In The Bodies of Women , Rosalyn Diprose argues that traditional approaches to ethics both perpetuate and remain blind to the mechanisms of the subordination of women. She shows that injustice against women begins in the ways that social discourses and practices place women's embodied existence as improper and secondary to men. She intervenes into debates about sexual difference, ethics, philosophies of the body and theories of self in order to develop a new ethics which places sexual difference at the (...) very center of meaning. Diprose analyzes attempts in both feminist and non-feminist ethics to recognize the role of sexual difference. She critiques biomedical discourses whose descriptions mask a constitution and regulation of "the body." Drawing on insights from continental philosophy and feminist theory, The Bodies of Women includes critical readings of Hegel, Nietzsche, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida and Foucault as well as productive engagementwith contemporary feminist scholars such as Irigaray, Cornell and Young. What emerges is a unique approach to the ethics of sexual difference which both locates and subverts mechanisms of sexual discrimination. (shrink)
The basic relationship between people should be care, and the caring life is the highest which humans can live. Unfortunately, care that is not thoughtful slides into illegitimate intrusion on autonomy. Autonomy is a basic good, and we should not abridge it without good reason. On the other hand, it is not the only good. We must sometimes intervene in the lives of others to protect them from grave harms or provide them with important benefits. The reflective person, therefore, needs (...) guidelines for caring. Some contemporary moralists condemn paternalism categorically. This work examines weaknesses in their arguments and proposes new guidelines for paternalism, which it calls "parentalism" to avoid the patriarchal connotations of the old term. Its antiparentalism is more moderate than standard antipaternalism based on an exaggerated respect for autonomy. The work explores implications for both the personal sphere of interactions between individuals, such as friends and family members, and the public sphere of institutions, legislation, and the professional practices. (shrink)
Frames of Deceit is a philosophical investigation of the nature of trust in public and private life. It examines how trust originates, how it is challenged, and how it is recovered when moral and political imperfections collide. In politics, rulers may be called upon to act badly for the sake of a political good, and in private life intimate attachments are formed in which the costs of betrayal are high. This book asks how trust is tested by human goods, moral (...) character, and power relations. It explores whether an individual's experience of betrayal differs totally from that of a community when it loses and then seeks to recover a vital public trust. Although this is a work of political philosophy it is distinctive in examining three literary texts--Sophocles' Philoctetes, Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida, and Zola's The;rèse Raquin--in order to deepen our understanding of the place of trust in morality and politics. (shrink)
Spanning nearly two decades, from 1980 to 1996, this Reader investigates the debates which have best characterized feminist theory. Including such articles as Pornography and Fantasy, The Body and Cinema, Nature as Female, and A Manifesto for Cyborgs, the extracts examine thoughts on sexualtiy as a domain of exploration, the visual representation of women, what being a feminist means, and why feminists are increasingly involved in political struggles to negotiate the context and meaning of technological development. With writings by bell (...) hooks, Alice Jardine, and Andrea Dworkin, this mulit-cultural Reader reflects the dynamic nature of feminist debates and the genuine diversity within current feminist theory. Capturing the sense of the rapid movement within feminist theory and criticism, Feminisms is ideal for anyone interested in feminism and the history behind it. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophers have grown increasingly skeptical toward both morality and moral theory. Some argue that moral theory is a radically misguided enterprise that does not illuminate moral practice, while others simply deny the value of morality in human life. In this important new book, Louden responds to the arguments of both "anti-morality" and "anti-theory" skeptics. In Part One, he develops and defends an alternative conception of morality, which, he argues, captures more of the central features of both Aristotelian and Kantian (...) ethics than do other contemporary models, and enables the central importance of morality to be convincingly reaffirmed. In Louden's model, morality is primarily a matter of what one does to oneself, rather than what one does or does not do to others. This model eliminates the gulf that many anti-morality critics say exists between morality's demands and the personal point of view. Louden further argues that morality's primary focus should be on agents and their lives, rather than on right actions, and that it is always better to be morally better--i.e. it is impossible to be "too moral." Part Two presents Louden's alternative conception of moral theory. Here again he draws on the work of Aristotle and Kant, showing that their moral theories have far more in common than is usually thought, and that those features that they share can be the basis for a viable moral theory that is immune to the standard anti-theory objections. Louden reaffirms the necessity and importance of moral theory in human life, and shows that moral theories fulfill a variety of genuine and indispensable human needs. (shrink)
Justice and Christian Ethics is a study in the meaning and foundations of justice in modern society. Written from a theological perspective, its focus is upon the interaction of religion and law in their common pursuit of justice. Consideration is given, first, to the historical roots of justice in the classical tradition of virtue (Aristotle and Aquinas) and in the biblical ideas of covenant and the righteousness of God. Subsequent chapters trace the relationships between justice, law, and virtue in Puritanism, (...) in Locke, and in the founding documents of the American Republic in the late eighteenth century. In his concluding section, the author develops a covenantal interpretation of justice which includes both law and virtue, both human rights and the common good. Special attention is given to the pluralistic character of modern political societies; to criteria of distributive justice; and to religious resources for the renewal and transformation of justice. (shrink)
Why does agency--the capacity to make choices and to act in the world--matter to us? Why is it meaningful that our intentions have effects in the world, that they reflect our sense of identity, that they embody what we value? What kinds of motivations are available for political agency and judgment in an age that lacks the enthusiasm associated with the great emancipatory movements for civil rights and gender equality? What are the conditions for the possibility of being an effective (...) agent when the meaning of democracy has become less transparent? David Kyuman Kim addresses these crucial questions by uncovering the political, moral, philosophical, and religious dimensions of human agency. Kim treats agency as a form of religious experience that reflects implicit and explicit notions of the good. Of particular concern are the moral, political, and religious motivations that underpin an understanding of agency as meaningful action. Through a critical engagement with the work of theorists such as Judith Butler, Charles Taylor, and Stanley Cavell, Kim argues that late modern and postmodern agency is found most effectively at work in what he calls "projects of regenerating agency" or critical and strategic responses to loss. Agency as melancholic freedom begins and endures, Kim maintains, through the moral and psychic losses associated with a broad range of experiences, including the moral identities shaped by secularized modernity and the multifold forms of alienation experienced by those who suffer the indignities of racial, gender, class, and sexuality discrimination and oppression. Kim calls for renewing the sense of urgency in our political and moral engagements by seeing agency as a vocation, where the aspiration for self-transformation and the human need for hope are fundamental concerns. (shrink)
This stimulating collection of essays in ethics eschews the simple exposition and refinement of abstract theories. Rather, the author focuses on everyday moral issues, often neglected by philosophers, and explores the deeper theoretical questions which they raise. Such issues are: Is it wrong to tell a lie to protect someone from a painful truth? Should one commit a lesser evil to prevent another from doing something worse? Can one be both autonomous and compassionate? Other topics discussed are servility, weakness of (...) will, suicide, obligations to oneself, snobbery, and environmental concerns. A feature of the collection is the contrast of Kantian and utilitarian answers to these problems. The essays are crisply and lucidly written and will appeal to both teachers and students of philosophy. (shrink)
How Do I Save My Honor? is a powerful exploration of individual moral responsibility in a time of war. When individuals conclude that their leaders have violated fundamental ethical principles, what are they to do? Through the compelling personal stories of those in the U.S. and British government and military who struggled with these thorny issues during the war in Iraq, William F. Felice analyzes the degrees of moral responsibility that public officials, soldiers, and private citizens bear for the actions (...) of their governments. Examining the struggles of these contemporary men and women, as well as of historical figures facing similar dilemmas, the author weighs the profound difficulties of overcoming the intense pressures of misguided loyalty, patriotism, and groupthink that predominate during war. (shrink)
The case for dialogue -- Increasing moral capital through moral imagination -- The art of ethical dialogue -- Intelligent spirituality in business -- Spirituality in (and out) of the classroom -- Listening to the anxious atheists -- Beyond the flat world metaphor -- Dialogue as a restraint on wealth -- The limits of dialogue.
Theorizing Black Feminisms outlines some of the crucial debates going on among Black feminists today. In doing so it brings together a collection of some of the most exciting work by Black women scholars. The book encompasses a wide range of diverse subjects and refuses to be limited by notions of disciplinary boundaries or divisions between theory and practice. Theorizing Black Feminisms combines essays on literature, sociology, history, political science, anthropology, and art. As such it will be vital reading for (...) anyone--activist, student, artist or scholar--interested in exploring the multidisciplinary possibilities for Black feminism. Most importantly, each essay in the volume begins with the assumption that Black women are not simply victims of various oppressions. Rather, they are visionary and pragmatic agents of change. Contributors: Evelyn Barbee, University of Wisconsin; Rose Brewer, University of Minnesota; Cheryl Clarke, Rutgers University; Johnnetta Cole, Spelman College; Cindy Courville, Occidental College; Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Spelman College; Marilyn Little, University of Wisconsin; Nellie McKay, University of Wisconsin; O'molara Ogundipe, Rutgers University; Christine Obbo, Wayne State University; Loretta Ross, Center for Democratic Renewal, Atlanta. (shrink)
However, if we take a more generous view about possibility, then more alternatives present themselves. The best of these may be something that we formerly took to be impossible, and which is better than the best of the earlier possibilities.
This is a bold and controversial feminist, philosophical critique of postmodernism. While providing a brief and accessible introduction to postmodernist feminist thought, Enlightened Women is also a unique defence of realism and enlightenment philosophy. The first half of the book covers an analysis of some of the most influential postmodernist theorists, such as Luce Irigaray and Judith Butler. In the second half Alison Assiter advocates a return to modernism in feminism. She argues, against the current orthodoxy, that there can be (...) a distinction between "sex" and "gender". For students trying to pick their way through the maze of literature in the area of postmodernist feminism, Enlightened Women is a concise guide to contemporary thought - as well as a radical contribution to the debate. (shrink)
This book brings recent developments in Anglo-American philosophy into engagement with dominant currents in contemporary European social theory in order to articulate a pragmatic account of moral criticism. Presented in a lively and accessible style that avoids technical jargon, Morality and Social Criticism argues that the objectivity of moral discourse can be preserved without recourse to the overweening philosophical ambitions of the Enlightenment.
Fred Feldman is an important philosopher, who has made a substantial contribution to utilitarian moral philosophy. This collection of ten previously published essays plus a new introductory essay reveal the striking originality and unity of his views. Feldman's version of utilitarianism differs from traditional forms in that it evaluates behaviour by appeal to the values of accessible worlds. These worlds are in turn evaluated in terms of the amounts of pleasure they contain, but the conception of pleasure involved is a (...) novel one and the formulation of hedonism improved. In Feldman's view pleasure is not a feeling but a propositional attitude. He also deals with problems of justice that affect standard forms of utilitarianism. The collection is ideally suited for courses on contemporary utilitarian theory. (shrink)
Morals from Motives develops a virtue ethics inspired more by Hume and Hutcheson's moral sentimentalism than by recently-influential Aristotelianism. It argues that a reconfigured and expanded "morality of caring" can offer a general account of right and wrong action as well as social justice. Expanding the frontiers of ethics, it goes on to show how a motive-based "pure" virtue theory can also help us to understand the nature of human well-being and practical reason.
This is a book about moral reasoning: how we actually reason and how we ought to reason. It defends a form of "rule" utilitarianism whereby we must sometimes judge and act in moral questions in accordance with generally accepted rules, so long as the existence of those rules is justified by the good they bring about. The author opposes the currently more fashionable view that it is always right for the individual to do that which produces the most good. Among (...) the salient topics covered are: an account of the utilitarian function in society of generally accepted moral rules; a discussion of how we interpret existing moral rules and create new ones; and a defense of "rule" utilitarianism against the charge that it either commits one to irrational rule worship, or collapses into a form of "act" utilitarianism. (shrink)
What is happiness? How is it related to morality and virtue? Does living with illusion promote or diminish happiness? Is it better to pursue happiness with a partner than alone? Philosopher Mike W. Martin addresses these and other questions as he connects the meaning of happiness with the philosophical notion of "the good life." Defining happiness as loving one's life and valuing it in ways manifested by ample enjoyment and a deep sense of meaning, Martin explores the ways in which (...) happiness interacts with all other dimensions of good lives--in particular with moral decency and goodness, authenticity, mental health, self-fulfillment, and meaningfulness. He interweaves a variety of examples from memoirs, novels, and films along the way, connecting his discussion of the philosophical issues to related topics that interest all of us: virtue, love, philanthropy, suffering, simplicity, balancing work and leisure, and much more. Drawing on wide-ranging and robust evidence, Martin also makes the case that we need a "politics of happiness" whereby government would apply the results of recent "happiness studies" in psychology to public policy. (shrink)
This interdisciplinary study of commitment draws on the disciplines of theology, philosophy, and psychology to demonstrate the importance of trust in midlife adulthood. It gives particular attention to the place of trust in resolving tensions surrounding commitments. Taking a relational perspective, this text addresses the various aspects of commitment as they affect the self, the community, and God. Several midlife people serve as test cases to illustrate the crucial role of trust for those who are called to reassess interpersonal commitments (...) at midlife. Contents: An Ethics of Trust; Marcel on Philosophy of Trust; Theology of Trust; Psychology of Trust; and An Ethics of Trust; Trust and Commitment in Adulthood. (shrink)
What does it take to follow and not merely admire Jesus? How do religious affections reshape the practice of Christian values like love, peace, justice, and compassion? How can they possess both universal truth and local meaning? What role can they play in public life? In Fidelity of Heart Gilman answers these questions, while showing, in an innovative and provocative approach, how Christians can practice these values in ways continuous with the life of Jesus.
We often speak of a person's character--good or bad, strong or weak--and think of it as a guide to how that person will behave in a given situation. Oddly, however, philosophers writing about ethics have had virtually nothing to say about the role of character in ethical behavior. What is character? How does it relate to having a self, or to the process of moral decision? Are we responsible for our characters? Character answers these questions, and goes on to examine (...) the place of character in ethical philosophy. Both the Kantian and utilitarian traditions, Kupperman argues, have largely ignored the ways in which decisions are integrated over time, and instead provide a "snapshot" model of moral decision. Kupperman demonstrates the deficiencies of a number of classic and contemporary ethical theories that do not take account of the idea of character, and offers his own character-based theory. Along the way he touches on such subjects as personal identity, the importance of happiness, moral education, and the definition of a valuable life. (shrink)
Changing the Wor(l)d draws on feminist publishing, postmodern theory and feminist autobiography to powerfully critique both liberal feminism and scholarship on the women's movement, arguing that both ignore feminism's unique contributions to social analysis and politics. These contributions recognize the power of discourse, the diversity of women's experiences, and the importance of changing the world through changing consciousness. Young critiques social movement theory and five key studies of the women's movement, arguing that gender oppression can be understood only in relation (...) to race, sexuality, class and ethnicity; and that feminist activism has always gone beyond the realm of public policy to emphasize improving women's circumstances through transforming discourse and consciousness. Young examines feminist discursive politics, critiques social science methodology, and proposes an alternative approach to understanding the women's movement. This approach explores feminist publishing and feminist autobiographical writing as examples of discursive activism with broadly subversive potential. (shrink)
Irigaray offers the clearest available introduction to her own work. Focusing on power, women, gender and patriarchal mythologies, she lays out what for her has become the central problem for women in the modern world.