Under patriarchy, the rationally autonomous agent engages in contractual relations in a marketplace society. The contractual model reinforces a negative conception of the vulnerable as weak and as susceptible to injury and exploitation. Recent feminist writing has a positive notion of vulnerability that is in conflict with contractualism. Positive notions of vulnerability, the paper argues, are found in Virginia Held’s conception of mothering, Nel Noddings’ analysis of teaching, and Annette Baier’s development of trust as essential for social relationships
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 1077-1999
DOI 10.5840/pcw1996314
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