Saturday, 21 August 2010
Carol Gilligan: psychologist and educator
Unfortunately, most thinkers believed that women are inferior to men and incapable of moral excellence. They claimed that while women 'may' be capable of cultivating some virtues appropriate to their sex, they are incapable of developing the virtues necessary for true human fulfillment.
to claim that women are by nature inferior to men runs from Plato and Aristotle through the mediavals to Kant and Rousseau and well...beyond! They claim that women are moved by emotions, passions, and desires. Kant said that since women are trapped in their passions or desires, they lack the reason for the attainment of virtue and full personhood. Since they cannot become virtuous, Kant encourages women to only think about being beautiful.
Feminist ethics seeks to unmask the pretensions of male priviliged and power found in such models cited above!
There are morally significant differences but these are not grounds for inequality. Carol Gilligan, in her book In a Different Voice (1982) claims that men and women think diferently about ethical isssues but while these approaches may be different, they are equal.
Difference Feminism reject the essentialism of Liberal feminism because, they claim, it assumes that women will flourish when they become like men.
I believe that the task of moral philosophy is not to discover ways of life that enable our "nature to flourish" but rather to make clear a path for radical free self-creation.