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Feminst Ethics Rationality Revisited, Sherwin and Orr .docx

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York University
PHIL 2500
Linda Carozza

Feminist Ethics and Rationality Revisited March 13th Theorists- Sherwin -Orr Susan Sherwin- feminist ethicist. -bio ethics -rooted in male bias ethical care-can help develop traditional moral theory- missing from traditional interconnectivity, ethic of care, paying attention to people not abstract. -Those relational bonds, needed to have moral justification. -Who connects- Audre Lorde- dismantling the masters home- connectivity. Moral significant is formed in direct relationship with others. Difference and connection. Connection to Sherwins ethics and Lorde. Hooks too. They use the same terminology. -A moral theory needs to address human emotions. Separate from Kantian and Utilitarian. –They’re based on universals. Connects to Campbell an Jagger. -Kantian- rationality is prime. Rules are aprori- predetermined. Pre-determined not ad hoc. Not after you look at the situation. This is different from Sherwin. If it’s based on individual human emotion for her its fluid. Can’t develop rules for how emotions unfold. Thou shall not kill. Utilitarian- Acting to create the greatest good, least harm for the most population. Different from Sherwin- too abstract. They don’t look at particular situations. She doesn’t look at society at large. Ethic of care looks at the individual case. Pay attention to particular people. With thought experiments- place the decision-maker as close as possible to the issues at stake. So the stakes can be genuinely felt, not abstractly theorized. Direct contrast to disembodied knowledge. Ethic of Care -Responsibility -Moral significance is found in relationships, connections with others. -reasoning from particulars; social context -steps from notion of nonviolence -It has referred to as an “indirect”, “empathetic” and even a “narrative mode” -Ethic Rights, Justice -The subject is separate from others (i.e. autonomy); -impersonal(subject aims to be detached from issues) -“dispassionate investigator” -“disembodied knowledge” -relies on abstract principles -stem from notions of equality -Consider this- place the decision maker as close as possible to the issue or people at stake. So the concerns of those affected can be genuinely felt, not abstractly theorized. Contrast to disembodied knowledge. Trying to be objective, unbiased. Standpoint epistemology- shifting who has epistemic epistemology, when power dynamic is in play it might be beneficial to adhere to the knowledge of the person who is in a subjugated position. Their standpoint is more valid or credible then someone abstractly looking, then someone removed. Socially situated perspectives can lay claim to epistemic privilege. Coincides with an ethic of care. -Critique of an Ethic of Care- maybe it isn’t so great compared to Kantian or Ulitarianism. -concept of care is ambiguous- not solid, no methodology. -if the goal is just to show western thought is biased in the idea of universal rationality. To show that philosophy have discriminate and oppress- it’s been successful,- but is it a viable ethical theory? -Gilligan may have made hasty generalizations. They rest on too small an investigation. -too small sample size, not empirical. She says she was just
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