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Moral AnimalsIdeals and Constraints in Moral Theory$
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Catherine Wilson

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199267675

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199267677.001.0001

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Moral Equality and ‘Natural’ Subordination

Moral Equality and ‘Natural’ Subordination

Chapter:
(p.254) 8 Moral Equality and ‘Natural’ Subordination
Source:
Moral Animals
Author(s):

Catherine Wilson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199267677.003.0008

The costs of bringing about greater equality with respect to gender seem formidably high, especially with regard to the Reality Constraint as it applies to maternity. Chapter 8 argues that costs to agents in this regard, though real, are offset by acknowledged counterweight principles and our preference for symmetrical over basic co‐operation. The sociobiological themes of Ch. 1 are revisited in an attempt to show the relevance of biological, institutional, and psychological biases to men's social dominance. The variety and complexity of actual relations between men and women is sketched in a brief examination of the moral significance of love, courtship, marriage, infidelity, and vice. Bernard Williams's presentation of the conflict between authority and individuality, and between morality and self‐determination, furnishes the framework of the discussion.

Keywords:   bias, co‐operation, counterweight principles, dominance, gender, love, maternity, sociobiology, vice, women

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