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Hypatia 21.4 (2006) 228-231

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Book Notes

Linking Visions: Feminist Bioethics, Human Rights, and the Developing World. Ed. Rosemarie Tong, Anne Donchin, and Susan Dodds. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004.

Linking Visions is a collection of essays that came out of the International Network of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics (FAB) conference in 2002 in Brasília. The book is divided into four sections, each of which explores connections among bioethics, human rights, and the developing world in relation to a particular topic. In "Exploring Affinities between Feminist Bioethics and Human rights," six authors (Donna L. Dickenson, Anne Donchin, Arleen L.F. Salles, Jing-Bao Nie, Rosemarie Tong, and Carol Quinn) critique traditional theoretical issues by using feminist bioethics, human rights, and globalization perspectives. They also show how these perspectives can be integrated with traditional theoretical issues. The editors note that the second section, "Contextualizing Reproduction: Particular Perspectives," differs from other feminist bioethics collections on reproduction because the authors (K. Shanthi, Karen L. Baird, Julie Zilberberg, and Julia Tao Lai Po-Wah) "specifically focus on the global context of reproductive decision making and the relationship between reproductive health and human rights" (9). The third section, "Righting Genetic Wrongs: Restoring Relationship," contains two essays (by María Julia Bertomeau and Susana E. Sommer, and Michele Harvey-Blankenship and Barbara Ann Hocking) on the benefits and risks of developments in genetic research. In "Viewing HIV Policies through a Human Rights Framework," Eileen O'Keefe and Martha Chinouya, and Laura Duhan Kaplan examine the human rights challenges that health policy makers face with regard to HIV/AIDS.

Varieties of Feminist Liberalism. Ed. Amy R. Baehr. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004.

Acknowledging that liberalism has been a major foil for feminism, Amy Baehr pulls together a collection of essays that explore the relationship between feminism and liberalism. Rather than answer whether feminism is compatible with liberalism (many of the authors included in this collection believe it is), Baehr [End Page 228] tries to show the complexity of this relationship and the variety of approaches various theorists take. The essays address at least three broad themes. First, the authors consider questions of "sameness, difference, and liberty": Should we be value-neutral concerning women's preferences and choices? Can (and should) we acknowledge sex differences? The second theme has to do with extending or reconstructing aspects of liberalism: How far can we extend liberalism before it ceases to be liberalism? Can we reconstruct concepts in liberalism such as 'rights', 'privacy', and our conception of the self to better address feminist concerns? The third and final theme builds on the second theme by asking how deep and wide feminist liberal theories can and should be. By "deep," Baehr means theories grounded in a particular moral view (as opposed to "shallow" theories that rely on common, shared values). How "wide" a theoretical approach is depends on its scope or how many types of human interaction are covered by the theory. For example, does the author suggest state intervention in familial relations? If so, this would be a "wide" theory. Contributors include Anita L. Allen, Samantha Brennan, Drucilla Cornell, Ann E. Cudd, Jean Hampton, S. A. Lloyd, Linda C. McClain, Martha C. Nussbaum, Susan Moller Okin, and Patricia Smith.

Adoption Matters: Philosophical and Feminist Essays. Ed. Sally Haslanger and Charlotte Witt. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2005.

The goal of this book is "to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to explore and critique how adoption is situated within mainstream conceptual frameworks and to consider how a reorientation towards a less stigmatizing understanding of adoption has repercussions for other parts of the frameworks, even parts not explicitly concerned with families" (1). The focus of Part One, "'Natural' and 'Unnatural' Families," is the natural/social dichotomy as it relates to adoption and how we think about families. In Part Two, "Familial Relationships and Personal Identities," the authors explore questions about personal identity and self-knowledge by highlighting the experiences of adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents. As its title suggests, the theme of Part Three, "Constructions of Race and Constructions of Family," is the relationship between two socially constructed categories. The...


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pp. 228-231
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Archived 2009
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