<i>Moral Equality and ‘Natural’ Subordination</i>

Catherine Wilson

in Moral Animals

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780199267675
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601859 | DOI:
Moral Equality and ‘Natural’ Subordination

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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

Chapter.  18257 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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