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Feminist Ethics and Philosophy as Written by Jaggar

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Jaggar’s publication offers a deep understanding of feminist ethics. First, she differentiates feminists from non-feminists; a feminist is one who explicitly commits to correct the alleged bias portrayed by traditional theorists that lowers, morally and rationally, women in comparison with men, while a non-feminist is one who may or may not show that kind of commitment (qtd. in Vaughn 201).

For feminists, the oppression of women is morally wrong; they consider women and men as equals. Feminists condemn the preservation of women’s underestimation; they look for establishing reasonable moral approaches to avert and combat gender subordination, and for developing more recommendable avenues to advocate for women’s emancipation (201).

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Jaggar mentions Carol Gilligan’s study, which assumes a very different way of resolving and justifying a moral judgment between women and men; she determines women tend to follow an ethic of caring care, and men one of justice. However, the study is debatable, and its ethical reflection continues since both moral understandings are valuable (202).

Jaggar states that “most feminist ethics is done in a western context,” where feminists face challenges such as “many major philosophers [demonstrate] an [absence] of concern for women’s interests” dictating submission and silence; an indifference toward violations against women’s rights and injustices for portraying them only at home; a predilection for values associated with men (i.e. autonomy, intellect, and domination) over the considered feminine (i.e. interdependence, emotion, and peace;) a rigid position regarding “the contract as the paradigmatic moral relation” that eliminates the use of emphatic judgments fomenting impartiality and an appealing to rules when dealing with moral predicaments; and a repeatedly exclusion from female participation in ethical discussion due to a belief “that women lack moral reason” (203-204).

She explains that the minimum conditions of adequacy imply that feminists are obliged to address not only problems such as gender equality, glass ceiling, social inequality, femicide, and racism, but also water pollution, climate change, or regimes of incarceration; besides those topics, they should advise in the “so-called private life: intimate relations, sexuality, and childrearing” (206). Additionally, identify ways of facing varieties of opposition, realistically evaluate their resources, gradually align their efforts with an emphasis on the nonideal, as well as acknowledge and appreciate thoughtfully and respectfully women’s moral expertise and experiences (207). Jaggar concludes by saying, that feminists and non-feminists continue the search of diverse approaches for moral reasoning to resolve current controversies, and serious preoccupations (209).

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