Constructivism and Feminism

Julia Driver

in Out from the Shadows

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199855469
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932788 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Feminist Philosophy

Constructivism and Feminism

Show Summary Details


Feminist care ethicists have been confronted with the dilemma of how to reconcile an ethics based on emotion with the need to criticize oppressive social norms. Some argue that “desire”‐based metaethics is essentially non‐cognitive, committed to the view that moral claims lack truth value. In this essay I argue for another alternative, a form of constructivism that preserves the truth value of moral claims while, nevertheless, basing morality on desire, on a sympathetic engagement with others. This approach is broadly Humean. On this view, moral claims have truth value and the truth value is not culturally relative. This is all that is necessary for the critique of accepted norms.

Keywords: feminist ethics; feminist metaethics; ethics of care; constructivism

Chapter.  8377 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.