Feminist Philosophy and Moral Theory|
Spring 2012 not offered
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, and 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 will 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.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CSCT)(FGSS)(PHIL)(PHIL-Philosophy)(PHIL-Social Jus)(SISP-Phil Ethic)(SISP-Phil Mind)
Course texts will include Margaret Urban Walker's MORAL UNDERSTANDINGS, Claudia Card's FEMINIST ETHICS anthology, and various historical and contemporary articles assembled into a course packet.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Each week students will compose short written reflections, cultivating philosophical approaches to the reading. Two longer essays, one class presentation, and frequent contributions to discussion are also expected.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course functions as a Gateway to the Women's Studies (WMST) major, and also as an intermediate ethics course for the philosophy major.
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