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Moral UnderstandingsA Feminist Study in Ethics$
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Margaret Urban Walker

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195315394

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195315394.001.0001

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THE SUBJECT OF MORAL PHILOSOPHY, WITH POSTSCRIPT 2007

THE SUBJECT OF MORAL PHILOSOPHY, WITH POSTSCRIPT 2007

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 THE SUBJECT OF MORAL PHILOSOPHY, WITH POSTSCRIPT 2007
Source:
Moral Understandings
Author(s):

Margaret Urban Walker

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195315394.003.0001

This chapter claims that the subject matter of moral theory is morality, and that morality is a socially embodied medium of understanding and negotiation over responsibility for things open to human care and effort. Morality is found in practices of responsibility that are not modular with respect to the rest of social life, and that are apt to reflect social differences, including gender, race, and class differences typical in human communities. Feminist ethics, drawing on the work of Carol Gilligan, alleges bias in moral theory and challenges moral reflection and its basis in intuitions when the social perspectives of moral philosophers go unexamined. Contemporary Anglo-American ethics follows a theoretical-juridical model of morality. The chapter introduces an expressive-collaborative model that combines critical and normative reflection on claims to moral knowledge with a significant empirical burden in ethics. It concludes with a new Postscript on recent developments in moral theory.

Keywords:   expressive-collaborative model, feminist ethics, gender, intuitions, moral knowledge, moral theory, race, social differences, theoretical-juridical model, Carol Gilligan

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