Maureen Linker
University of Michigan, Dearborn
This essay explores the evolving systems ofjustz$5cation and morality that emerge fiom mother and child dialogues. Contrasting a mother's ethic of care with a surrounding cultural climate of violence, I argue that children are capable of providing insigljt to this seeming socialcontradiction.Ifocus on a series cfconversa- tionsI've had with my nowJiveyear oldson with regard to naturally occurringharm (i.e.yfloods,disease...) and human createdharm (i.e. war, violence,physical intimi- dation). I argue that my son's effortsto "makethe symbolic reap are consistent with philosopher Gareth Matthews' (1980) claim that young children are capable of complexphilosophicalthinkingthoughitmaygodormantatabouteightornineyears of age. M y view is thatphilosophicalthinking between mother and child typifies the feminist ideal that respecful investigation can occur between two parties who are uneyual in terms of socialpower. Though my son is smaller, less experienced, and physically weaker, he has come to believe that these qualities will not be relevant in others' assessment of his explanations of the world.
Keywords Mothering  Feminism  Philosophy
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
The Philosophy of Childhood.Gareth B. Matthews - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (186):125-127.

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