Hypatia 26 (3):535-553 (2011)
This essay argues that according to feminist existential phenomenology, feminist pragmatism, and feminist genealogy, our embodied condition is an important starting place for ethical living due to the inevitable role that habits play in our conduct. In bodies, the phenomenon of habit uniquely holds together the ambiguities of freedom and determinism, transcendence and immanence, and stability and plasticity. Seeing habit formation as a matter of self-growth and social justice gives fresh opportunity for thinking of “assuming ambiguity” as a lifelong endeavor made up of many small projects and practices of situated resistance to stagnation. Transcendence, understood as ameliorative transformation, is found in cultivating habits of learning from our bodily living. I articulate this argument via a reading of Simone de Beauvoir's The Coming of Age, John Dewey's Human Nature and Conduct, and Ladelle McWhorter's Bodies and Pleasures. I discuss two domains wherein the ethical significance of habit formation appears: cognitive psychological research on neural plasticity, and certain projects of self-cultivation that risk turning into overdetermining “cult of the self ” practices that close off possibilities for personal and collective transformation
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References found in this work BETA
John Dewey and Moral Imagination: Pragmatism in Ethics.Steven Fesmire - 2003 - Indiana University Press.
Bodies and Pleasures: Foucault and the Politics of Sexual Normalization.Ladelle McWhorter - 1999 - Indiana University Press.
Simone de Beauvoir: Philosophical Writings.Simone de Beauvoir, Margaret A. Simons, Mary Beth Mader & Marybeth Timmermann (eds.) - 2004 - University of Illinois Press.
Living Across and Through Skins: Transactional Bodies, Pragmatism, and Feminism.Shannon Sullivan - 2001 - Indiana University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Transformative Learning, Enactivism, and Affectivity.Michelle Maiese - 2017 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 36 (2):197-216.
Implicit Knowledge: How It is Understood and Used in Feminist Theory.Alexis Shotwell - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (5):315-324.
Affective Scaffolds, Expressive Arts, and Cognition.Michelle Maiese - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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