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Du Châtelet, Emilie, , . On Freedom
2020, Online Translation by Julia Jorati, with the help of Julie Roy; based on “Sur la liberté,” in Oeuvres complètes de Voltaire, vol. 14, edited by William H. Barber, 484–502. Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 1989.
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by:

Abstract: The question of freedom is the most interesting question we could examine, since one can say that all of morality depends on this single question. Something so interesting justifies departing from my subject a little bit in order to enter this discussion, and to put here in front of the reader’s eyes the main objections that people make against freedom, so that he can judge for himself their soundness.

Comment: This is an English translation of Emilie Du Châtelet’s “Sur la liberté.” This 18th century text discusses freedom of the will, determinism, and divine foreknowledge.

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Jaworska, Agnieszka, , . Respecting the Margins of Agency: Alzheimer’s Patients and the Capacity to Value
1999, Philosophy and Public Affairs 28(2): 105–138.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by:

Introduction: Dworkin puts forth two main arguments to justify adhering to the wishes the patient expressed before becoming demented. As he sees it, this course of action both promotes the patient’s well-being and is required in order to respect the patient’s autonomy. In each argument, while I consider most of the ideas well-founded, I challenge the crucial premise. In the argument focused on the patient’s well-being, I dispute the claim that demented patients are no longer capable of generating what Dworkin calls “critical interests.” In the argument concerning autonomy, I question the premise that demented patients no longer possess the “capacity for autonomy.”7 In each case, I will trace how the problematic premise arises within Dworkin’s argument and then develop an alternative account of the relevant capacity.

Comment: Jaworska asks: ‘Should we, in our efforts to best respect a patient with dementia, give priority to the preferences and attitudes this person held before becoming demented, or should we follow the person’s present preferences?’ (p. 108). The article offers a useful critical overview of the views expressed by Rebecca Dresser and Ronald Dworkin. It is best used as a primary reading in ethics classes focusing directly on medical ethics or autonomy, or as further reading in general ethics teaching on autonomy.

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Langton, Rae, , . Sexual Solipsism: Philosophical Essays on Pornography and Objectification
2009, Oxford Uuniversity Press.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Publisher’s note: Rae Langton here draws together her ground-breaking and contentious work on pornography and objectification. She shows how women come to be objectified — made subordinate and treated as things — and she argues for the controversial feminist conclusions that pornography subordinates and silences women, and women have rights against pornography.

Comment: Any of these chapters would be really useful for a feminist philosophy or ethics course, and can be studied in a ‘stand alone’ sense. In particular, the ‘sexual solipsism’ chapter itself contains numerous discussion points. It could be good for different groups of students to each be assigned a different chapter, and then to present to the class as a whole.

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Mcweeny, Jennifer, , . Liberating Anger, Embodying Knowledge: A Comparative Study of Maria Lugones and Zen Master Hakuin
2010, Hypatia 25 (2):295 – 315.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: This paper strengthens the theoretical ground of feminist analyses of anger by explaining how the angers of the oppressed are ways of knowing. Relying on insights created through the juxtaposition of Latina feminism and Zen Buddhism, I argue that these angers are special kinds of embodied perceptions that surface when there is a profound lack of fit between a particular bodily orientation and its framing world of sense. As openings to alternative sensibilities, these angers are transformative, liberatory, and deeply epistemological.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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