Simone de Beauvoir offers one of the most interesting philosophical accounts of childhood, and, as numerous scholars have argued, it is one of the most important contributions that she made to existentialism. Beauvoir stressed the importance of childhood on one's ability to assume one's freedom. This radically changed how freedom was construed for existentialism. Rather than positing an adult subjectivity that tries to flee freedom through bad faith, Beauvoir's account forces a recognition of a situated freedom that itself is also (...) developmentally achieved. In this article, I explore the influence of Jean-Jacques Rousseau on Beauvoir's discussion of childhood. By reading Beauvoir through Rousseau — who was one of her favorite authors — we see not just one but two accounts of childhood in Beauvoir's philosophical work. On the one hand is the idealistic childhood wherein the child is an apprentice to freedom. On the other is the constrained childhood whose product is apprenticed to the serious. I begin with a brief summary of Rousseau's Emile. Next, I offer some justification for reading Beauvoir alongside Rousseau before offering an account of Beauvoir's discussion of childhood. I end by exploring some of the implications of my reading for freedom. (shrink)
introduction content or expectations of every form of solidarity, thereby identifying the traits that distinguish solidarity from camaraderie, community, association, and other social groupings. this marks solidarity as a morally rich concept for ...
What is at stake when students sell the highly sought-after basketball tickets they receive for free through a university’s lottery system? This article discusses a case in applied ethics taken from the experience of college students and extrapolates from that to the distribution of other scarce resources using lotteries. By examining an event relevant to the actual experience of students, we challenge them to see how normative moral theory may be used and what values are central to moral decision-making. The (...) case includes four analyses from different perspectives and a teaching note. (shrink)
: 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 (...) the physical relations of the subjective lived-body rather than the genetic or biological connections. Instead of universalizing claims about the maternal body, embodied maternity looks to communicable experiences and empathetic understanding. (shrink)
This paper looks at some prominent discussions of rape in war as a violation of human rights within Radical Feminism. I begin with a brief overview of United Nations declarations and actions on the subject of rape in war. I then look at some radical feminist accounts of rape in war as a violation of human rights with particular emphasis on the discussions of Susan Brownmiller and Catharine MacKinnon. I conclude the paper with a critical analysis of these radical feminist (...) accounts and show how our human rights talk must distinguish between types of rape in war situations or risk silencing the individual victims. (shrink)
Social criticism can take on many forms ranging from theoretical exposition to non-violent protests. This paper considers literary art as a form of social criticism and uses Morrison's novel Paradise as the exemplary case to show that the confrontation of unjust ideas through social criticism is essential in building non-oppressive relations open to diversity. In this sense, social criticism is a paradigm of communication that, although often entailing conflict, ultimately aims at reconciliation. I begin with a discussion of social criticism (...) followed by a short synopsis of the novel. I then examine the novel as social criticism focusing on a process I call "twinning." The paper ends with a critical evaluation of the power and possibilities of literary art as social criticism. (shrink)
Catholic Social Teaching of late has a lot more in common with feminist moral theory than might be evident at first glance. After a brief explanation of Catholic Social Teaching’s duty of solidarity, and a look at some of the feminist critiques of this solidarity, I point out some of the significant similarities between feminist ethics and the duty of solidarity. The last section focuses on community and care, the epistemological role of experience and the world view of the other, (...) the centrality of self-determination, and the final goal of both the duty of solidarity and feminist ethics: liberation from oppression. (shrink)
In this article I define civil disobedience and classify it into four forms based on motive and extent of dissent. I then present Thomas Aquinas's account for justified civil disobedience. After first determining how a law or system of laws is unjust, the duty (virtue) of obedience to just and unjust laws is discussed. Finally, I argue that of the four possible forms of civil disobedience, Aquinas's natural Law Theory only clearly allows the fourth, i.e., altruistic disobedience of an unjust (...) system of rule, while at times also apparently allowing the third, i.e., altruistic disobedience of an unjust law. (shrink)