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Intro to Ethics, Nov. 6

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McMaster University
V Igneski

November 6 Feminist Ethics: - Samantha Brennon – Recent work in Feminist Ethics - Feminist ethics critique the traditional theories, written by privileged men have certain biases. o Male experiences as the norm – theories were then constructed upon this 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.  Therein the females are relegated to the private realm, with no theories based on this realm. o Men as morally mature, females taken as morally immature.  Reasoning as a quality applied to males, not females.  Their ability to act apart from their emotion as a positive indicator o Masculine characteristics overrated (independence, autonomy, the intellect)  Taken to be the most important characteristics overall, the value emphasis is put on these associatively ‘male’ quality.  “female” characteristics of interdependence, etc. not included in theories o ‘male’ ways of reasoning (rights, rules, impartiality) over the ‘female’ way (relationships, responsibility, particularity)  This legitimizes women’s subordination – rational ability to reason is important for almost all philosophies, which simultaneously dictating women’s inability to rationalize 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
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