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How are the unjustified dominations of women and other humans connected to the unjustified domination of animals and nonhuman nature? What are the characteristics of oppressive conceptual frameworks and systems of unjustified domination? How does an ecofeminist perspective help one understand issues of environmental and social justice? In this important new work, Karen J. Warren answers these and other questions from a Western perspective. Warren looks at the variety of positions in ecofeminism, the distinctive nature of ecofeminist philosophy, ecofeminism as an ecological position, and other aspects of the movement to reveal its significance to both understanding and creatively changing patriarchal (and other) systems of unjustified domination.
Chapter 1 Nature Is a Feminist Issue: Motivating Ecofeminism by Taking Empirical Data Seriously Chapter 2 What Are Ecofeminists Saying? An Overview of Ecofeminist Positions Chapter 3 Quilting Ecofeminist Philosophy: A Western Perspective on What Ecofeminist Philosophy Is Chapter 4 How Should We Treat Nature? Ecofeminist Philosophy and Environmental Ethics Chapter 5 Ethics in a Fruit Bowl: Ecofeminist Ethics Chapter 6 Must Everyone Be Vegetarian? Ecofeminist Philosophy and Animal Welfarism Chapter 7 What Is Ecological about Ecofeminist Philosophy? Ecofeminist Philosophy, Ecosystem Ecology, and Leopold's Land Ethic Chapter 8 With Justice for All: Ecofeminist Philosophy and Social Justice Chapter 9 Surviving Patriarchy: Ecofeminist Philosophy and Spirituality
Posted September 21, 2001
ECOFEMINIST PHILOSOPHY A WESTERN PERSPECTIVE ON WHAT IT IS AND WHY IT MATTERS By Karen J. Warren Rowman and Littlefield, 230 pages. A Review by Wendell G. Bradley Warren calls herself a `street philosopher¿. And, true to her calling, this professor of philosophy at Macalester College reaches the ordinary reader on important issues. Ordinary philosophy is already superseded in chapter one entitled: `Nature is a Feminist Issue¿. Women, world-wide, are shown to experience environmental harm disproportionately. And, they are organizing, as women, against related dominations. For Warren, dominations tend to follow whenever (allegedly) ethically relevant hierarchies designate their `others¿ as inferiors. Subordinations, however, have to be first justified by `a logic of domination¿. Humans, for example, might be deemed superior to nature because they have the ability to manipulate it. But, without a logic of domination, `superiority¿ could just as well lead to stewardship. Patriarchy provides our current logic of domination. Under its conceptual framework, men become associated with reason and volition (read: intelligence and public roles). The result is a prevailing male-other bias that links women and nature--women too naturally something, to be allowed this or that. Accordingly, Warren recognizes both gender and ecology as good points of departure for an environmental ethic, hence ecofeminism. Warren begins her `quilting¿ of an ecofeminist philosophy in chapter three. Here, she masterfully interrogates and reconceptualizes the reductive and essentialist rationality of today¿s male-other bias. Various belief examinations arise from the `cognitive dissonances¿ she brings to light in an examined patriarchy. At a minimum our loss of ecological integrity has required justification via a logic of domination. Our human spirit, however, can become caring enough to resist oppressions and destructions, especially in one¿s home place. Accordingly, Warren introduces a `care-sensitive¿ ethic. It is characterized by a `loving eye¿ that focuses on a contextual orientation, a more optimistic understanding of self, an inclusivist ethical pluralism, incorporations of emotional intelligence, and a nonprivileging social justice. Through our spiritual ability to care, these qualities combine to make nature `morally deserving¿. Thus, Warren¿s care-sensitive ethic makes a fundamental contribution to a possible ecological flourishing. The idea of ecofeminism, itself, is not particularly new, but Warren¿s insights, clarifications and arguments are. Her overall philosophical synthesis is both refreshing and convincing. Wendell G. Bradley, is a retired professor of Human Ecology and author of `The Gift of Morality¿ He lives in Colorado.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 19, 2000
'Ecofeminist Philosophy' by Karen Warren is a must read by anyone interested in women, children, the environment, 'care-sensitive ethics,' world cultures, and the future of our earth and all its creatures (including: 'women-other human Others'). Her writing style welcomes readers of all abilities, backgrounds, and philosophies. If you have limited knowledge of women, the environment, and/or nature this book is the PERFECT place to start!!!! Karen uses multiple examples and analogies throughout the book, offering an understanding for individuals who have different styles of learning. AND... a clear, accurate, and thorough index is user friendly! This book has changed my life. I have gained a greater, clearer, more wholesome view of and genuine respect for the world, 3rd world nations, my country, women, the environment, and myself.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.