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Feminist Philosophy and Moral Theory
PHIL 277
Spring 2007 not offered
Crosslisting: FGSS 277

This course explores the dialogue between feminist concerns and moral theory, revisiting along the way what might count as "a feminist concern". It will cover not only how moral theory might express certain central feminist insights and aims, but also why some feminists subject the very aims of moral theory to radical critique. After a brief review of existing philosophical moral theories, we will ask whether their language (reason, fairness, equality, utility, human nature, rights) sufficiently allows articulation of feminist problems. If gender categories and intersecting deep social identities have resiliently resisted moral scrutiny, can distinctively feminist contributions to moral theory provide better critical tools? On one hand, we will evaluate Gilligan's and Noddings' care-based approaches to moral interaction, as well as attempts to synthesize feminist criticism with canonical moral ideas from Aristotle, Confucius, Hume, Kant, and Mill. On the other hand, some feminists question the role and function of moral theorizing in response to oppression: does the very idea of moral judgment involve arrogance or objectification? We examine how critical inquiry about gender inspires deep questions about moral theory for authors such as bell hooks, Marilyn Frye, Maria Lugones, Sarah Lucia Hoagland, Margaret Walker, and Susan Babbitt, among others.

Essential Capabilities: Ethical Reasoning
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA PHIL
Course Format: Lecture/DiscussionGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CSCT)(FGSS)(PHIL)(PHIL-Philosophy)(PHIL-Social Jus)(STS)

Last Updated on MAY-28-2024
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