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Embodied Care

Jane Addams, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Feminist Ethics

Maurice Hamington

Publication Year: 2004

Until now, ethicists have said little about the body, limiting their comments on it to remarks made in passing or, at best, devoting a chapter to the subject. Embodied Care is the first work to argue for the body's centrality to care ethics, doing so by analyzing our corporeality at the phenomenological level. It develops the idea that our bodies are central to our morality, paying particular attention to the ways we come to care for one another._x000B__x000B_Hamington's argues that human bodies are "built to care"; as a result, embodiment must be recognized as a central factor in moral consideration. He takes the reader on an exciting journey from modern care ethics to Merleau-Ponty's philosophy of the body and then to Jane Addams's social activism and philosophy. The ideas in Embodied Care do not lead to yet another competing theory of morality; rather, they progress through theory and case studies to suggest that no theory of morality can be complete without a full consideration of the body. _x000B_

Published by: University of Illinois Press

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

I would like to thank everyone who assisted me in writing and researching this project. The myth of academic scholarship portrays it as accomplished by individuals when in fact it is a collaborative endeavor. I owe a debt of gratitude to Nancy Tuana; she not only taught me a great deal about feminist philosophy ...

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Introduction: Care--an Evolving Definition

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pp. 1-8

Breathing differs somewhat from most other involuntary body functions. The process continues without conscious control, as do all such functions, yet we can consciously and intentionally regulate it. We can attend to and control our breathing or completely ignore its ongoing rhythm in our lives. ...

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1. The Landscape of Current Care Discourse

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pp. 9-37

A chapter in American history about something that appears to be a quintessentially noncaring struggle for power reveals the pervasive significance of care. In the 1840s Frederick Douglass (1818–95) became a powerful force for the abolitionist movement through his brilliant oratory and captivating writing. ...

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2. Merleau-Ponty and Embodied Epistemology: Caring Habits and Caring Knowledge

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pp. 38-60

In the middle of his career William Shakespeare wrote The Merchant of Venice. Typical of Shakespearean comedies, The Merchant of Venice creates merriment through deception and romantic misunderstanding. One of the play’s subplots, however, explores human prejudice and the need for revenge. ...

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3. Caring Imagination: Bridging Personal and Social Morality

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pp. 61-88

The moral analysis of the Holocaust can never be exhausted, nor should it be. Although care ethics attests to the notion that morality is more than events, the enormity of the Holocaust’s human suffering will continually motivate ethicists to understand the precipitating dynamics and work to ensure that the tragedy is never replicated. ...

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4. Jane Addams and the Social Habits of Care

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pp. 89-121

In 1871 the feminist author Elizabeth Stuart Phelps penned the novel The Silent Partner, which critiques industrial capitalism and the social distance that accompanies class stratification in the United States. The protagonist is Perley Kelso, whose father owns a stake in a textile mill. ...

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5. What Difference Does Embodied Care Make? A Study of Same-Sex Marriage

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pp. 122-144

Widows and Children First, the third play of Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy, relates the tale of Arnold Beckoff, a gay man who has recently lost his partner of five years, Alan, in a brutal hate crime. Arnold struggles to convey his grief to his mother, who has recently lost her husband of thirty-five years to an illness. ...

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Conclusion: Experiencing One Another, Deconstructing Otherness, Joyfully Moving Ahead

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pp. 145-148

Jane Addams’s simple yet powerful mandate that we boldly experience one another to create sympathetic knowledge and a more cohesive society is a roadmap for overcoming the boundaries that prevent caring in society today. There is a moral challenge in the tension between the push of individuation and the pull of community—the problem of the one and the many. ...

Notes

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pp. 149-166

Bibliography

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pp. 167-176

Index

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pp. 177-181


E-ISBN-13: 9780252091469
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252029288

Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2004