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A phenomenological grounding of feminist ethics


Daly, A, A phenomenological grounding of feminist ethics, Journal of The British Society for Phenomenology, 50, (1) pp. 1-18. ISSN 0007-1773 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2018 The British Society for Phenomenology

DOI: doi:10.1080/00071773.2018.1487195


The central hypothesis of this paper is that the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty offers significant philosophical groundwork for an ethics that honours key feminist commitments – embodiment, situatedness, diversity and the intrinsic sociality of subjectivity. Part I evaluates feminist criticisms of Merleau-Ponty. Part II defends the claim that Merleau-Ponty’s non-dualist ontology underwrites leading approaches in feminist ethics, notably Care Ethics and the Ethics of Vulnerability. Part III examines Merleau-Ponty’s analyses of embodied percipience, arguing that these offer a powerful critique of the view from nowhere, a totalizing God’s-eye-view with pretensions to objectivity. By revealing the normative structure of perceptual gestalts in the intersubjective domain, he establishes the view from everywhere. Normativity is no longer deferred to higher authorities such as duty, utility or the valorized virtue, but through the perceptual gestalt it is returned to the perceiving embodied subject. This subject, defined by inherent intersubjectivity, is thereby vulnerable to others and has the capacity for care.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Feminism, phenomenology, intersubjectivity, ethics, Merleau-Ponty, ontology
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Philosophy
Research Field:Phenomenology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in philosophy and religious studies
UTAS Author:Daly, A (Dr Anya Daly)
ID Code:148472
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Philosophy and Gender Studies
Deposited On:2022-01-13
Last Modified:2022-03-04

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