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feminist ethics

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


E thics Feminist ethics contrasts with the allegedly male-biased traditional Western ethics. It argues that traditional ethics ignores women's issues and interests, fails to recognize feminine values and experience, and identifies human experience with male experience. The traditional lists of virtues are always gender-characterized. Hence, women's actual sub-ordination is rationalized by traditional ethics, and this must be revealed and criticized for the liberation of women. The criticism of the Western tradition concerning the position of women can be traced to figures such as Wollstonecraft, Mill , Engels, and Simone de Beauvoir . Carol Gilligan's In a Different Voice (1982) elaborates the different moral development of men and women. She argues that in opposition to the traditional ethic of justice , which emphasizes rights and rules, we should establish an ethic of care , that is, a women-centered ethics, based on women's experience and a new conceptual framework. It will replace male values with female values and stress responsibility, empathy, and the relationships between people. Motherhood is the paradigm of this ethic. Sometimes the contrast between an ethics of justice and an ethic of care is described as contrasting rationality and emotion . Feminist ethics expands from the general situation of women's subordination to almost every particular problem faced ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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