David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Hypatia 26 (3):554-574 (2011)
Theories of the liberal tradition have relied on independence as a norm of personhood. Feminist theorists such as Eva Kittay in Love's Labor have been instrumental in critiquing normative independence. I explore the role of corporeal vulnerability in Kittay's account of personhood, developing a comparison to the role it plays in Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan. Kittay's crucial contribution in Love's Labor is that once we acknowledge the facts of corporeal vulnerability, we must not only acknowledge but also affirm dependency in a genuinely inclusive affirmation of personhood. While endorsing Kittay's “dependency critique,” I discover difficulties that beleaguer Kittay's development of new norms of personhood. I trace these to a dependency of Kittay's account on a crucial premise of the liberal model it resists. I argue that in order to affirm dependency in a manner that departs more thoroughly from the criticized aspects of liberal personhood, we must cease to position it in a dichotomy of power and vulnerability. I suggest that attending to the corporeality of vulnerability can aid us in developing the terms of a discourse affirming relational personhood while undermining that dichotomy
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References found in this work BETA
John Rawls (2009). A Theory of Justice. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophy and Rhetoric. Oxford University Press 133-135.
Thomas Hobbes (1651). Leviathan. Dover Publications.
Wendy Brown (1995). States of Injury: Power and Freedom in Late Modernity. Princeton University Press.
Thomas Hobbes (2007). Leviathan. In Aloysius Martinich, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Early Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell Pub.
Citations of this work BETA
Stacy Clifford Simplican (2015). Care, Disability, and Violence: Theorizing Complex Dependency in Eva Kittay and Judith Butler. Hypatia 30 (1):217-233.
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