Asha Leena Bhandary
Associate Professor, University of Iowa
I am a political philosopher and feminist ethicist, and a philosophy professor at the University of Iowa.
In my first book, Freedom to Care: Liberalism, Dependency Care, and Culture, I develop a new form of liberal social contract theory that addresses the human need to dependency care. This form of social contract theory consists of two levels. For one level, I retain a Rawlsian original position device. I then argue that the people who engage in the process of assessing what that model will yield a discrete set of principles are real people in the actual world, and from this, I defend the need for widespread autonomy skills in the world as it is.
I have argued that care is the first and most fundamental purpose of social cooperation. I have also argued for the need for a liberal state to teach caregiving skills to young boys (JPR 2016).
In collaboration with graduate students and the UI digital publishing studio, I have created a video game to be used by philosophers as a teaching tool as well as those interested in playing a cooperative game about care. Click here to play: Surviving the Indifferents.
My new research project evaluates the effects of microaggressions on different people’s ability to feel at home in the world. It builds on my conclusions in Freedom to Care, where I evaluate why some people resist change. The first article for this project is published in the edited volume Applying Nonideal Theory to Bioethics: Living and Dying in a Nonideal World.
I have served as the Chair for the Association for Feminist Ethics and Social Theory, a leading feminist philosophical organization, and I am a member of the Managing Board for PIKSI. I am also the faculty advisor for the UI chapter of MAP.
Before becoming a professor, I was a consultant to non-profit organizations, a coffee shop barista, a member of a trail crew in Arkansas, an assistant naturalist, a program coordinator at Stanford’s LGBCC, and a counselor at a Boys and Girls Club.
ASHA BHANDARY’S FREEDOM TO CARE OUTLINES THE MOST EXTENSIVE ARGUMENT TO DATE FOR INCORPORATING THE HUMAN NEED FOR DEPENDENCY CARE IN A LIBERAL THEORY OF JUSTICE.