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The Impossibility of PerfectionAristotle, Feminism, and the Complexities of Ethics$
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Michael Slote

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199790821

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199790821.001.0001

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Feminism and Partial Values

Feminism and Partial Values

Chapter:
(p.12) Chapter 1 Feminism and Partial Values
Source:
The Impossibility of Perfection
Author(s):

Micheal Slote

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199790821.003.0002

Patriarchy sees virtues like adventurousness and personal goods like adventure and career fulfillment as relevant only to men, but a more enlightened feminism sees these as values for both men and women. However, there is a conflict between adventure/adventurousness and personal security/prudence, and also between career fulfillment and an emphasis on relationships. This is a problem for both men and women, and it turns out that there is in principle no way to perfectly resolve these conflicts and many others that either do or do not involve specifically feminist issues. There is reason to believe, then, that the just-mentioned values are all merely partial and that a variety of ethical examples support Isaiah Berlin's view that perfect virtue and perfect happiness are impossible.

Keywords:   careers, feminism, frankness, Isaiah Berlin, partial values, perfection, relationships, security, (sexual) adventure, tactfulness

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