"Hekman advances the discussion of moral thinking. Her new way of reconceptualizing moral thinking is a major challenge to the Cartesian/Kantian paradigm. . . . Hekman navigates the subject with remarkable clarity and insight. . . . [A] book of significance."—Perspectives on Political Science
In her landmark 1982 study In a Different Voice, Carol Gilligan argues that there is not only one, true moral voice, but two: one masculine, one feminine. Moral values and concerns associated with a feminine outlook are relational rather than autonomous; they depend upon interaction with others. Susan J. Hekman argues that the approach to morality suggested by Gilligan's work marks a radically new departure in moral thinking.
In a far-reaching examination and critique of Gilligan's theory, Hekman seeks to deconstruct the major traditions of moral theory that have been dominant since the Enlightenment. She challenges the centerpiece of that tradition: the disembodied, autonomous subject of modernist philosophy. Hekman argues that the logic of Gilligan's approach entails multiple moral voices, not just one or even two, and that factors other than gender—class, race, and culture—are constitutive of moral voice. Using the work of Wittgenstein and Foucault, she outlines the parameters of a discursive morality and its implications for feminism and moral theory.
About the Author:
Susan J. Hekman is Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at Arlington. She is the author of, most recently, Gender and Knowledge: Elements of Postmodern Feminism (Northeastern, 1990).