Martha and the Masters: Virtuous Domestic Aesthetic Activity

Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 15 (2):257-271 (2016)
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In this essay, I draw Karen Stohr’s work on the moral-aesthetic elements of hospitality into conversation with classical Confucianism. While the early Confucians would not deny the other-regarding elements of hospitality Stohr emphasizes, they also notably highlight the ways exercises in taste and skillful aesthetic activity can work on and for the agent herself, providing a sensibility that can guard domestic aesthetic activity against problematic forms of self-sacrifice and alienated labor that color contemporary gendered representations of the home and its activity. The most robustly virtuous and indeed rewarding versions of hospitality and domestic aesthetic activity, I argue, will link self to environment and work, using both as mechanisms that foster wider values the self prizes and endorses.



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Amy Olberding
University of Oklahoma

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On Manners.Karen Stohr - 2011 - Routledge.
Trying not to try.Edward Gilman Slingerland - 2014 - Edinburgh: Canongate.
Confucius' Complaints and the Analects' Account of the Good Life.Amy Olberding - 2013 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 12 (4):417-440.

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