Select one of the prompts from the set below and post it and your reply as an initial post in the discussion this week. Please respond to your classmates and/or instructor three more times during the week, on separate days if possible.
1. Using the readings and media from the week, explain how society creates different conditions for men and women. Identify and explain at least two ways in which society is structured such that men and women are treated differently and explain why this treatment is just or unjust. What is a potential feminist ethical response to this situation and which of the thinkers from the week relate to your justification for the response?
2. In week 4 you examined virtue ethics and what it means to live a flourishing life. One thing we learned was that in an Aristotelian account, what the virtues are and the way they enable us to flourish is a function of the kind of activity characteristic of the being in question. With that in mind, identify 3 virtues that are elicited by a feminist ethics such as the ones we find in the readings for this week. Should we regard those as specific to women, or are they virtues that men should cultivate as well? Contrast these with 3 virtues that might be more closely associated with the kind of masculine view of ethics that some of the authors claim has dominated our thinking. How might our view of the virtuous life and virtuous behavior change by focusing our attention on feminist ethics? Make reference to the arguments of at least one of the relevant readings from week 5 in your discussion, but you are encouraged to compare and contrast multiple readings as well.
3. Describe the ethical theory that you have studied in this course that differs the most from what you consider to be feminist ethical thinking. Utilizing the readings and media from the course, explain specific components of the theories that demonstrate the differences between the theory you choose and feminist theory.
4. Choose an applied ethics issue from one of the previous weeks and explain how one working from a feminist ethical perspective would respond to that issue. How would this person define the issue and what actions would the person take to demonstrate his or her ethical beliefs? Describe how this response differs from a utilitarian, deontological, and/or virtue ethics response. Use specific information from the theories and readings to support your claims.
5. Utilize feminist ethics to examine the applied ethics topics in the course. For example, what does a care ethic look like when applied to business or war? What would be the best way to run a business from the perspective of feminist ethics? How would a feminist ethic transform the way that the military functions or goes about fighting in wars? If you are not interested in these issues, you can respond to the topics of the environment, animal rights, or medical ethics. Be sure to utilize support from the readings while explaining your perspective on these issues.
6. Using Virginia Held’s article “Feminist Transformations of Ethical Theory” as a foundation, explain three things that you did not know about feminist thought that you found interesting and/or informative. What were those things? Why are they interesting or informative? How do they relate to the view that you now hold of ethics and how one can live a good life? Explain why you do or do not think that feminist ethics could be a fruitful transformation of ethical theory and practice in the Western tradition. Be sure to utilize the readings from the week and specific examples that relate to your analysis.
7. Explain two ways that feminists have sought to critique or transform Western ethical ideas in the history of philosophy. Now that you have studied multiple ethical theories, explain which ideas you most agree with from these critiques and which you believe to be weaker than the others. Be sure to utilize what you have learned and quotes from the readings to support your position.