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)
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)
Integrity is one of the most hotly debated topics in applied philosophy today. In this new work, men and women of varied practical and theoretical experience engage in rigorous debate in an effort to better understand the specific demands of integrity in their respective professions.
Leading contemporary Jewish thinker David Novak has here compiled ten of his essays on a variety of issues in Jewish ethics. Drawing constantly on classical Jewish tradition, Novak also looks at a wide range of modern critical scholarship on the ancient sources. He aims to point out certain common features of Jewish and Christian ethics and the normative implications of this overlapping of traditions; he assumes the reality of a "Judeo-Christian ethic," while refusing to minimize the doctrinal differences between the (...) two traditions. The essays address such major normative issues in social justice as ecology, war and peace, the treatment of minorities, and the approach to AIDS patients. This combination of theoretical reflection and practical application, along with careful and detailed analysis of classical Jewish texts, makes the book a welcome contribution to contemporary ethical theory and normative ethics as well as a work of original Jewish theology. (shrink)
Objects of Hope brings ranging scholarship and refreshing candor to bear on the knotty issue of what can and cannot be achieved in the course of psychoanalytic therapy. It will be valued not only as an exemplary exercise in comparative psychoanaly.
Caring extends and challenges recent debates over feminist ethics by taking issue with accounts of the ethics of care which try to pin down the "principles" of caring, rather than understanding the practice of caring. It explores four main caring practices: mothering, friendship, nursing and citizenship. Bowden's consideration of the differences and similarities in these working practices reveals the complexity of the ethics of caring.
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)
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)
In Moral Passages, Kathryn Pyne Addelson presents an original moral theory suited for contemporary life and its moral problems. Her basic principle is that knowledge and morality are generated in collective action, and she develops it through a critical examination of theories in philosophy, sociology and women's studies, most of which hide the collective nature and as a result hide the lives and knowledge of many people. At issue are the questions of what morality is, and how moral theories (whether (...) traditional or feminist) are implemented. Addelson takes up a large number of historical cases and contemporary social problems, including teen pregnancy, contraception and abortion, and gay rights. These cases allow her to see how the knowledge and lives of some people are declared deviant or immoral, while those of others appear to show the public consensus. One case she uses throughout the book is Margaret Sanger's early work on birth control with the anarcho-syndicalist movement--a revisionist history that reveals rather than hides the collective nature of morality and knowledge. Addelson shows how the usual individualist philosophies promote theories which hide the authority of the professionals who make them. A collectivist approach, she argues, must show the part professionals play in collective action. Her aim is to allow professional knowledge makers to be morally and intellectually responsible. Based on Addelson's twenty years of work in feminist philosophy and interactionist sociology as well as her long-standing involvement in women's community organization, Moral Passages investigates how morality and knowledge are collectively enacted in today's world. (shrink)
In this controversial new book O'Hear takes a stand against the fashion for explaining human behavior in terms of evolution. He contends that while the theory of evolution is successful in explaining the development of the natural world in general, it is of limited value when applied to the human world. Because of our reflectiveness and our rationality we take on goals and ideals which cannot be justified in terms of survival-promotion or reproductive advantage. O'Hear examines the nature of human (...) self-consciousness, and argues that evolutionary theory cannot give a satisfactory account of such distinctive facets of human life as the quest for knowledge, moral sense, and the appreciation of beauty; in these we transcend our biological origins. It is our rationality that allows each of us to go beyond not only our biological but also our cultural inheritance: as the author says in the Preface, "we are prisoners neither of our genes nor of the ideas we encounter as we each make our personal and individual way through life.". (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.
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)
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 ...
In Minds and Bodies, one of philosophy's most dynamic and versatile thinkers gathers nearly forty review essays written over the past twenty years for publications of a nonspecialized kind. They cover biography, particularly of Russell and Wittgenstein; philosophy of mind, especially consciousness; and ethics, with an emphasis on applied ethics. Lucid and accessible, these essays together form a vivid picture of contemporary philosophy for the general reader, and will be welcomed by those within the philosophical community for their crisp critical (...) insights and rigorous assessments. (shrink)
John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism is one of the most important philosophical works of the nineteenth century. Its advocacy of utilitarianism--the view that individual and political action should be directed at the "greatest happiness"--not only influenced political life, but attracted a great deal of criticism. This is the first book dedicated to the interpretation and critical discussion of this significant work.
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)
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)
Drawing on the disciplines of Islamic and Christian Ethics, International Affairs, Environmental Science, History and Anthropology, Sustainable Diplomacy: Ecology, Religion and Ethics in Muslim-Christian Relations is a highly constructive work. Set in the context of modern Moroccan-Spanish relations, this text is a direct critique of realism as it is practiced in modern diplomacy. Proposing a new eco-centric approach to relations between nation-states and bioregions, Wellman presents the case for Ecological Realism, an undergirding philosophy for conducting a diplomacy that values the (...) role of popular religions, ecological histories, and the consumption and waste patterns of national populations. Sustainable Diplomacy is thus a means of building relations not only between elites but also between people on the ground, as they together face the real possibility of global ecological destruction. (shrink)
Conventional wisdom and commonsense morality tend to take the integrity of persons for granted. But for people in systematically unjust societies, self-respect and human dignity may prove to be impossible dreams.Susan Babbitt explores the implications of this insight, arguing that in the face of systemic injustice, individual and social rationality may require the transformation rather than the realization of deep-seated aims, interests, and values. In particular, under such conditions, she argues, the cultivation and ongoing exercise of moral imagination is necessary (...) to discover and defend a more humane social vision. Impossible Dreams is one of those rare books that fruitfully combines discourses that were previously largely separate: feminist and antiracist political theory, analytic ethics and philosophy of mind, and a wide range of non-philosophical literature on the lives of oppressed peoples around the world. It is both an object lesson in reaching across academic barriers and a demonstration of how the best of feminist philosophy can be in conversation with the best of “mainstream” philosophy—as well as affect the lives of real people. (shrink)
Donald Broom argues that morality and the central components of religion are of great value, and presents two central ideas. He asserts that morality has a biological foundation and has evolved as a consequence of natural selection, and that religions are essentially the structures supporting morality. Many philosophers and theologians write about morality and its origins without reference to biological processes such as evolution. Likewise, biologists discuss phenomena of importance to human morality and religion without taking account of the thoughts (...) of others on these subjects. (shrink)
Cultural Differences and Women's Rights Ayelet Shachar. (drawing on a group's desire to maintain property within the community), and the state might hold the authority over demarcation (drawing on state traditions to protect the status of ...
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)
Contractarianism in some form has been at the center of recent debates in moral and political philosophy. Jean Hampton was one of the most gifted philosophers involved in these debates and provided both important criticisms of prominent contractarian theories plus powerful defenses and applications of the core ideas of contractarianism. In these essays, she brought her distinctive approach, animated by concern for the intrinsic worth of persons, to bear on topics such as guilt, punishment, self-respect, family relations, and the maintenance (...) and justification of the state. Edited by Daniel Farnham, this collection is an essential contribution to understanding the problems and prospectus of contractarianism in moral, legal and political philosophy. (shrink)
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.
Feminist Amnesia is an important challenge to contemporary academic feminism. Jean Curthoys argues that the intellectual decline of university arts education and the loss of a deep moral commitment in feminism are related phenomena. The contradiction set up by the radical ideas of the 1960s, and institutionalised life of many of its protagonists in the academy, has produced a special kind of intellectual distortion. This book criticizes current trends in feminist theory from the perspective of forgotten and allegedly outdated feminist (...) ideas. (shrink)
From Bernard Boxill, professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and editor of Race and Racism, comes a tightly-argued, very illuminating book that will be essential reading for anyone interested in ...
Introduction : critical ethics, or, the subject of reform -- An ethics of Gesellschaft -- The "new ethic" : a particularist challenge -- Conflicted sexualities and conflicted secularisms -- Global influences, local responses -- Moral laws and impossible laws : the "female homosexual" and the Criminal Code -- Social matters : social democracy and the ethics of materialism -- Losses and unlikely legacies : psychoanalysis and femininity -- Afterword : moral citizenship, or, ethics beyond the law.