Feminism, Family, and Women's Rights: A Hermeneutic Realist Perspective

Zygon 38 (2):317-332 (2003)
In this article I apply the insights of hermeneutic realism to a practical-theological ethics that addresses the international crisis of families and women’s rights. Hermeneutic realism affirms the hermeneutic philosophy of Hans-Georg Gadamer but enriches it with the dialectic of participation and distanciation developed by Paul Ricoeur. This approach finds a place for sciences such as evolutionary psychology within a hermeneutically informed ethic. It also points to a multidimensional model of practical reason that views it as implicitly or explicitly involving five levels---background metaphysical visions, some principle of obligation, assumptions about pervasive human tendencies and needs, assumptions about constraining social and natural environments, and assumed acceptable rules of conduct. The fruitfulness of this multidimensional view of practical reason is then demonstrated by applying it to practical-theological ethics and the analysis of four theorists of women’s rights---Martha Nussbaum, Susan Moller Okin, Lisa Cahill, and Mary Ann Glendon. Finally, I illustrate the importance and limits of the visional dimension of practical reason by discussing the concept of “Africanity‘ in relation to the family and AIDS crisis of Eastern Africa
Keywords practical-theological ethics
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/1467-9744.00502
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,442
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Susan Moller Okin (1991). Justice, Gender, and the Family. Philosophy and Public Affairs 20 (1):77-97.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Shari Stone-Mediatore (2004). Women's Rights and Cultural Differences. Studies in Practical Philosophy 4 (2):111-133.
Joseph L. Allen (1974). A Theological Approach to Moral Rights. Journal of Religious Ethics 2 (1):119 - 141.
Temma Kaplan (2000). Women's Rights Are Human Rights. Studies in Practical Philosophy 2 (1):50-63.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

163 ( #25,899 of 1,925,098 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

24 ( #20,296 of 1,925,098 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.