“Virtue, Duty, Utility and/or/as Feminist Ethics”


FORMAL REQUIREMENTS:• 500-750 words (2-3 pages), double-spaced, 12 point font.• You must make at least four explicit references to the course materials (readings & lectures). (just cite like Brannigan, pp.  line/page number)THE TOPICAL SPACE:We have looked at four varieties of ethics so far:• Aristotle’s ethics – the virtue-oriented ethics of ‘eudaimonic’ happiness.• Kant’s ethics – the duty-oriented ethics of motivations and the proper use of will.• Mill’s ethics – the utility-oriented ethics of consequences and the greatest good.• Feminist ethics – a range of ethical perspectives oriented toward the overcoming ofpatriarchy and sexist oppression.THE WRITING TASK:Write an essay in which you do the following three things:1. Describe a plausible moral dilemma (real or imagined).2. Propose a coherent solution to the dilemma in terms of EITHERa. An “Aristotelian-feminist” analysis, ORb. A “Kantian-feminist” analysis, ORc. A “Millsian-feminist” analysis.3. Discuss the principal strengths and possible weaknesses of your solution.SOME THINGS TO REMEMBER:• Think of this paper as an opportunity to blend together the conceptual strengths of two different ethical perspectives.• Please come up with the ethical dilemma yourself (i.e., don’t search for “ethical dilemma” on the internet!).• Not every dilemma will work for this paper. Choose a dilemma that is suited for a feminist intervention and resolution.• If the solution to your dilemma is obvious, it’s not much of a dilemma. True dilemmas are serious, and difficult to resolve.• Don’t blur feminism into a single monolithic view. Be specific about the perspective you take.• Remember, there are valuable ethical resources in all of the perspectives we have considered so far. Just pick one of the first three (Aristotle, Kant, or Mill) and one of the feminist perspectives (classical, difference, equity, radical), and try to mix them together in such a way that the admixture helps you to resolve the dilemma you’ve described.

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