Essays on Ethics and Feminism

ISBN : 9780198801269

Sabina Lovibond
288 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Oct 2017
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Essays on Ethics and Feminism is a selection of the shorter writings of Sabina Lovibond, one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary philosophy since the 1980s. This work lays claim to a broad thematic unity based on its affiliation to the realist or rationalist traditions in moral philosophy. Some of the essays seek to clarify the relation of feminism to these traditions and to current anti-rationalist tendencies: especially important here are the status and prospects of normativity, autonomy, purposive action, and other conceptual resources for critical thinking which were called into question over (roughly) the last third of the twentieth century—not least by feminist writers heedful of 'continental' European developments. All of the essays are concerned with fundamental ethical questions, including, but not restricted to, questions of feminist ethics—such as the nature of value and the good life; moral requirements and their associated epistemology; character-formation and the ideological critique of the processes by which this is effected. The essays deploy ideas drawn both from Platonic-Aristotelian and from Kantian ethics, as well as from the later philosophy of Wittgenstein. However, they also attempt to respond to the destabilizing impact of Nietzschean and postmodernist thought. The writing is addressed to those engaged in, or with some interest in, academic philosophy and draws on a wide range of philosophical source materials, but avoids unnecessary technicality. In the same way, it should appeal to those with a pre-existing interest in academic feminism (and in some forms of feminist activism), but could also serve to draw new readers into the domain of feminist thought.


1 Feminism and Postmodernism
2 Feminism and Pragmatism: A Reply to Richard Rorty
3 Feminism and the 'Crisis of Rationality'
4 Meaning What We Say: Feminist Ethics and the Critique of Humanism
5 The Feminist Stake in Greek Rationalism
6 'Gendering' as an Ethical Concept
7 Ethical Upbringing: From Connivance to Cognition
8 Absolute Prohibitions without Divine Promises
9 Religion and Modernity: Living in the Hypercontext
10 'In Spite of the Misery of the World': Ethics, Contemplation, and the Source of Value
11 'Ethical Living' in the Media and in Philosophy
12 Selflessness and Other Moral Baggage
13 Nietzsche on Distance, Beauty, and Truth
14 Iris Murdoch and the Ambiguity of Freedom

About the author: 

Sabina Lovibond read Literae Humaniores (Classics) at Somerville College, Oxford, and began her postgraduate career at University College, London, where she gained a PhD in Philosophy. She returned to Somerville as holder of the Mary Somerville Research Fellowship (1979-82), and from 1982 to 2011 taught Philosophy at Worcester College, Oxford, where she held a Tutorial Fellowship from 1984. Her work has been mainly in ethics and feminist theory, but with some continuing input from the ancient philosophy background. The later philosophy of Wittgenstein has also been an enduring influence.

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