Manual Setting the Moral Compass: Essays by Women Philosophers (Studies in Feminist Philosophy)

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Studies in Feminist Philosophy. Setting the Moral Compass brings together the largely unpublished work of nineteen women moral philosophers whose powerful and innovative work has contributed to the "re-setting of the compass" of moral philosophy over the past two decades.

The contributors, who include many of the top names in this field, tackle several wide-ranging projects: Reviews "This collection admirably recognized and documents the contribution various women have made to moral philosophy. Essays by Women Philosophers.

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Any moral philosopher would benefit from reading the other extremely rich, insightful, and interesting papers. Art patronage involves continuous and pleasant activity of knowing about paintings, enjoyment from the mathematical skills involved in the business aspect of art, and contemplation with colleagues, all of which are marks of unimpeded activity.

As a result of these ordinary activities and relationships, the art patron develops further desires for greater continuous activity, which eventually leads to virtue. In short, a person acquires more desires from pursuing certain things that the person on the street pursues, and these desires will eventually lead to virtue.

Cheshire Calhoun, in a fun and exciting paper, examines the notion of common decency through the failure of Ebenezer Scrooge, who does his duty by giving others exactly what he owes, but who gives nothing more — no pleasantries, mercies, kindnesses, and favors that we expect of any minimally well-formed agent.

Calhoun argues that common decencies are a subclass of supererogatory acts, the former being ones that are motivationally nontaxing e.

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Calhoun could readily accept this modification by challenging the sexism and other immorality that might underlie social conventions and expectations generated thereby. It argues that resentment plays the role of targeting violations and prompting violators of our shared norms and expectations to reconsider their actions and to beware that they have violated these. This paper illustrates the themes of ordinariness and resistance to elitism: In all cases the person resenting believes that the other could have acted differently, since the latter knows or ought to know that he is not exempt from the shared norms.

Resentment calls for the resented to reaffirm their subscription to moral or other norms they have violated. And where these norms are different for the oppressed and the privileged, the oppressed can legitimately resent this very difference. In her excellent and powerful paper, Robin Dillon argues that for Kant arrogance is the deadliest of moral vices. In so asking, Dillon demonstrates resistance to elitism, since even if arrogance might help women fight their oppression, it might be the case that they ought not to develop it if it means sacrificing self-respect — one is to have a humble attitude toward morality.


Arrogance violates the duty to respect others, requiring that others respect the arrogant person more highly than he deserves, and that they respect themselves much less than they deserve, thereby denying their intrinsic dignity. Dillon identifies three versions of arrogance in Kant: The third kind of arrogance underlies the first two, and is the worst form and the deepest source of evil, since it involves tinkering with the moral law in a way that makes the arrogant person able to pass off what he wants to do as what he ought to do, by subordinating the incentives of the moral law to those of the inclinations.

He exercises power over morality and reason itself, for the desire for self-esteem. Were women to become arrogant in this way, they would likely turn into oppressors themselves, and lose self-respect. They can, though, become superior to oppressive social norms, as long as they do so in a self-respecting way.

She favors a narrative account of agency and responsibility that can show both how internalized oppression subverts self-determination, and how resistance is possible.