David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Asian Philosophy 13 (1):3 – 13 (2003)
In her well-known In A Different Voice, Gilligan argues that the male and female approaches to morality are fundamentally opposed to each other. The masculine approach emphasizes impartial justice, and the application of a 'hierarchy' of rules. In contrast, the feminine approach is grounded in care and concern for others, and emphasizes flexibility and attention to context when making moral decisions. This paper offers a critique of Gilligan's views through a consideration of Mencian morality. Mencius inhabits the 'feminine' perspective insofar as his morality is grounded in care and responsibility. However, he develops from this a philosophy of government which recognizes the need for impartial justice to apply among citizens. Mencius's views show that, pace Gilligan, there is no inherent incompatibility between 'feminine' care and concern and 'male' impartial justice. It is possible for the latter to be founded upon the former.
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References found in this work BETA
Wm Theodore de Bary & Tu Weiming (eds.) (1999). Confucianism and Human Rights. Columbia University Press.
John Schrecker (1997). Filial Piety as a Basis for Human Rights in Confucius and Mencius. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 24 (3):401-412.
Carol Gilligan (1986). In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development. The Personalist Forum 2 (2):150-152.
Citations of this work BETA
Chenyang Li (2015). Confucian Ethics and Care Ethics: The Political Dimension of a Scholarly Debate. Hypatia 30 (4):897-903.
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