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Ethics in Communication

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McMaster University
V Igneski

September 27 Feminist Ethics - Feminist ethics critique the traditional theories, written by privileged men have certain biases. o Male experiences are the norm  Failure to recognize the female perspective/experience o Issues in private realm devalued  Emphasis put on the public realm, and the division of the public and private realm is a problem for morality. o Men as morally mature, females taken as morally immature.  Reasoning as a quality applied to males, not females. o Masculine characteristics overrated  Taken to be the most important characteristics overall, the value emphasis is put on these associatively ‘male’ quality.  Women not viewed as having capacity for reason – Aristotle puts rationality at the centre of his theory. o ‘male’ ways of reasoning (rights, rules, impartiality) over the ‘female’ way (relationships, responsibility, particularity)  This legitimizes women’s subordination - Critique of Utilitarianism: o Total happiness is important, but this may exclude acting for loved ones –in the requirement for impartiality.  Extreme impartiality does not allow for family to be valued more. o Relationships are only indirectly relevant.  Utilitarian would reject this criticism; allowance for relationships on the basis of its contribution of the overall good, and then would still only be instrumental.  Feminist ethics determine that persons and relationships as intrinsically valuable, o Sees persons as ‘bearers of utility’ – people are not valuable in and of themselves. Criticisms of Kant: - Denied women ful
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