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September 02 , 2008

Essays on Ethics and Feminism


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 tradition in moral philosophy. Some of the essays seek to clarify the relation of feminism to that tradition and to current anti-rationalist tendencies: especially important here are thestatus 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. The book as a whole isconcerned 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 carried out. The essays deploy ideas drawn both from Platonic-Aristotelian and from Kantian ethics, as well as from later Wittgenstein. However, they also attempt to respond to the destabilizing impact ofNietzschean 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 interestin academic feminism (and in some forms of feminist activism), but could also serve to draw new readers into the domain of feminist thought.
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