Rethinking FeministEthics bridges the gap between women theorists disenchanted with aspects of traditional theories that insist upon the need for some ethical principles. The book raises the question of whether the female conception of ethics based on care, trust and empathy can provide a realistic alternative to the male ethics based on duty and rule bound conception of ethics developed from Kant, Mill and Rawls. Koehn concludes that it cannot, showing how problems for respect (...) of the individual arise also in female ethics because it privileges the caregiver over the cared for. Drawing on Socrates' Crito , she shows how an ethic of dialogue can instill a critical respect for the view of the other and the ethical principles absent from the female ethic. (shrink)
Feminist research in ethics : an introduction -- Theology in fragmented time : reflections with the concept 'postmodernism' as a starting point -- On the material spirituality of housework and its political implications -- Neither trivial nor sentimental : de-trivialization as a method in women's studies -- Power that we have; power that we need -- Women's solidarity : a value with a future -- Androcentrism and where do we go from here? : perspectives for theological reflection on (...) 'the human being' -- The minor distinction between mothers and test tubes : on the concept of women in science -- Feministethics and the ecology question -- The debate on animal experiments -- Biotechnology and ethics -- Invitation to feminist reflection on the economy -- Femaleness as social work -- From the norm of marriage to a plurality of lifestyles. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore a confrontation between Husserl’s ethical position of vocation and its absolute ought with a feminist ethical position. I argue that Husserl’s ethics has a great deal to offer a feministethics by providing for the possibility of an ethics that is particular rather than universal, that recognizes the role of the social through tradition in establishing values and norms without conceding the ethical responsibility of the individual, and that acknowledges the (...) role of both reason and desire in establishing moral values that has the consequence of breaking down the public/private distinction that has reigned in so many ethical theories. In order to make this case, I proceed with a review of Husserl’s position of the absolute ought, some typical criticisms that might be leveled at his position, and finally, responses to those criticisms that show ways in which Husserl’s position can be beneficial to the formulation of a feministethics that is inclusive of the emotional aspect of moral valuation, and the particularity of ethical commitments, while providing for a different way of evaluating thinking that accommodates what are usually understood to be “feminine” concerns. In addition to describing Husserl’s position, I show how that position meets some of the expectations for a feministethics as put forth by Iris Marion Young and Sara Ruddick. (shrink)
The relationship between feminist theory and traditionally feminine activities like mothering and caring is complex, especially because of the current diversity of feminist scholarship. There are many different kinds of feminist theory, and each approaches the issue of women's oppression from its own angle. The statement, "feministethics is about mothering and caring," can be critically evaluated by outlining specific feminist approaches to ethics and showing what role mothering and caring play in each (...) particular view. In this paper, feminine and feminist perspectives are delineated, and the four classic feminist approaches (liberal, Marxist, radical, and socialist) are summarized. I argue that to some extent all of the examples of feministethics are "about" mothering and caring. In some cases this is because the particular view describes mothering and caring as features of the roots of women's oppression, or as a positive force in changing the prevailing social order to do away with oppression. I include a discussion of an additional role mothering might play in the socialist feminist framework. (shrink)
How has engineering ethics addressed gender concerns to date? How have the ideas of feminist philosophers and feminist ethicists made their way into engineering ethics? What might an explicitly feminist engineering ethics look like? This paper reviews some major themes in feministethics and then considers three areas in which these themes have been taken up in engineering ethics to date. First, Caroline Whitbeck’s work in engineering ethics integrates considerations from (...) her own earlier writings and those of other feminist philosophers, but does not use the feminist label. Second, efforts to incorporate the Ethic of Care and principles of Social Justice into engineering have drawn on feminist scholarship and principles, but these commitments can be lost in translation to the broader engineering community. Third, the film Henry’s Daughters brings gender considerations into the mainstream of engineering ethics, but does not draw on feministethics per se; despite the best intentions in broaching a difficult subject, the film unfortunately does more harm than good when it comes to sexual harassment education. I seek not only to make the case that engineers should pay attention to feministethics and engineering ethicists make more use of feministethics traditions in the field, but also to provide some avenues for how to approach integrating feministethics in engineering. The literature review and analysis of the three examples point to future work for further developing what might be called feminist engineering ethics. (shrink)
The mainstream literature on corporate governance is based on the premise of conflicts of interest in a competitive game played by variously defined stakeholders and thus builds explicitly and/or implicitly on masculinist ethical theories. This article argues that insights from feministethics, and in particular ethics of care, can provide a different, yet relevant, lens through which to study corporate governance. Based on feminist ethical theories, the article conceptualises a governance model that is different from the (...) current normative orthodoxy. (shrink)
This chapter explores the possibility of an alliance between Deleuze’s philosophy and feminist philosophy with respect to ethics. I begin by specifying some of the general points of convergence between Deleuzian ethics and feministethics. In the second section, I turn away from feministethics in particular to consider feminist engagement with Deleuze’s (and Deleuze and Guattari’s) work; in this section of the paper, I describe the central criticisms of Deleuze offered by (...)feminist philosophers and point out the aspects of his thought that have been valuable for feminist theorizing. In order to respond to what I take to be the overarching concern feminists have about Deleuze’s philosophy, the third section develops a proposal for a Deleuzian conception of ethics that is able to do (much of) what feminists require of an ethical theory. (shrink)
This is a revised edition of Walker's well-known book in feministethics first published in 1997. Walker's book proposes a view of morality and an approach to ethical theory which uses the critical insights of feminism and race theory to rethink the epistemological and moral position of the ethical theorist, and how moral theory is inescapably shaped by culture and history. The main gist of her book is that morality is embodied in "practices of responsibility" that express our (...) identities, values, and connections to others in socially patterned ways. Thus ethical theory needs to be empirically informed and politically critical to avoid reiterating forms of socially entrenched bias. Responsible ethical theory should reveal and question the moral significance of social differences. The book engages with, and challenges, the work of contemporary analytic philosophers in ethics. Moral Understandings has been influential in reaching a global audience in ethics and feminist philosophy, as well as in tangential fields like nursing ethics; research ethics; disability ethics; environmental ethics, and social and political theory. This revised edition contains a new preface, a substantive postscript to Chapter 1 about "the subject of moral philosophy"; the addition of a new chapter on the importance of emotion in practices of responsibility; and the addition of an afterword, which responds to critics of the book. (shrink)
In this paper I compare two very different deployments of love in ethics. Swami Vivekananda's concept of ethical love ties into the project of constructing an alternative masculinity for a colonized people; while feminist care ethics uses love to escape the perceived masculinity of traditional ethical theory. Using Kenneth Goodpaster's distinction between ‘framework questions’ and ‘application questions,’ I try to show that love in Practical Vedanta addresses the former while feminist care ethics concerns itself with (...) the latter. Even though this difference, I suggest, could be a function of their varying historical-political contexts, the two issues need to be taken together for a more complete understanding of the ethical subject. (shrink)
When feminist philosophers first turned their attention to traditional ethical theory, its almost exclusive emphasis upon justice, rights, abstract rationality, and individual autonomy came under special criticism. Women’s experiences seemed to suggest the need for a focus on care, empathetic relations, and the interdependence of persons.The most influential readings of what has become an extremely lively and fruitful debate are reproduced here along with important new contributions by Alison Jaggar and Sara Ruddick. As this volume testifies, there is no (...) agreement on the important questions about the relationship between justice and care, but the debate has deepened and enriched our understanding in many ways. Justice and Care is a valuable collection of readings—an essential tool for anyone studying the state of feminist thought in particular or ethical theory in general. (shrink)
Ethics: Classical Western Texts in Feminist and Multicultural Perspectives offers students a unique introduction to ethics by integrating the historical development of Western moral philosophy with both feminist and multicultural approaches. Engaging and accessible, it provides an introductory sampling of several of the classical works of the Western tradition in ethics and then situates these readings within feminist and multicultural perspectives so that they can be better understood and evaluated in our contemporary environment. While (...) some of the non-Western works parallel the views defended in the Western works (e.g., Confucius's work echoes that of Plato or Aristotle), others question the Western perspectives (e.g., American Indian works provide an interesting challenge to Western moral philosophy). Confucius, Jorge Valadez, Ward Churchill, Moshoeshoe II, and Eagle Man present multicultural perspectives to the works of Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Sartre, Rawls, MacIntyre, Korsgaard, and others. Noted feminists Christine de Pizan, Simone de Beauvoir, Carol Gilligan, Annette Baier, Susan Okin, and Rosemarie Radford Ruether also offer alternative views. Ideal for courses in introduction to ethics, history of ethics, and feministethics, Ethics: Classical Western Texts in Feminist and Multicultural Perspectives is also intriguing reading for interested general readers. (shrink)
Drawing on postmodernist analyses, Leaky Bodies and Boundaries presents a feminist investigation into the marginalization of women within western discourse that denies both female moral agency and bodylines. With reference to contemporary and historical issues in biomedicine, the book argues that the boundaries of both the subject and the body are no longer secure. The aim is both to valorize women and to suggest that "leakiness" may be the very ground for a postmodern feminist ethic. The contribution made (...) by Margrit Shildrick is to go beyond modernist feminisms to radically displace the mechanisms by which women are devalued. The anxiety that postmodernism cannot yield an ethics, nor advance feminist concerns is addressed. (shrink)
How should feminist philosophers regard the inequalities that structure the lives of women? Some of these inequalities are trivial and others are not; together they form a framework of unequal treatment that shapes women’s lives. This paper asks what priority we should give inequalities that affect women; it critically analyzes Claudia Card’s view that feminists ought to give evils priority. Sometimes ending gender-based inequalities is the best route to eliminating gender-based evil.
In this unique work, James P. Sterba argues that traditional ethics has yet to confront the three significant challenges posed by environmentalism, feminism, and multiculturalism. He maintains that while traditional ethics has been quite successful at dealing with the problems it faces, it has not addressed the possibility that its solutions to these problems are biased in favor of humans, men, and Western culture. In Three Challenges to Ethics: Environmentalism, Feminism, and Multiculturalism, Sterba examines each of these (...) challenges. In the case of environmentalism, he argues that traditional ethics must incorporate conflict resolution principles that favor nonhumans over humans in a significant range of cases. In terms of feminism, he maintains that traditional ethics should rule out gendered family structures and implement an ideal of androgyny. In regard to multiculturalism, he contends that traditional ethics must endorse an ethics that is secular in character and that can survive an extensive comparative evaluation of both Western and non-Western moral ideals and cultures. The only textbook devoted to this topic, Three Challenges to Ethics is an engaging text for introductory courses in ethics and moral problems and is also interesting and provocative reading for scholars and general readers. (shrink)
A feminist perspective on selfhood – bound to a perspective on otherness – is the main concern of this article. The resonance of this notion of selfhood both with ethical philosophy and with the language of humanism enables a deeper understanding of a feministethics as well as its internal tensions. The article considers the relationship of feminism and humanism as one of “paradoxical fluidity” rather than antithetical polarization, to explore the ways in which feminism’s alliance with (...) contemporary ethics exemplifies its paradoxical relation to humanism. The study then underlines the vital contribution of feminist discourse to an ethical understanding of selfhood and intersubjectivity. Finally, it examines the work of experimental Canadian poet Lola Lemire Tostevin, who reveals the importance of an ethical, feminist version of selfhood that highlights the insufficiency as well as the potential of both humanist and postmodern versions of subjectivity. (shrink)
Feminists are aware of the diversity of thinking within their own tradition, and of the different approaches to moral questions in which that is manifest. This book describes and analyses that diversity by distinguishing three distinct paradigms of moral reasoning to be found within feminism. Using the writings of feminists, the major strengths and weaknesses of each theory are considered, so that creative dialogue between them can be encouraged. Three common themes are drawn out - which are also on the (...) agenda of new developments in philosophical and Christian ethics: the search for an appropriate universalism, the possibility of a redemptive community and the development of a new humanism. Feminists may be encouraged, through this account of their considerable scholarship in ethical thinking, to contribute to these changes with their special concern for the lives and the fulfilment of women. (shrink)
The fields of medical ethics, bioethics, and women's studies have experienced unprecedented growth in the last forty years. Along with the rapid pace of development in medicine and biology, and changes in social expectations, moral quandaries about the body and social practices involving it have multiplied. Philosophers are uniquely situated to attempt to clarify and resolves these questions. Yet the subdiscipline of bioethics still in large part reflects mainstream scholars' lack of interest in gender as a category of analysis. (...) This volume aims to show how a feminist perspective advances bioethics. The author uncover inconsistencies in traditional arguments and argue for the importance of hitherto ignored factors in decision-making. The essays include theory and very specific examples that demonstrate the glaring inadequacy of mainstream bioethics, where gender bias is still often to be found, along with general lack of attention to women's concerns. (shrink)
What kind of challenge does sexual and racial difference pose for postmodern ethics? What is the relation between ethical obligation and feminist interpretations of embodiment, passion, and eros? How can we negotiate between ethical responsibility for the Other and democratic struggles against domination, injustice, and equality, on the one hand, and internal conflicts within the subject, on the other? We cannot address such questions, Ziarek argues, without putting into dialogue discourses that have hitherto been segregated: postmodern ethics, (...) feminism, race theory, and the idea of radical democracy. Addressing a constellation of diverse thinkers - including Emmanuel Levinas, Patricia Williams, Jean-François Lyotard, Michel Foucault, Frantz Fanon, Julia Kristeva, and Luce Irigaray - the author proposes a new conception of ethics, an ethics of dissensus that rethinks the relation between freedom and obligation in a double context of embodiment and antagonism. (shrink)
Some people believe that feministethics is little more than a series of dogmatic positions on issues such as abortion rights, pornography, and affirmative action.This caricature was never true, but Alison Jaggar’s Living with Contradictions is the first book to demonstrate just how rich and complex feministethics has become. Beginning with the modest assumption that feminism demands an examination of moral issues with a commitment to ending women’s subordination, this anthology shows that one can no (...) longer divide social issues into those that are feminist and those that are not. Living with Contradictions does address many of the traditionally “feminist” issues. But it also includes issues not generally recognized as gendered, such as militarism, environmentalism, and the treatment of animals, demonstrating the value of a feminist perspective in these cases. And, far from reflecting any monolithic orthodoxy, the book shows that there is a rich diversity of views on many moral issues among those who share a feminist commitment.Readers can sample a varied selection of papers and essays from books, journals, newspapers, and grassroots newsletters. Covering a wide range of moral issues, this collection refuses to offer simple solutions, choosing instead to reflect the complexities and contradictions facing anyone attempting to live up to feminist ideals in a painfully pre-feminist world.Based on years of the editor’s work in the field, imaginatively edited, and including generous introductions for students, this is the ideal text for introducing feminist perspectives into courses in ethics, social ethics, and public policy. (shrink)
This essay discusses the origins, biases, and effects on contemporary discussions of economics and ethics of the unexamined use of the metaphor an economy is a machine. Both neoliberal economics and many critiques of capitalist systems take this metaphor as their starting point. The belief that economies run according to universal laws of motion, however, is shown to be based on a variety of rationalist thinking that – while widely held – is inadequate for explaining lived human experience. (...) class='Hi'>Feminist scholarship in the philosophy of science and economics has brought to light some of the biases that have supported the mechanistic worldview. Possible alternatives to the an economy is a machine include an economy is a creative process and an economy is an organism. Such metaphors are intellectually defensible as guides to scientific inquiry and provide a richer ground for moral imagination. (shrink)
Introduction -- The ethics of care and global politics -- Rethinking human security -- 'Women's work' : the global care and sex economies -- Humanitarian intervention and global security governance -- Peacebuilding and paternalism : reading care through postcolonialism -- Health and human security : gender, care and HIV/AIDS -- Gender, care, and the ethics of environmental security -- Conclusion. Security through care.
This paper offers a critical investigation of the theological assumptions that lie within three forms of modern feministethics, with a view to challenging feministethics to enter the new theological possibilities opened up in postmodernity for the conceiving of god. The first part of the paper considers the conceiving of god in modern feminisms, in which theology becomes ethics. The consequences of this development are considered. The second part of the paper investigates the turn (...) into postmodernity which hears the saying of the death of god and the critique of onto-theology. This disturbance to the foundations of feministethics is understood as part of a wider critique of humanism manifest particularly in gender theory. That the end of the modern human subject might allow a conceiving of god through an understanding of the performative is the restored orthodoxy to which the paper points. (shrink)
The western philosophical tradition, with its focus on universal concepts and a presumed neuter, but ultimately male subject, has only relatively recently become open to the question of alterity, in particular the alterity of woman as the other of man. The essays of this volume reflect in particular on the ethical implications of taking the feminine other into account. This necessitates a rethinking of the implicit structures of Western philosophy which continue to exclude women as subjects who contribute to the (...) conceptualization of world and society. This volume, which gives voice to women philosophers, is a contribution to that task. (shrink)
This collaborative companion piece, written as a postscript to the three preceding essays, highlights four themes in comparative religious ethics that emerge through our focus on sex and gender: language, embodiment, justice, and critique.
This paper considers whether eudaimonism is necessarily an idealizing approach to ethics. I argue, contrary to what is implied by Christine Swanton, that it is not, and I suggest that a non-ideal eudaimonistic virtue ethics can be useful for feminist and critical race theorists. For eudaimonist theorists in the Aristotelian tradition, the claim that one should aim to live virtuously assumes that there will typically be good enough background conditions so that an exercise of the virtues, in (...) conjunction with these favorable external conditions, will suffice for someone to flourish both in the sense of living virtuously and in the sense of living well or living the good life. However, under some forms of oppression the background conditions will not be good enough, and thus an exercise of the virtues will often be insufficient to constitute a flourishing life. It may seem that eudaimonism, with its foregrounding of the concept of flourishing and its assumption of a tight connection between living virtuously and living well, may function as a form of ideology that elides the ways in which non-ideal and oppressive conditions can separate virtue from well-being and can make the state of flourishing (in its dual senses) unattainable. I point out that eudaimonism can be revised to incorporate the claim that virtue and flourishing may typically be unlinked, and I advocate retaining flourishing as an unattainable end, exercising the virtues even with a sense of their absurdity, and confronting the existential states of frustration and disappointment that may result. (shrink)
Stakeholder theory, as a method of management based on morals and behavior, must be grounded by a theory of ethics. However, traditional ethics of justice and rights cannot completely ground the theory. Following and expanding on the work of Wicks, Gilbert, and Freeman (1994), we believe that feministethics, invoking principles of caring, provides the missing element that allows moral theory to ground the stakeholder approach to management. Examples are given to support the suggested general principle (...) for making business decisions under feminist moral theory. (shrink)
Newcomers and more experienced feminist theorists will welcome this even-handed survey of the care/justice debate within feministethics. Grace Clement clarifies the key terms, examines the arguments and assumptions of all sides to the debate, and explores the broader implications for both practical and applied ethics. Readers will appreciate her generous treatment of the feminine, feminist, and justice-based perspectives that have dominated the debate.Clement also goes well beyond description and criticism, advancing the discussion through the (...) incorporation of a broad range of insights into a new integration of the values of care and justice. Care, Autonomy, and Justice marks a major step forward in our understanding of feministethics. It is both direct and helpful enough to work as an introduction for students and insightful and original enough to make it necessary reading for scholars. (shrink)
Over the past thirty-odd years, the feminist contribution of the ethic of care has changed the way in which scholars and ‘lay people’ think about and approach ethical practices in our contemporary society. These changes are important in two significant ways. First, the contribution of feminist work to the body of ethics as a whole is a valuable addition. Second, by drawing attention to the concrete context of moral decision-making, particularly the notion of care, feminist scholars (...) have opened the door for meaningful discussion and understanding of the word care as it is involved in moral decision-making. The latter is where Lonergan’s theory of ethics is most beneficial.The article is written in four sections. It begins with a brief review of a feminist perspective on the ethic of care; a second section explores Lonergan’s identification of levels of consciousness as relevant to feminist notions of care; a third section explores the influence of Aquinas on Lonergan’s theory of ethics and richly applies this fuller context (linking feelings, plans, actions and decisions) to feminist contributions; a final section enlarges significantly on the meaning of the word care by introducing Lonergan’s idea of functional specialization as an ‘ethic of ethics’ that will care about the field of ethics in a radically new way. (shrink)
If business requires ethical solutions that are viable in the liminal landscape between concepts and corporate office, then business ethics and corporate social responsibility should offer tools that can survive the trek, that flourish in this well-traveled, but often unarticulated, environment. Indeed, feministethics produces, accesses, and engages such tools. However, work in BE and CSR consistently conflates feministethics and feminine ethics and care ethics. I offer clarification and invoke the analytic power (...) of three feminist ethicists 'in action' whose investigations into the "grey zones" of harms; identity and representational conventions; and "asymmetrical reciprocity" harmonize with business ethics' requirements. (shrink)
Feministethics supports the contemporary educational trend toward increased multiculturalism and a diminished emphasis on the Western canon. First, I outline a feminist ethical justification for this development. Second, I argue that Western canon studies should not be altogether abandoned in a multicultural curriculum. Third, I suggest that multicultural education should help combat oppression in addition to simply promoting awareness of diversity. Fourth, I caution against an arrogant moralism in the teaching of multiculturalism.
Should feminist ethical theories include rights as a component? There is a tension between feminist politics and the endorsement of the language of “women’s rights,” and feministethics and its critique of rights.1 In this paper I begin the project of reconciling moral theories that include rights as a component with feminist criticisms of rights. There are two parts to this project. First, I must respond to the criticisms feminists have made against rights theories in (...) order to show that it is possible for a moral theory that includes rights to be a feminist moral theory. Answering these criticisms is necessary if I am to establish that moral theories that include rights are among the candidate theories from which feminists might choose. Second, I must develop a feminist moral theory that encompasses rights, and argue for its superiority to other sorts of moral theories in order to show that a moral theory that encompasses rights is a plausible feminist moral theory. Going beyond responding to criticisms and developing a positive feminist rights theory is necessary if feminists are to find rights theories to be attractive candidate moral theories.2 In this paper I am concerned mostly with the first part of the project, responding to some feminist arguments against theorizing about morality in terms of rights, although in the course of responding to the objections I make remarks that might suggest ways in which some rights theories might be developed as feminist moral theories. (shrink)
This article surveys recent feminist contributions to moral philosophy with an emphasis on those works which engage with debates within mainstream ethics. The article begins by examining a tension said to arise from the two criteria a theory must meet if it is to count as feminist moral theory: the women's experience requirement and the feminist conclusion requirement. Subsequent sections deal with feminist relational theories of rights, feminist work on responsibility and feminist contractarian (...) approaches to ethics. A final section looks at the application of some feminist moral theories to the problem of abortion. (shrink)
There are at least two models of what it is to be a feminist ethicist or moral philosopher. One model requires that one accept a distinctively feminist ethical theory. I will argue against this model by arguing that since the concept of a feminist ethical theory is highly unclear, any claim that ethicists who are feminist need one is also unclear and inadequately defended. I will advocate what I call a "minimal model" of feminist (...) class='Hi'>ethics, arguing that it is philosophically and practically sufficient to meet feminist goals. (shrink)
: Antiracist white feminists and ecofeminists have the tools but lack the strategies for responding to issues of social and environmental justice cross-culturally, particularly in matters as complex as the Makah whale hunt. Distinguishing between ethical contexts and contents, I draw on feminist critiques of cultural essentialism, ecofeminist critiques of hunting and food consumption, and socialist feminist analyses of colonialism to develop antiracist feminist and ecofeminist strategies for cross-cultural communication and cross-cultural feministethics.
This article compares Confucian ethics of Jen and feministethics of care. It attempts to show that they share philosophically significant common grounds. Its findings affirm the view that care-orientation in ethics is not a characteristic peculiar to one sex. It also shows that care-orientation is not peculiar to subordinated social groups. Arguing that the oppression of women is not an essential element of Confucian ethics, the author indicates the Confucianism and feminism are compatible.
Many feminist philosophers have been highly critical of Kant’s ethics, either because of his rationalism or because of particular claims he makes about women in his writings on anthropology and political philosophy. In this paper, I call attention to the aspects of Kant’s ethical theory that make it attractive from a feminist standpoint. Kant’s duties to oneself are rich resource for feminism. These duties require women to act in ways that show respect for themselves as rational human (...) agents by, e.g., avoiding servility, self-deception, self-mutilation, and sexual self-degradation, and cultivating their natural talents (as well as their virtue). Duties to others demand that other people treat women respectfully by requiring that they avoid mocking, degrading, or acting arrogantly toward others. Indeed, even when one sets out to promote others’ happiness, Kant’s ethics requires that one not act paternalistically. Kant’s ethics insists that every rational agent recognize the equality and dignity of all rational agents. Thus, it pushes women to respect themselves and to demand respect from others; and it pushes men to respect women as a basic moral requirement. (shrink)
In this essay, I trace the development of Julia Kristeva's theory and practice of "the subject in process/on trial" from her semiotic works of the 1960s to her psychoanalytic writings of the 1970s and 1980s. I read Kristeva's exploration of this "subject in process/on trial" as contributing to a postmodern feministethics.
I distinguish two ways that a cultural practice may be inherently objectionable. I reject the claim that polygamy is inherently "vicious" because asymmetric marriages are inevitably inegalitarian. I argue that there is good reason to think polygamy is inherently "bankrupt" insofar as a cultural ideal of asymmetric marriage presupposes stereotypical gender roles.
The role of agape in Christian ethics has been a major concern for twentieth century ethicists. In America, the dominant ethical position has stressed other-regard--often pressed to the point of significant personal sacrifice--as the content of agape. Feminist ethicists are now criticizing an exclusive emphasis on other-regard. They are stressing the need for a healthy self-regard and hence they are exploring mutuality as the most appropriate image of Christian love.