of Justice in a 'Postsocialist' Age" (1995), in "Unruly Categories: A Critique of Nancy Fraser's Dual Systems Theory" (1997) . I think there are many points to examine, but basically your criticism is right. Redistribution is neccessary for recognition.

Books I wrote are below.

1) [On Private Property] (1997, Keiso-Shobou, Tokyo, 531p.) (English translation is in progress. cf.book reviews)

2) [Freedom to be Weak] (2000, Seido-sha, Tokyo, 382p.)

3) [Equality of Freedom] (2004, Iwanami-Shoten, Tokyo, 390p.)

TATEIWA Shinya Assignment 2 (ver.0.0)

////January 26 : What are claims of justice about?

I agree to almost everything you say. But there may be a little differnce. I think democracy is important, participation is important, as you think. But why is it important ? One answer to the question is from consequentialism. If people don't participate in descision making precess, descisions become bad for the people. Second answer is that people like decide their own things. Third answer is that participation is in inself good and important.
I understand and agree to first and second answer, but have doubt about third. If you think participation is in inself good and important, why do you think so ?
I wrote a chapter named "Independence as Autonomy : Not the Most Important But Very Important Thing" in Ishikawa & Nagase eds. [Invitaion to Disability Studies] (1999, Akashi-Shoten, Tokyo). I wrote there that autonomy is important and many many people who have been supposed to be lack of ability of autonony can decide their own life, but autonomy and ability of autonomy are not more important than the existence of the people. But for exemple in the discourse of bioethics having ability to be autonomous often equal to be person and to have the right to live. I think you will not agree with the bioecthists, but I feel similar tendency in political philosophy in general including right wing, left wing, and post modernists. Is it a imaginary and groungless fear ? I can't think so. I wrote about this problem in my third book [Equality of Freedom] as a criticism of liberalism (including analytaical Marxism of John E. Roemer etc.). I think that we should affirm not deciding, being independent, so the value of autonomy, participation, and self-determination should be relativized. How do you think ?

////January 27 : Justice and Gender

If the women's disadvantage is from the fact that care work is devaluated, why is care work devaluated ?. The answer that it is because women's work is a circular argument. I think the gap between work A (including care work) and work B is generated in market and political system. Under the rule of private property and under the existence of national boundaries, the pressure to (internatinal) competition and growth appears and becomes strengthened. The society that there are modern rule of private property, pressure to competition and growth under the rule, work B is highly valued and work A is not. Especially care work is not, because care is sometimes gift and there is nothing in exchange for the work (except existence and life of the people who take care), and the gift should be social gift, but the society will invest to other works.
(The second question is why women's work is work A. One answer is that men force work A on women and men get benefit from it. Another fact is that women bear child. It is doubtful if all women are fit for care work. But statistically women are engaged in work A than men, statistic discrimination occurs. And if women preffer care work, it is not accusable in itself.)
So if the society I have wrote above is modern soiety, modern "capitalist" society, women cannot become emanncipated in the society.
(The problem of "capitalism and patriarchy" is complicated and the disscussions which have been done are vague. I wrote about this problem in "Family, Gender, and Capital" ([Shiso] 955:196-215, december 2003). In this paper I wrote that the truth of the proposition that "X is eufunctional for capitalism" cannot be ascertained because the word "capitalism" is not used in single meaning and some factors in the word sometimes conflict each other. There are three factors, extension of social gap (including between labors), growth, and maintainance of society.)

////January 28 : Hierarchy and the Division of Labor

There are two ways. 0ne way is to select allevition of division of labor, because division of labor is itself unjust. One way is to leave the choice to people. If workplace democracy is this second way, you assume that many workers will support allevition of division of labor. This assumption may be correct. But these two ways are different. If somebody says "I accept the division of labor. I like manual labor. I don't want to think", it will be accepted as one opinion in the second way. How do you think this opinion ? Why is division of labor itself unjust ?
It is said that division of labor is necessary for productivity. Of Course we need not accept the propstion entirely. But if we admit it to some degree, there is trade off between allevition of division of labor and productivity. How do you think this problem ?
And if the proposition is correct to some degree and competition in market and pressure to productivity exist, allevition of division of labor can't be realized sufficiently only by workplace democracy. If you think division of labor is itself unjust, should you support not only workplace democracy but intervention to maket ? Hou do you think ?

////January 29 : Ruling Norms and Basic Structure

We wrote a book [ARS VIVENDI (Art of Life) : Sociology of people with disability who leave their family and institution] (1990, rev.ed. 1995, Fujiwara-Shoten, Tokyo). In the book we described that new social movement of people with disabilities began in late 1960's and has continued until now. And in October 2003 we founded Japan Society of Disability Studies (http://www.jsds.org/ but sorry, only in Japanese).
In the movement in Japan, people with disability admit that some of them are useless in our society as a fact, and that it costs high to live thier life as a fact. And, although, they assert that their existence and life must not be negated by these facts. I agree with them. ability and existence are two distinct things. Under the modern rule of private property and under the value system that one's value of existence is indicated by one's ability the connection of two different things appears. So the rule and the value system are must be criticized. I think negation of "abelism" in this meaning has being asserted in Japan.
So distribution is very important. Different from the case of (eg.) racial discrimination, it is inevitable consequece in this society for people with disalbility to be put in disadvantageous position. So distribution is definitely important and essential.
I read Anita Silvers's "Formal Justice", and found many things in common. For exemple, There is a section "(Why) Is Disablity Bad ?" in Silver's article, I wrote "Is No Disability Good ?" (in Ishikawa & Kuramoto eds. [Assertions of Disablity Studies], Akashi-Shoten, Tokyo, 2002), too. But I also felt difference in her recognition. For example, people with disability I know and I cannot agree to the following statement.
"Most Western European cultures assumed a public resposibility to ensue all citizenz access level of resources, but, by identifying disability with etraordinary neediness, and thereby designating it as justifying exceptional allocations, these programs invited the disabling results described previously.
In contrast, the United States ……" (p.141, in the section named "Distributive Justice")
People with disability in Japan have struggled to get money for personal assistance from gouvernment for 30 years. In result people who need 24 hours assistance a day can live outside institution and without family's assistance. I, as you, think distribution is not all. But at the same time I have no doubt that distribution is crucial here. And statements like above may benefit the trend (in USA etc.) to cut governmental expenditure down. Hou do you think ?

////January 30 : Global Justice

If we think about justice in good order, justice becomes global justice naturally. I think it is enough to justify global justice. But do you have more reasons to justify global justice. From the viewpoint of distributive justice, I think, jutice can be realized only when justice is global justice. Because if the area of distribution is retricted eg. in a country, rich people may get away and people who need ditribution may want to enter, so the ditribution cannot reach enough level. And if there are competitions between countries, money is used to survive the competitions, so the ditribution cannot reach enough level.

Many people think it is difficult to realize global justice. But why is it difficult ? I think it neccessary to think why people think it difficult. One answer said frequently is the motivation of solidarity. people say that this motivation become weaken as the distance between people become long. If said so, How do you answer back ?

For exemple culture A flow into the society B of culture B. You may support coexistence of various values and groups. but if A destroys B, how should we think ?
It may be a problem of ditribution. If people can live their life in the society B, they may be able to choose A or B, or combinate A and B. If it is true, the coexistence is possible in appropriate global distribution. Of course things don't always go so smoothly. There may be serious conflict between belief A and belief B. But there is often diversity of interpretation of doctorine, and people can ignore difference and contradiction as the case may be. So the problem may be partially the classical problem of distribution.

////////27 Jan. 2004///////

Prof. Young, Thank you very much tonight.

Sorry I couldn't hear and understand about 97% of your talk.
and I couldn'n talk about 86% of my thought.

The ethical problem of prenatal diagnosis and selective abortion is
very complicated, but I think roughly :

1) I recognize that whether or not to bear a child is in the hands of a

2) But to decide what kind of child should be or should not bear is
different from to decide whether or not to bear a child.
(People does not have the right to decide the form of existence of

3) So it is possible to say logically that even if we accept 1) , 2) is
not acceptable.

* the reason why I think 1) is written in my "On Private Property",
chapter 5. 2) 3) is in "On Private Property" chapter 9.

4) One Problem is how to regulate positive law. It is difficult. But
although generally adimitting the rigth of abortion, the right to kwow
what kind of child will be born can be restricted.


Eugenics Protection Act (1947-1996) permitted artificial abortion in only
several conditions (esp. "economic reason" in article 14, section 1
number 4 called "economic provision"-> by this regulation, practically
artificial abortion has not been restricted in Japan).

Early 1970s activation to revise the Act occured. There additon of "embryo
provision" (permitting selective abortion) were proposed. Both feminists
and people with disablities opposed it, and at the same time there are
oppositions and discussions between the feminists and people with

** Prof. MATSUBARA Yoko is the best specialist of this history,
eugenics in Japan from pre to post World War II.


The following is the English translation of summary of my speech
at University of Tokyo, 2003.
*I don't know the name of translator. and I could not check it.

The Ethics of Appearing

Tateiwa Shinya (Ritsumeikan University)

The Beginning of Life and Perspectives on Death and Life

- There is an anti-abortion logic that bases its opposition to abortion
on the concept of a "respect for life." But this argument has several
problems, one of which is that pro-creation and birth form a continual
process. Let us consider spermatozoa and ovum, both of which are
organisms. Although there are those who are opposed to contraception,
there is no one who would argue, even as a joke, that some hundred
millions of spermatozoon, which will naturally die if left alone, should
be given chances to continue living. That is to say, anti-abortionists
do not claim that all organisms with possibilities of growth should live.
One might ask, then, what if there is an insemination? What are the
differences between the spermatozoa that do not fertilize and the
spermatozoon that does fertilize? Is it a difference of intention?
Even if I understand intercourse as an intentional act, I cannot posit
insemination as intentional. Is this because a fertilized egg is
intrinsically programmed genetically? There are many other areas aside
from fertilized eggs that are equipped with such programs. Therefore,
I cannot simply accept the anti-abortionist logic that relies on the
concept of a "respect for life." Even the pro-life activists do not
allow every life form to live - rather, they are drawing a clear line
of distinction. This much can be said with certainty.

- Pointing out this fragility of the anti-abortionist argument does not
necessarily equal an acceptance of women's right to choose. If I
interpret the phrase "self-determination" as meaning that a person can
make a decision about things that happen to an individual self (right
to choose in personal matter), the above argument does not justify
women's right to choose. In addition, as long as causal relationships
are concerned, men or a male who had intercourse with a woman who became
pregnant should also have the right to choose. Of course, the phenomenon
of pregnancy is taking place inside the woman's body. Let's accept
women's right to their own bodies for the sake of argument. However,
even so, it does not follow that women have a right to everything related
to their body. What right they have, rather, is that they have a right
to choose not to assist someone when someone is in a situation that
could be saved. In general, the grounds of one's right for his/her body
cannot be applied here.

- In my book, On Private Property (Shiteki Shoyuken, Keiso Shobo), I
argued that decisions to leave everything, including decision making
about pregnancy, up to the woman stem from the fact that the pregnant
woman is the only person who can feel the process of something other
than herself appearing as "the other." Perhaps we can posit the
appearance of a child as a process of something becoming the other
in the body of the bearer. The significance of the skepticism that
feminists demonstrated toward the abstract ethical debates over "when
does being human begin?" resides precisely here. While there is no
affirmative answer to this question, since there is no clear logic
that can negate all possible answers, although cruel, (or perhaps
because it is cruel) it becomes a choice up to the pregnant woman.
Although precautions must be taken for a person who is closest to the
event that is occurring, since he/she carries the most interest (or
hostility) toward the outcome of the event, my argument is still

- Affirming women's right to choose in this manner and opposing certain
aspects of "reproductive technology" might seem contradictory to some,
but it is not. The reasons for taking these stances on these two issues,
as I will demonstrate, stem from the same position.

For instance, when we feel like siding with a "surrogate mother," I
wonder if our sentiment comes from the fact that while the person who
contracted her understands the child as "(a person who should become)
my child" on an abstract level, the surrogate mother already understands
the child as "the other." The understanding of "the other" and the
surrogate mother's efforts to maintain this relationship with
"the other," I believe, makes us want to take sides with her.

In so far as in vitro fertilization is concerned, the use of a
mother's own body is hindered and thus the pain of bearing a child
is underestimated at a much smaller level in general. The mothers
are expected to use their bodies for the child. In situations where
the physical pain, stress, and involvement of pregnancy is inadequately
assessed, and undergoing pregnancy themselves, "challenging" the
conventional process of pregnancy and motherhood, and living in a
society that evaluates the mothers, the use of technology becomes an
inescapable choice.

We believe that the relationship between an existence that is
unmanageable by self (or that is unwilling to be managed by the self)
and the experience with that existence should be respected and honored.
If we posit this unmanageable existence as "the other," the bodies
themselves can also be rendered as the other. This is why I vindicate
the women's right to choose and reject certain aspects of reproductive

-I believe that this "the other" problem is the cause for my resistance
to choosing what kind of person is being born. Let me discuss the topics
of pre-natal diagnosis, which analyzes the chromosomes and DNA before
birth, and selective abortion, which is an action sometimes following
the pre-natal diagnosis.

First, there is an argument that holds that since parents, particularly
women, carry out the weight of raising a child, we should leave the
decision up to that person. However, when looked at from a different
perspective, this argument also claims that if one has to be a burden
to others, it cannot be helped that everything about him has to be
decided by others who are carrying the responsibility. If I cannot
accept this implication, I cannot accept this logic.

Some may also point out that it is a contradiction to problematize
selective abortion, which is an aspect of artificial abortion in general,
of which I am supportive. This does not form a contradiction. It is
possible to accept the general case of something (not the entire idea)
and deny parts of it. Although this may not be a fitting example, a
sexual relationship comes to my mind. I can say that I accept the
general existence of sexual relationships, and still deny and reject
rape as a form of sexual relationship.

I am not arguing that selective abortions are disagreeable because it
is a wrong action, or a "murder" of "that person." If I accept this
assertion that selective abortion is wrong or murder, the same would
have to be said about artificial abortion in general. There is another
reason. In addition to this reason, moreover, I should also add that
since nobody regards artificial abortion itself is agreeable, the fact
that selective abortion intrinsically employs this technique also
posits a reason to oppose selective abortion.

My fundamental opposition to selective abortion is based on the fact
that the act of selective abortion chooses and decides who should
appear and not appear in this world. The question of whether it is
an agreeable or acceptable act emerges here. Of course, there are
those who regard this act as acceptable. I would disagree with them
by saying that we should not decide what kind of person should be
welcomed to our society in accord with our own situations and needs.
Surely, we are interested in understanding the way people are, but
if we admit to selecting who should be welcomed, it may put an end
to the existence of the other for ourselves.

There are variety of cultures and values in the world, and this fact
relates to the fundamental aspect of the existence of the other and
our relation to the other, which in this respect, is a universal value.
I explored this issue in Chapter 4 of the aforementioned book
On Private Property.

Commonly, in discussing the issues related to the pre-natal
diagnosis, logic is employed such as it is their own "concern" that
a child born with a handicap "relate" to discrimination against
the disabled, or that raising a child with a handicap "could lead to"
"assisting" discrimination against the disabled. However, what other
reasons are there to choose selective abortion aside from reasoning
that a disabled child will require extra care or that one simply
does not want a disabled child? These lines of thinking do not
"relate" to discrimination, but rather "are" discrimination. And,
to my argument, none of the parties promoting the technology of
selective abortion or selective abortion itself have responded.

- It may be that those in the medical field fear lawsuits from
patients to take responsibility for "not informing" them about
the possibility of having disabled children. This act should not
be confused, moreover, with not telling the person himself of his
own probabilities. Rather, it can be argued that the act of
offering information to persons other than himself could and should
be rejected. At least, abortion is not a punishable act until the
fetus reaches a certain point of development. There are no questions
asked to the parents undergoing pre-natal diagnosis, but some rules
of regulation and inspections may be applied to the parents. Is the
application of regulation such an odd and surprising act? Is it
acceptable to know everything about a fetus that can become knowable
through the development of technologies and choose to abort its life
based on the given information? If we understand the importance of
privacy rights, shouldn't the argument follow that the importance
of privacy right lies in the value that we should not impose our
own preferences and taste upon others? Thus, thinking from the
perspective of privacy rights, it should follow that providing
information on the fetus should not be allowed.

Put differently, this conclusion relates to that there is a chance
that human beings have a "right to be born out of chance." The
argument that "clone humans" are a threat to us not only because
they are replicated human beings, but also because it puts the
independence of human beings into question is completely wrong.
If I were to accept such logic, I would have to understand identical
twins as not being independent individuals. That is not where
the problem lies. Neither is it enough to discuss the danger of the
technicalities of cloning. There is a desire to control who should
exist, and because we, the society, must protect those who are born
from such desire, we cannot accept this logic.

*I do not share the view that to create a "new 'medical ethics'" is
in order to "keep up with the contemporary situation." If "medical
ethics" and "bioethics" do not provide power and methods, it is not
because they focus disproportionately on ethical aspects. The situation
is completely the opposite. In most cases, incomplete discussions of
facts are followed by nothing substantial, for there is not enough
time and energy to spend pondering the problem thoroughly through a
logical progression. In situations of debate or publishing, there is
only space for those luke warm discussions. It is of prime necessity
that we tenaciously follow our thought, have an environment to make
such activity possible, and to have opportunities to publish our
expanded and substantial opinions.

*the above argument is an assemblage of my past arguments, and do not
contain any new explorations. Much of the writing here overlaps with
On Private Property and "That Which is Certain and That Which is not
Certain." (SAITO Yuki ed., Botai-hogo ho to watashtachi : chuzetsu,
tataigensu, funinseido wo meguru seido to shakai, Akashi Shoten, pp.

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