288 Pages
135 x 216 mm
Pub date
Sep 2019
Studies in Feminist Philosophy Series
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All human beings are born and all human beings die. In these two ways we are finite: our lives begin and our lives come to an end. Historically philosophers have concentrated attention on our mortality-and comparatively little has been said about being born and how it shapes our existence. Alison Stone sets out to overcome this oversight by providing a systematic philosophical account of how being born shapes our condition as human beings. Drawing on both feminist philosophy and existentialist concerns about the structure of meaningful human existence, Stone offers an original perspective on human existence. She explores how human existence is shaped by the way that we are born. Taking natality into account transforms our view of human existence and illuminates how many of its aspects are connected with our birth. These aspects include dependency, the relationality of the self, vulnerability, reception and inheritance of culture and history, embeddedness in social power, situatedness, and radical contingency. Considering natality also sheds new light on anxiety, mortality, and the temporality of human life. This book therefore bears on death and the meaning of life, as well as many debates in feminist and continental philosophy.


Introduction: Towards a Philosophy of Being Born
1 Birth and Natality in Feminist Philosophy
2 History, Inheritance, and Vulnerability
3 Dependency, Relationality, Power, and Situatedness
4 The Radical Contingency of Being Born
5 Birth Anxieties
6 Natality and Mortality
7 Temporality, the Gift, and Being Born

About the author: 

Alison Stone is Professor of Philosophy at Lancaster University. She is the author of several books, including
Petrified Intelligence: Nature in Hegel's Philosophy (SUNY 2004), Luce Irigaray and the Philosophy of Sexual Difference (Cambridge 2006), An Introduction to Feminist Philosophy (Polity 2007), Feminism, Psychoanalysis, and Maternal Subjectivity (Routledge 2011) and The Value of Popular Music (Palgrave Macmillan 2016). She is also editor of The Edinburgh Critical History of Nineteenth-Century Philosophy (Edinburgh 2011) and co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy (Routledge 2017).

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