On Civic Friendship: Including Women in the State

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Women have performed the vast majority of often unpaid friendship labor for centuries. Embodying the freedom, equality, and ideals of the Constitution, civic friendship emerges as a necessary condition for genuine justice. Through a critical examination of social and political relationships from ancient times to today, Sibyl Schwarzenbach develops a truly innovative, feminist theory of the democratic state.

Beginning with an analysis of Aristotle's notion of political friendship, Schwarzenbach brings the philosopher's insights to bear on the social and political requirements of the modern state. She elaborates a conception of civic friendship that, with its ethical reproductive praxis, functions differently from male-centered notions of fraternity and, with its female participants, remains fundamentally separate from generalized, male-inflected claims of Marxist solidarity. Schwarzenbach also distinguishes civic friendship from feminist calls for public care, arguing that friendship, unlike care, not only is reciprocal but also seeks to establish and maintain equality. Schwarzenbach concludes with various public institutions-economic, legal, and social-that can promote civic friendship without sacrificing crucial liberties. In fact, women's entrance into the public sphere en masse makes such ideals realistic within a competitive, individualistic society.

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Editorial Reviews

This book provides clear and thoughtful re-readings of the tradition from a feminist perspective and reincorporates a classical notion of civil society... recommended.

This book provides clear and thoughtful re-readings of the tradition from a feminist perspective and reincorporates a classical notion of civil society... recommended.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231147224
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 11/5/2009
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Sibyl Ann Schwarzenbach is professor of philosophy at the City University of New York (Baruch College and the University Graduate Center). She is the author of many articles and the editor, with Patricia Smith, of Women and the United States Constitution: History, Interpretation, and Practice.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface: A Paradox of Democracy xi

Acknowledgments xv

I Introduction: Metaphor and Theory Change 1

1.1 The problem of social unity 1

1.2 Locke's metaphor of mixing one's labor 5

1.3 The need for a new metaphor 12

1.4 Tremarks on philosophical method 15

Part I The Past

3 The Forgotten Category of Ethical Reproduction 27

2.1 The presumed nonrationality of the reproductive soul 27

2.2 Aristotle's human function argument 31

2.3 An ethical reading of reproduction (the threptikon) 34

2.4 Production versus reproduction 36

2.5 Ethical reproductive praxis 41

2.6 Personal friendship (philia) 43

2.7 Political friendship 52

2.8 Conclusion 56

3 The Liberal Production Model 59

3.1 Developments of the modern period 59

3.2 Locke and the production model 71

3.3 Stewardship versus private property 73

3.4 Two models of political autonomy 80

3.5 The modern citizen as producer and The two moral powers 82

3.6 A brief note on utilitarianism 88

3.7 Conclusion 92

4 The Socialist Turn: Missing Faculties 94

4.1 The aristotelian influence 94

4.2 Marx's 1844 manuscripts 95

4.3 Rawls's misreading of marx 101

4.4 The absence of the category of reproductive Praxis 105

4.5 The emotions and their role in practical Reason 108

4.6 The work of care (versus sympathy) 114

4.7 Marx's "copernican revolution" 120

4.8 Social labor: missing faculties 128

Part II The Present

5 The Possibility of a Modern Civic Friendship 135

5.1 Conceptions of state and economy 135

5.2 Rawls's principle of fraternity 142

5.3 The indeterminacy of the difference principle 145

5.4 An alternative model of social labor 152

5.5 Toward a new conception ofownership 158

5.6 Civic friendship in the economic domain 164

6 Women, Democracy, and the U.S. Constitution 176

6.1 The lacuna in the representation of women 176

6.2 The analysis of what is lacking 178

6.3 Reflective equilibrium and constitutional Interpretation 183

6.4 The founding period and "friends of mankind" 196

6.5 Revisiting reconstruction 193

6.6 Rectifying the lacuna in representation 197

6.7 Friendship and democracy 200

7 The State of Feminist Theory 204

7.1 The state revisited 204

7.2 Earlier feminist positions 205

7.3 Care theory: motherhood or friendship? 210

7.4 Three models of public care 220

7.5 Reply to objections 234

7.6 A note on discourse ethics 237

7.7 The new state: liberty, equality, and civic Friendship 242

8 Looking Outward: Beyond the National Security State 247

8.1 International phiua? 247

6.2 International relations and structural anarchy 252

8.3 A global difference principle? 361

8.4 Back to the drawing board; ecological concerns 271

8.5 Final note on terrorism 283

Notes 289

Index 325

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