Bartky, Sandra Lee. Femininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression. New York and London: Routledge 1990.

Schooled in continental philosophy and participating in the early consciousness-raising experiments of the American feminist movement, Bartky’s collection of essays spans fifteen years of research.  Her particular interest is in "those modes of consciousness that can be shown to arise from oppressive intersubjective relationships and which tend at the same time to reproduce and to reaffirm" those relations.


Bowden Peta. Caring: Gender-Sensitive Ethics. New York and London: Routledge 1997.

Bowden seeks to move the ethics of care model out of abstract theorizing and into concrete, present-day practices.  Beginning with mothering and nursing (gendered arenas for the care model), her analyses ultimately presents the ethic of care as a mode of citizenship based on responsibility as much as rights.


Held, Virginia. The Ethics of Care: Personal, Political, and Global. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Held argues for the relevance of care to global and political questions as much as interpersonal dilemmas. Proposing a move away from Kantian moral theory and utilitarianism, she notes the promise of the care model for considering economic markets and the spread of globalization.  She also locates care within the rising concern for civil society.


Hoagland, Sarah Lucia. Lesbian Ethics: Toward New Values. Palo Alto, CA: Institute of Lesbian Studies, 1989.

One limitation of Gilligan’s initial research may be its heteronormativity (especially in her first two projects: the Heinz dilemma and the abortion interviews).  Additionally, Hoagland notes that describing care as a moral good may serve to naturalize ideological structures like the patriarchal expectation that women provide nurturance and connection.  The book asks how if it is possible to be responsible without also seeking control.

Kittay, Eva Feder. Love’s Labor: Essays on Women, Equality and Dependency. New York: Routledge, 1999.

Kittay notes a lacuna is political philosophy and social policy theory: the role of dependency work (child care, elder care, disability or illness care, etc.) or “love’s labor.” She argues that reforms in welfare and family leave fail women in particular because they omit women’s prevailing responsibilities for dependents, however, “the facts of human dependency can be made compatible with the full equality of all citizens....”

Noddings, Nel. Caring: A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.

The memory of having been cared for is central to Nodding’s thought and moves from feminine principles (to use her language) to more inclusive implications (given that almost everyone has been cared for in some way that might entail future obligations to give care).  She argues for educational policies that reward enhanced understanding of moral responsibility as much as performance on tests of rationality or information retrieval. 



Robinson Fiona. Globalizing Care: Ethics, Feminist Theory, and International Relations. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999.

The question of central interest in Robinson's book is “whether care ethics is intrinsically parochial and thus ignores (or is ill-equipped to address) questions of moral relations among distant strangers in the global context.” She argues that care should be understood not only as a narrow psychological or moral disposition, but as a practice of daily living with the potential to transform global justice.


Slote, Michael A. The Ethics of Care and Empathy. London & New York: Routledge, 2007.

With care as his point of departure (because he contends that care offers a more persuasive theory of social justice than those offered by contemporary Kantian liberalism), Slote argues, to name one interesting example, that the liberal assumption of the right to free speech assumes the ultimate value of autonomy and discounts harm to others that would not be permitted if care were the prevailing value.





Ruddick - Further Reading

Belenky, Mary Field, Blyth Mcyicker Clinchy, Nancy Rule Goldberger, and Jill Mattuck Tarule. Women’s Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice, and Mind. New York: BasicBooks, 1986.

This work interviews 135 women about their experiences with truth and knowledge, thus determining five learning “perspectives” that characterize women’s way of thinking: silence, received knowledge, subjective knowers, procedural knowers, and constructed knowing. Without dwelling too much on tradition male thought, the book recognizes that men and women tend to approach knowledge and knowing differently.


Collins, Patricia Hill. Shifting the Center: Race, Class, and Feminist Theorizing about Motherhood. New Haven: Yale UP, 1992.

Collins shifts the focus of maternal practices onto African American communities, in which she says the practice of motherhood is based more centrally on survival, identity, and empowerment. This book argues that when no neutral standpoint exists from which we can theorize, we must pay attention to the locations from which theory comes from. Unlike Ruddick, Collins’ book presents a view of mothering that is more consciously distinct and specific.


Hartsock, Nancy. “The Feminist Standpoint: Developing the Ground for a Specifically Feminist Historical Materialism.” In Sandra Harding and Merrill Hintikka (Eds.), Discovering Reality (pp. 283-310). London: D. Reidl, 1983.

Hartsock, using standpoint theory, develops and transforms the Marxian notion of a privileged political and epistemological “standpoint”. Hartsock identifies the feminist standpoint through caring labor, and details characteristics of this “women’s work” that are responsible for the feminist standpoint’s “superiority.” Because it is inherently associated with the physical world, caretaking retains a certain power over the abstractedness of (according to Ruddick) dominant military thought.


Gilligan, Carol. In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1993.

In this book, Gilligan draws attention to the historically-valid traditions of developmental psychology, noting that in most cases the woman’s voice is either ignored or viewed as developmentally inferior. By speaking with women of different ages and backgrounds, Gilligan develops a theory of women’s psychological development as an ethics of care that is both distinct from and as valid as the traditional theories of the field.


Rich, Adrienne. Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution. New York: Norton, 1976.

Rich explores the notion that motherhood is at once both a personal experience and a social institution. She shows that, as an institution, it has been forced on women who grow up within a patriarchal society which imposes impossible expectations upon the mother, who then recognizes that she can and will be criticized for not living up to those expectations. Published under mixed reviews, Rich’s book gives voice to those emotions and experiences which are unique to motherhood.


Brison. Aftermath- Further Readings

Susan Brison. Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of a Self

Further Readings


Grosz, Elizabeth. Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1994.

Grosz examines the corporeality of the female body and argues that there is “the irreducible specificity of women's bodies, the bodies of all women, independent of class, race and history” (207). She examines unique female experiences such as menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and menopause in order to theorize sex-differentiated bodies. She also critiques the historically constructed female body and deconstructs the dichotomy of mind and body.


Ricoeur, Paul. Oneself as Another. Trans. Kathleen Blamey. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1992.

Paul Ricouer contemplates the concept of selfhood, otherness, and narrative identity. Ricoeur argues that selfhood implies others and true identity is realized when others recognize us. According to Ricoeur, “the narrative constructs the identity of the character, what can be called his or her narrative identity, in constructing that of the story told. It is the identity of the story that makes the identity of the character.” (147–48) 


Further Readings-Benhabib

Further Readings:


Allen, Amy. The Politics of Our Selves: Power, Autonomy and Gender in Contemporary Critical Theory. Columbia University Press, 2008.

Allen analyzes issues of power, subjection and autonomy at the intersection of feminism and critical theory. She proposes to locate the middle ground between Foucault and Habermas, developing a framework to theorize "gender, race, and sexual subordination and the possibilities of resisting and transforming such subordination in more emancipatory directions."


Greg, Johnson. “The Situated Self and Utopian Thinking.” Hypatia. 17.3 Feminism and Disability, Part 2, 2002, 20-44. 


This article takes up the call of feminist thinkers such as Seyla Benhabib to reconsider the importance of the utopian. The author offers a view of the utopian that is situated, critical, and relevant to trans-formative politics, a view that is structured by embodiment. Greg argues that this view of the utopian can be found in the political efforts of "integrative feminisms."

Young, Iris Marion. "Comments on Seyla Benhabib, Situating the Self." New German Critique 62, 1994, 165-172.


Marion Young’s main focus, in this article, is Benhabib’s notion of reverse perspectives. Young believes that identifying moral respect and reciprocity with symmetry and reversibility of perspectives might close off the differentiation among subjects. Marion Young proposes and develops the idea of asymmetrical reciprocity based on the assumptions that a symmetrical reciprocity denies difference, is impossible and is politically suspect.   


Sterba, James P. “Benhabib and Rawl's Hypothetical Contractualism.” New German Critique 62, 1994, 137-148.


James Sterba focuses on Benhabib’s distinction of the “generalized other” and the “concrete other” as a result of her critique of Rawls’s hypothetical contractualism. Sterba tries to carry the reconciliationist project in which Benhabib is engaged in her book a step further. He shows that there are grounds for an even deeper reconciliation between Rawls´s hypothetical contractucalism and Benhabib´s communicative ethics. 


Toniolatti, Edoardo. "Complex Identities: Seyla Benhabib between Feminism and Discourse Ethics." Philosophy Today 53, no. 1 (2009): 3-11.

Toniolatti suggests that Benhabib develops an interpretation of Habermas's deliberative democracy theory that can be more fit to address the problem of multiculturalism. Democratic debate and dissent, challenging realities of contemporary pluralism, can be allowed with what Benhabib identifies as "practical rationality embodied in democratic institutions."


Further Readings - Brison

Baier, Annette. Moral Prejudices: Essays on Ethics. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1994. 

Drawing on David Hume’s essay “Of Moral Prejudices”, Annette Baier argues for a moral prejudice wherein moral notions are governed by trust, not by rules or codes. She focuses on the theme of women’s roles and engages with the philosophical theories of Kant and Plato to create a feminist ethics wherein the action of trusting others is central.


Held, Virginia. Feminist Morality: Transforming Culture, Society, and Politics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.

In this book, Virginia Held creates a philosophy of feminist ethics, highlighting the fact that masculine ideals of morality have traditionally dominated social, political, and cultural institutions. She adds to the ongoing feminist conversation regarding the importance of motherhood and identifies a feminist morality that goes further than the culturally constructed ideas regarding motherhood and the emotionality of females.