The Self for Feminist Ethics

Dissertation, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (1990)

This dissertation concerns the concept of self in feminist ethics. I begin by analyzing how Carol Gilligan, a prominent feminist psychologist, explains the distinction between a traditional and a feminist ethics. Then I discuss how feminist philosophers criticize traditional ethical theories utilizing distinctions which I derive from Gilligan. ;In the following chapters I reveal the account of the self underlying traditional ethics, and contrast this traditional account with the concept of self found in the philosophy of Mary Whiton Calkins. Four aspects of the self are considered. First, I explicate the psychological and the philosophical accounts of self found in Calkins. This leads to discussions of the social self, and, lastly, the person. From this inquiry I go on to consider Calkins' ethical position. I show how Calkins' view of the self is implicit in her ethical theory, and how this theory relates to contemporary feminist ethical theory
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