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Identity politics is important within feminism. However, it often presupposes an overly subjectivist theory of knowledge that I term an epistemology of provenance. I explore some works of feminist standpoint theory that begin to address the difficulties of such an epistemology. I then bring Sartre's account of knowledge in the Critique of Dialectical Reason to bear on these difficulties, arguing that his work offers tools for addressing them more adequately.
I introduce the notion of the counterstory: a story that contributes to the moral self-definition of its teller by undermining a dominant story, undoing it and retelling it in such a way as to invite new interpretations and conclusions. Counterstories can be told anywhere, but particularly when told within chosen communities, they permit their tellers to reenter, as full citizens, the communities of place whose goods have been only imperfectly available to its marginalized members.
This essay engages in a debate with Nancy Fraser and Dorothy Leland concerning the contribution of Lacanian-inspired psychoanalytic feminism to feminist theory and practice. Teresa Brennan's analysis of the impasse in psychoanalysis and feminism and Judith Butler's proposal for a radically democratic feminism are employed in examining the issues at stake. I argue, with Brennan, that the impasse confronting psychoanalysis and feminism is the result of different conceptions of the relationship between the psychical and the social. I suggest Lacanian-inspired feminist conceptions are useful and deserve our consideration.
Feminist ethics supports the contemporary educational trend toward increased multiculturalism and a diminished emphasis on the Western canon. First, I outline a feminist ethical justification for this development. Second, I argue that Western canon studies should not be altogether abandoned in a multicultural curriculum. Third, I suggest that multicultural education should help combat oppression in addition to simply promoting awareness of diversity. Fourth, I caution against an arrogant moralism in the teaching of multiculturalism.
I discuss pedagogical issues that concern incest survivors. As teachers, we need to understand the ways in which the legacy of incest variously affects survivors' educational experiences and to be aware that the interplay of trust, knowledge, and power may be particularly complex for survivors. I emphasize the responsibility teachers have to create classrooms that are inclusive of survivors, while raising concerns about the practice of personal disclosure and assumptions about trust and safety in the classroom.
The following is an introduction to a roundtable panel of the American Political Science Association meeting (Normative Political Theory Division) held September 2, 1994, in New York City. I set out some main themes in the “care/justice debate,” and suggest that the impasse between care proponents and liberal, neo-Kantian thinkers is perpetuated by caricatured construals of these theories; salient differences come into relief by addressing the ethical and political applications of these moral perspectives.
Hearing the difference between a patriarchal voice and a relational voice defines a paradigm shift: a change in the conception of the human world. Theorizing connection as primary and fundamental in human life leads to a new psychology, which shifts the grounds for philosophy and political theory. A crucial distinction is made between a feminine ethic of care and a feminist ethic of care. Voice, relationship, resistance, and women become central rather than peripheral in this reframing of the human world.
This essay attempts to work out how justice and care and their related concerns fit together. I suggest that as a basic moral value, care should be the wider moral framework into which justice should be fitted.
I point to a colonial care discourse that enabled colonizers to define themselves in relationship to “inferior” colonized subjects. The colonized, however, had very different accounts of this relationship. While contemporary care discourse correctly insists on acknowledging human needs and relationships, it needs to worry about who defines these often contested terms. I conclude that improvements along dimensions of care and of justice often provide “enabling conditions” for each other.
The best framework for moral and political thought is the one that creates the best climate for good political judgments. I argue that universalistic theories of justice fall short in this regard because they cannot distinguish idealization from abstraction. After describing how an ethic of care guides judgments, I suggest the practical effects that make this approach preferable. The ethic of care includes more aspects of human life in making political judgments.
Should a “caring” immigration policy give special treatment to would-be immigrants who are near neighbors? It is argued that, while those on our borders requesting entry have some special claim, it should not drown out the claims of more distant applicants for citizenship.
In this paper I link the very interesting analysis of responsibility provided by Larry May and Robert Strikwerda in “Men in Groups: Collective Responsibility for Rape (May and Strikwerda 1994) to some strategies for helping women avoid rape. In addition, I call for some clarification on May and Strikwerda's claim that rapists are fully responsible for their actions and that it is largely a matter of luck which men actually turn out to be rapists.
Patrick Hopkins has claimed that SM is compatible with feminist principles. I argue that his account relies on both mistaken analogies and an untenable account of the allegedly changed meaning of SM scenes.1
Melinda Vadas rejects my claim that there are morally relevant differences between simulations of unjust events and actual unjust events on the ground that I overlook the connection between simulations and that which they simulate. I argue that this purported moral connection can only be understood as either the result of a necessary psychological disposition or as a “magical,” metaphysical attachment, neither of which is defensible or satisfactory.