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Cudd, Ann E.. Enforced Pregnancy, Rape, and the Image of Woman
1990, Philosophical Studies, 60 (1-2): 47-59.
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Added by: Rochelle DuFord

Summary: In this essay, Cudd argues that enforced pregnancy constitutes a group harm against women, harming even women who are not forced to carry a fetus to term against their will. In this essay, she develops a theoy of group harm, arguing that forced pregnancy constitutes a similar sort of group harm as rape. Ultimately, she claims that both rape and enforced pregnancy constitute a group harm via degredation of a class (women) and an individual harm via the individual negative effects caused by enforced pregnancy.

Comment: This text serves as a good introduction to the idea of a group harm. Further, it would fit well in a class that covers the ethics of sex, sexual violence, pregnancy, or abortion. If you plan to utilize this reading in the context of a biomedical ethics course covering abortion, it would be helpful to have first covered other classical readings on the topic (Marquis and Thomson, at least).

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Driver, Julia. Ethics: The Fundamentals
2006, Wiley-Blackwell.
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Added by: Nick Novelli

Editor’s Note: Ethics: The Fundamentals explores core ideas and arguments in moral theory by introducing students to different philosophical approaches to ethics, including virtue ethics, Kantian ethics, divine command theory, and feminist ethics. The first volume in the new Fundamentals of Philosophy series. Presents lively, real-world examples and thoughtful discussion of key moral philosophers and their ideas. Constitutes an excellent resource for readers coming to the subject of ethics for the first time.

Comment: This book offers good preliminary introductions to a number of topics in ethics. Each section could be assigned individually as a starting point for the given topic. The sections on utilitarianism and consequentialism are particularly good introductions. Primarily of use to early undergraduates or students who have not studied ethics before.

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Frazer, Elizabeth, Hornsby, Jennifer, Lovibond, Sabina (eds.). Ethics: A Feminist Reader
1992, Blackwell.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa

Abstract: Book synopsis: The feminist movement has challenged many of the unstated assumptions on which ethics as a branch of philosophy has always rested – assumptions about human nature, moral agency, citizenship and kinship. The twenty-six readings in this book express the discontent of a succession of fiercely articulate women writers, from Mary Wollstonecraft to the present day, with the masculine bias of `morality’. The editors have contributed an overall introduction, which discusses ethics, feminism and feminist themes in ethics, and have provided introductions to each of the readings, designed to situate in their historical and intellectual context. They have also compiled two lists for further reading: `Ethics: a Feminist Bibliography’ and `The Male Tradition’. Ethics: A Feminist Reader is an essential resource for students and teachers of philosophy, political theory and women’s studies. For anyone with a stake in progressive sexual politics it is an inspirational guide.

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Mills, Charles W.. “Ideal Theory” as Ideology
2005, Hypatia 20 (3):165-183.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Kei Hiruta

Abstract: Recent surveys of the development of feminist ethics over the last three decades have emphasized that the exclusive and unitary focus on ‘care’ with which it is still sometimes identified has long been misleading. While paying tribute to the historic significance and continuing influence of Carol Gilligan’s and Nel Noddings’s pathbreaking work (1982; 1984), commentators such as Samantha Brennan, Marilyn Friedman, and Alison Jaggar point to ‘the increasing connections between feminist ethics and mainstream moral theory’ (Brennan 1999, 859), the ‘number of diverse methodological strategies’ adopted (Friedman 2000, 211), and the ‘controversy and diversity’ rather than ‘unity’ within feminism, marking ‘the shift from asserting the radical otherness of feminist ethics to seeing feminist philosophers as making a diverse range of contributions to an ongoing [larger] tradition of ethical discussion’ (Jaggar 2000, 452-53). Indeed, Samantha Brennan’s 1999 Ethics survey article suggests that there is no ‘one’ feminist ethic, and that the distinctive features of a feminist approach are simply the perception of the wrongness of women’s oppression, and the resulting construction and orientation of theory – based on women’s moral experiences – to the goal of understanding and ending that oppression (1999, 860). Obviously, then, this minimalist definition will permit a very broad spectrum of perspectives. In this respect, feminist ethics has interestingly come to converge with feminist political philosophy, which, at least from the ‘second wave’ onward, also encompassed a wide variety of approaches whose common denominator was simply the goal of ending female subordination (Jaggar 1983; Tong 1998). In this paper, I want to focus on an ethical strategy best and most selfconsciously developed in feminist theory in the writings of Onora O’Neill (1987; 1993), but that can arguably be traced back, at least in implicit and schematic form, to Marxism and classical left theory, and that would certainly be congenial to many people working on race. (I have found it very useful in my own work: Mills 1997; Mills 1998.) I refer to the distinction between idealizing and non?idealizing approaches to ethical theory, and the endorsement of the latter. I will argue that this normative strategy has the virtue of being potentially universalist in its application – able to address many, if not all, of the concerns not only of women, but also of those, men as well as women, subordinated by class, race, and the underdevelopment of the ‘South’ – and reflecting the distinctive experience of the oppressed while avoiding particularism and relativism. Moreover, in certain respects it engages with mainstream ethics on what are nominally its own terms, thereby (at least in theory) making it somewhat harder to ignore and marginalize. Correspondingly, I will argue that the so?called ideal theory more dominant in mainstream ethics is in crucial respects obfuscatory, and can indeed be thought of as in part ideological, in the pejorative sense of a set of group ideas that reflect, and contribute to perpetuating, illicit group privilege. As O’Neill argues, and as I agree, the best way of realizing the ideal is through the recognition of the importance of theorizing the nonideal.

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Okin, Susan Moller. Forty acres and a mule’ for women: Rawls and feminism
2005, Politics, Philosophy and Economics 4 (2):233-248.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Lizzy Ventham

Abstract: This article assesses the development of Rawls’s thinking in response to a generation of feminist critique. Two principle criticisms are sustainable throughout his work: first, that the family, as a basic institution of society, must be subject to the principles of justice if its members are to be free and equal members of society; and, second, that without such social and political equality, justice as fairness is as meaningful to women as the unrealized promise of ‘Forty acres and a mule’ was to the newly freed slaves.

Comment: I would use this piece to accompany any teaching on John Rawls and his political philosophy. It provides some good summary of a number of different feminist critiques of Rawls and his responses to them, as well as providing new ideas for why Rawls still misses the mark. It can be a good basis for discussion on a number of different feminist criticisms of Rawls' philosophy.

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Srinivasan, Amia. Feminism and Metaethics
2016, in Mcpherson, Tristram and Plunkett, David (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metaethics, Routledge 2016
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Added by: Giada Fratantonio

Abstract: Feminism is first and foremost a political project: a project aimed at the liberation of women and the destruction of patriarchy. This project does not have a particular metaethics; there is no feminist consensus, for example, on the epistemology of moral belief or the metaphysics of moral truth. But the work of feminist philosophers – that is, philosophers who identify with the political project of feminism, and moreover see that political project as informing their philosophical work – raises significant metaethical questions: about the need to rehabilitate traditional moral philosophy, about the extent to which political and moral considerations can play a role in philosophical theorizing, and about the importance of rival metaethical conceptions for first-order political practice. I discuss some of the contributions that feminist philosophy makes to each of these questions in turn. I hope to call attention to the way in which feminist thought bears on traditional topics in metaethics (particularly moral epistemology and ethical methodology) but also to how feminist thought might inform metaethical practice itself.

Comment: The author discusses some contributions that feminist philosophy can make to some questions on metaethics. Can be used for a course on feminism.

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