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Work in this area  explores the philosophical dimensions of mothering, including (at least) considerations of pregnancy, adoption, childbirth, and mothering, and draws from a well of interdisciplinary work and first-hand experiences.  This topic area includes issues related to pregnancy, adoption, childbirth, and mothering and intersects with virtually every field of philosophy, including metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, social and political philosophy, aesthetics, and critical race and disability theory.  There are urgent ethical matters regarding the value of motherhood in general and to potential mothers in particular; some, but not all of which, are related to care ethics.  Motherhood provides a perfect opportunity to raises aesthetic issues of beauty and disgust and questions about how aesthetic taste and judgment might interact with parental feelings of moral obligation. There are also social and political issues, such as the long-standing feminist debate over whether pregnancy and/or motherhood is liberating or enslaving, in women’s interest or against it, the challenges of anti-racist mothering in a white supremacist culture, and the responsibilities of a community to families.  Metaphysical, phenomenological, and epistemological questions also arise when we reflect on the physical experience of being pregnant: for example, questions about the oneness and duplication of souls and bodies, the extension of bodies, the existence of non-material beings, and the relationship between the identity of mothers and their children, as well as questions about knowledge and the value of truth and truth-telling.   

Key works One of the earliest works on feminism and mothering is "Of Women Born" by Adrienne Rich (1974). Later feminist philosophy of mothering should not be viewed as synonymous with care ethics, but two of the foundational works in the field of feminist mothering is Ruddick 1989 and Held 1993. For an influential argument for why feminists ought be wary of marriage and motherhood there is Card 1996.
Introductions Ferguson 1986; Diquinzio 1993.
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  1. Rebecca Aanerud (2007). The Legacy of White Supremacy and the Challenge of White Antiracist Mothering. Hypatia 22 (2):20-38.
    : Aanerud's project is to develop an account of white antiracist mothering, using a model of maternal duty to raise antiracist white children. The author sets this project in the context of historic constructions of white mothering in the twentieth century and then contrasts the need for an exploration of white mothers raising white children against the literature of white mothers' raising children of color and mothers of color raising their own children, Once this distinction is made, Aanerud uses Collins's (...)
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  2. E. L. Abel, N. Day, B. A. Dintcheff & C. A. S. Ernst (1979). Inhibition of Postnatal Maternal Performance in Rats Treated with Marijuana Extract During Pregnancy. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 14 (5):353-354.
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  3. Troy D. Abell (1994). Methodological Challenges in the Study of Fetal Growth. Human Nature 5 (1):23-67.
    Several conceptual and methodological challenges must be solved in order to create knowledge that can be useful to pregnant women, their families, and any clinicians who serve them: (1) going beyond nominal and ordinal hypotheses and presenting estimates of conditional probabilities; (2) focusing on clearly defined outcomes; (3) modeling the relationship of fetal growth and length of gestation; (4) understanding the process of fetal growth even though most of our data is cross-sectional; (5) estimating the independent effects of genetics, race, (...)
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  4. Nurul Alam (2000). Teenage Motherhood and Infant Mortality in Bangladesh: Maternal Age‐Dependent Effect of Parity One. Journal of Biosocial Science 32 (2):229-236.
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  5. Linda Martín Alcoff (2012). Cluster: The Myths of Maternity – Editor's Introduction. Hypatia 27 (1):73-75.
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  6. Grace Andreani, Zaira Aparecida O. Custódio & Maria Aparecida Crepaldi (2006). Tecendo as Redes de Apoio Na Prematuridade. Aletheia 24:115-126.
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  7. Lori B. Andrews (1988). Surrogate Motherhood: The Challenge for Feminists. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 16 (1-2):72-80.
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  8. K. Aramesh (2009). Iran's Experience with Surrogate Motherhood: An Islamic View and Ethical Concerns. Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (5):320-322.
    Gestational surrogacy as a treatment for infertility is being practised in some well-known medical institutions in Tehran and some other cities in Iran. While the majority of Muslims in the world are Sunni, the majority of Iranians are Shiite. Most Sunni scholars do not permit surrogate motherhood, since it involves introducing the sperm of a man into the uterus of a woman to whom he is not married. Most Shiite scholars, however, have issued jurisprudential decrees (fatwas) that allow surrogate motherhood (...)
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  9. Irina Aristarkhova (2012). Hospitality and the Maternal. Hypatia 27 (1):163-181.
    This article engages the concept of hospitality as it relates to the maternal. I critically evaluate the current conceptions of hospitality by Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida, focusing on their dematerialized definition of the feminine found at the heart of hospitality, and Derrida's aporia of hospitality that deals with ownership. The foundation of hospitality, I show, is the maternal relation and its specific acts of hospitality that encompass the notions of gift and generosity. While remaining unthought in philosophy, however, maternal (...)
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  10. Maternal Moral Authority (2008). Soran reader. Hypatia 23 (1-2):132.
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  11. Alison Bailey (1994). Mothering, Diversity, and Peace Politics. Hypatia 9 (2):188-198.
    The most popular uniting theme in feminist peace literature grounds women's peace work in mothering. I argue if maternal arguments do not address the variety of relationships different races and classes of mothers have to institutional violence and/or the military, then the resulting peace politics can only draw incomplete conclusions about the relationships between maternal work/thinking and peace. To illustrate this I compare two models of mothering: Sara Ruddick's decription of "maternal practice" and Patricia Hill Collins's account of racial-ethnic women's (...)
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  12. Alison Bailey (1994). Review: Mothering, Diversity, and Peace Politics. [REVIEW] Hypatia 9 (2):188 - 198.
    The most popular uniting theme in feminist peace literature grounds women's peace work in mothering. I argue if maternal arguments do not address the variety of relationships different races and classes of mothers have to institutional violence and/or the military, then the resulting peace politics can only draw incomplete conclusions about the relationships between maternal work/thinking and peace. To illustrate this I compare two models of mothering: Sara Ruddick's decription of "maternal practice" and Patricia Hill Collins's account of racial-ethnic women's (...)
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  13. Alison Bailey (1994). Mothering, Diversity and Peace: Comments on Sara Ruddick's Feminist Maternal Peace Politics. Journal of Social Philosophy 26 (1):162-182.
    Sara Ruddick's contemporary philosophical account of mothering reconsiders the maternal arguments used in the women's peace movements of the earlier part of this century. The culmination of this project is her 1989 book, Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace. Ruddick's project is ground-breaking work in both academic philosophy and feminist theory. -/- In this chapter, I first look at the relationship between the two basic components of Ruddick's argument in Maternal Thinking: the "practicalist conception of truth" (PCT) and feminist (...)
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  14. Isaac D. Balbus (1992). De-Kleining Feminist Mothering Theory? Theory and Society 21 (6):817-835.
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  15. Janet Baldwin (2012). Unsafe Motherhood: Mayan Maternal Mortality and Subjectivity in Post-War Guatemala. Nicole S. Berry, Berghahn Books, 2010. 250 Pages. Hardback. ISBN 9781845457525. RRP: £50.00. [REVIEW] Human Reproduction and Genetic Ethics 17 (1):137-139.
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  16. Lisa Baraitser (2011). OBITUARY-A Mother's Thought: Sara Ruddick, 1935-2011. Radical Philosophy 167:61.
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  17. Kathleen Barlow (2004). Critiquing the “Good Enough” Mother: A Perspective Based on the Murik of Papua New Guinea. Ethos 32 (4):514-537.
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  18. Kathleen Barlow & Bambi L. Chapin (2010). Impetus for the Special Issue: Mothering in the Field. Ethos 38 (4):321-323.
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  19. Kathleen Barlow & Bambi L. Chapin (2010). The Practice of Mothering: An Introduction. Ethos 38 (4):324-338.
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  20. Raymond A. Belliotti (1988). Marxism, Feminism, and Surrogate Motherhood. Social Theory and Practice 14 (3):389-417.
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  21. Greyce Rocha Beltrame & Tagma Marina Schneider Donelli (2012). Maternidade E Carreira: Desafios Frente À Conciliação de Papéis. Aletheia 38:206-217.
    Este artigo apresenta uma revisão de literatura a respeito de dois temas vivenciados por muitas mulheres, a maternidade e a carreira. Reflete-se o que a entrada e consolidação da mulher no mercado do trabalho trouxe de implicações à maternidade. Aprofunda-se o tema com discussão de pesquisas que abo..
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  22. Silvia Benso (2003). The Time of the Feminine: For a Politics of Maternal Corporeality. Tina Chanter, Time, Death, and the Feminine: Levinas with Heidegger. [REVIEW] Continental Philosophy Review 36 (2):195-202.
  23. Veronique Bergeron (2007). The Ethics of Cesarean Section on Maternal Request: A Feminist Critique of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Position on Patient-Choice Surgery. Bioethics 21 (9):478–487.
  24. Sandrine Berges (2013). Mothers and Independent Citizens: Making Sense of Wollstonecraft's Supposed Essentialism. Philosophical Papers 42 (3):259 - 284.
    Mary Wollstonecraft argues that women must be independent citizens, but that they cannot be that unless they fulfill certain duties as mothers. This is problematic in a number of ways, as argued by Laura Brace in a 2000 article. However, I argue that if we understand Wollstonecraft's concept of independence in a republican, rather than a liberal context, and at the same time pay close attention to her discussion of motherhood, a feminist reading of Wollstonecraft is not only possible but (...)
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  25. J. M. Berkowitz (1995). Mummy Was a Fetus: Motherhood and Fetal Ovarian Transplantation. Journal of Medical Ethics 21 (5):298-304.
    Infertility affects 15 per cent of the world's couples. Research at Edinburgh University has been directed at transplanting fetal ovarian tissue into infertile women, thus enabling them to bear children. Fetal ovary transplantation (FOT) has generated substantial controversy; in fact, one ethicist deemed the procedure 'so grotesque as to be unbelievable' (1). Some have suggested that fetal eggs may harbour unknown chromosomal abnormalities: however, there is no evidence that these eggs possess a higher incidence of genetic anomaly than ova found (...)
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  26. Rosemary Betterton (2006). Promising Monsters: Pregnant Bodies, Artistic Subjectivity, and Maternal Imagination. Hypatia 21 (1):80-100.
    : This paper engages with theories of the monstrous maternal in feminist philosophy to explore how examples of visual art practice by Susan Hiller, Marc Quinn, Alison Lapper, Tracey Emin, and Cindy Sherman disrupt maternal ideals in visual culture through differently imagined body schema. By examining instances of the pregnant body represented in relation to maternal subjectivity, disability, abortion, and "prosthetic" pregnancy, it asks whether the "monstrous" can offer different kinds of figurations of the maternal that acknowledge the agency and (...)
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  27. Gerald J. Blidstein (2005/1975). Honor Thy Father and Mother: Filial Responsibility in Jewish Law and Ethics. Ktav Pub. House.
    I The Significance of Filial Responsibility The fifth statement of the Decalogue commands, "Honor thy father and mother, that thy days be long upon the land ...
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  28. Elisabeth Boetzkes (1991). Larry Gostin, Ed., Surrogate Motherhood: Politics and Privacy Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 11 (2):99-101.
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  29. Patricia Boling (1991). The Democratic Potential of Mothering. Political Theory 19 (4):606-625.
  30. Daryl J. Boness & W. Don Bowen (1996). The Evolution of Maternal Care in Pinnipeds. BioScience 46 (9):645-654.
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  31. D. Boonin (2004). Rights, Duties and the Body: Law and Ethics of the Maternal-Fetal Conflict. Philosophical Review 113 (4):582-584.
  32. Annie L. Booth (2008). Beyond Mothering Earth. Environmental Ethics 30 (1):109-110.
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  33. Susan Bordo (1991). Book Review:Reproducing the World: Essays in Feminist Theory. Mary O. Brien; Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace. Sara Ruddick. [REVIEW] Ethics 101 (3):663-.
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  34. Michelle Boulous Walker (1998). Philosophy and the Maternal Body: Reading Silence. Routledge.
    Philosophy and the Maternal Body gives a new voice to the mother and the maternal body which have often been viewed as silent within philosophy. Michelle Boulous Walker clearly shows how some male theorists have appropriated maternity, and suggests new ways of articulating the maternal body and women's experience of pregnancy and motherhood.
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  35. Elizabeth Brake (2006). Review of Rebecca Kukla, Mass Hysteria: Medicine, Culture, and Mothers' Bodies. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2006 (12).
    of Rebecca Kukla , , from Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  36. Sarah-Vaughn Brakman & Sally J. Scholz (2006). Adoption, ART, and a Re-Conception of the Maternal Body: Toward Embodied Maternity. Hypatia 21 (1):54-73.
    : We criticize a view of maternity that equates the natural with the genetic and biological and show how such a practice overdetermines the maternal body and the maternal experience for women who are mothers through adoption and ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies). As an alternative, we propose a new framework designed to rethink maternal bodies through the lens of feminist embodiment. Feminist embodied maternity, as we call it, stresses the particularity of experience through subjective embodiment. A feminist embodied maternity emphasizes (...)
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  37. Sarah‐Vaughan Brakman & Sally J. Scholz (2006). Adoption, ART, and a Re‐Conception of the Maternal Body: Toward Embodied Maternity. Hypatia 21 (1):54-73.
    We criticize a view of maternity that equates the natural with the genetic and biological and show how such a practice overdetermines the maternal body and the maternal experience for women who are mothers through adoption and ART . As an alternative, we propose a new framework designed to rethink maternal bodies through the lens of feminist embodiment. Feminist embodied maternity, as we call it, stresses the particularity of experience through subjective embodiment. A feminist embodied maternity emphasizes the physical relations (...)
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  38. P. R. Braude (1997). Changing Conceptions of Motherhood. Journal of Medical Ethics 23 (1):62-62.
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  39. Ellen Bravo (2007). Taking on the Big Boys, or, Why Feminism is Good for Families, Business, and the Nation. Feminist Press at the City University of New York.
    Overview -- Why social workers earn less than accountants : pay equity -- Can you have a job and a life? -- Can a woman do a man's job? -- You want to see my what? : sexual harassment -- Nine to five : not just a movie--the right to organize -- Working other than nine to five : part-time and temporary jobs -- What this nation really thinks of motherhood : welfare reform -- Revaluing women's work outside of work (...)
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  40. D. Brown, H. F. Andersen & T. E. Elkins (1991). An Analysis of the ACOG and AAP Ethics Statements on Conflicts in Maternal-Fetal Care. Journal of Clinical Ethics 2 (1):19.
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  41. Nuket Ornek Buken & Serap Sahinoglu (2012). Gender, Infertitlity, Motherhood, and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) in Turkey. Human Reproduction and Genetic Ethics 16 (2):218-232.
    In Turkey, as in many other countries, infertility is generally regarded as a negative phenomenon in a woman’s life and is associated with a lot of stigma by society. In other words, female infertility and having a baby using Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) have to be taken into consideration with respect to gender, motherhood, social factors, religion and law. Yet if a woman chooses to use ART she has to deal with the consequences of her decision, such as being ostracized (...)
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  42. Lisa Sowle Cahill (1988). The Ethics of Surrogate Motherhood: Biology, Freedom, and Moral Obligation. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 16 (1-2):65-71.
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  43. Joan C. Callahan (ed.) (1995). Reproduction, Ethics, and the Law: Feminist Perspectives. Indiana University Press.
    The. Metamorphosis. of. Motherhood. Patricia. Smith. Motherhood, as traditionally understood, is obsolete. It is not yet as obsolete as, say, knighthood, but it is moving just as inevitably in the same direction. No one wants to admit that, but it is ...
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  44. Joan C. Callahan (1993). The Contract Motherhood Debate: Surrogate Motherhood: Politics and Privacy, Edited by Larry Gostin. Journal of Clinical Ethics 4 (1):82.
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  45. D. M. Campbell, A. J. Campbell & I. MacGillivray (1974). Maternal Characteristics of Women Having Twin Pregnancies. Journal of Biosocial Science 6 (4):463-470.
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  46. Leslie Cannold (2003). Do We Need a Normative Account of the Decision to Parent? International Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (2):277-290.
    This paper provides an analysis of several philosophically interesting results of a recent study of the fertility decision-making of thirty-five childless/childfree Australian and American women. While most of the women in the study endorsed and expanded on longstanding normative prescriptions for how a “good” mother ought to feel and behave, they were at a loss (at times quite literally) to explain why a woman should decide to mother in the first place. For several women, this difficulty led them to conclude (...)
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  47. A. M. Capron & M. J. Radin (1988). Choosing Family Law Over Contract Law as a Paradigm for Surrogate Motherhood. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 16 (1-2):34-43.
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  48. Jane Caputi (2001). On the Lap of Necessity: A Mythic Reading of Teresa Brennan's Energetics Philosophy. Hypatia 16 (2):1-26.
    : In several works Teresa Brennan examines how, contrary to social notions of the separate and contained self, all that exists in the natural world is connected energetically. She identifies a "foundational fantasy" whereby the ego comes into existence and is maintained by the notion that it controls the mother. The effects of this fantasy are socially oppressive and, in the technological era, environmentally disastrous. My examination of narratives and images in ancient myth, popular culture, literature, and art suggest ways (...)
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  49. Claudia Card (1996). Against Marriage and Motherhood. Hypatia 11 (3):1 - 23.
    This essay argues that current advocacy of lesbian and gay rights to legal marriage and parenthood insufficiently criticizes both marriage and motherhood as they are currently practiced and structured by Northern legal institutions. Instead we would do better not to let the State define our intimate unions and parenting would be improved if the power presently concentrated in the hands of one or two guardians were diluted and distributed through an appropriately concerned community.
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  50. C. S. Carter (2007). Monogamy, Motherhood and Health.”. In Stephen G. Post (ed.), Altruism and Health: Perspectives From Empirical Research. Oup Usa. 371--388.
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