The Case for our Widespread Dependency

Social Theory and Practice 30 (2):247-257 (2004)
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Abstract

In this review essay, I consider the challenge advanced by editors Eva Kittay and Ellen Feder in their collection, The Subject of Care, that “we must take account of the fact of dependency in our very conceptions of the self,” as well as Kittay’s own statements in her contribution that independence is a fiction and that we are all, ultimately, dependents of a sort. I distinguish broader and narrower senses of dependency as used by different contributors, to develop a conception of what I refer to as dependency-in-relation which is neither inevitable nor derivative. I conclude that human dependence upon nonhumans is a neglected aspect of dependency in this collection, but the collection is persuasive that we are all, at least, interdependent if not actually dependents.

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Kathryn J. Norlock
Trent University

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