Many contexts shape and limit moral thinking in philosophy and life. Human conditions of vulnerability and interdependency, of limited awareness and control, of imperfect insight into ourselves and others are inevitable contexts that neither moral thought nor theory should forget. To be truly reflective, moral thinking and moral philosophy must become aware of the contexts that bind our thinking about how to live. This collection of essays by Margaret Urban Walker seek to show how to do this, and why it makes a difference. Contingent and changeable contexts that shape moral thinking include our individual histories, our social positions, and institutional roles, relationships, cultural settings, and social arrangements, and the specific moral idioms we pick up along the way. The paradigms and specialized language of ethical theory are contexts, too; they shape how moral theory looks and what or whom it looks at. Ethical theory and practice are meaningless without these Moral Contexts.
Margaret Urban Walker is Lincoln Professor of Ethics, Justice, and the Public Sphere in the School of Justice Studies at Arizona State University. She is the editor of Mother Time: Women, Aging, and Ethics (Rowman & Littlefield, 1999).
Chapter 1 Introduction: The Place of Moral Thinking Part 2 Part One: Concepts Absent or Ignored Chapter 3 Moral Particularity Chapter 4 Moral Luck and the Virtues of Impure Agency Chapter 5 Partial Consideration Part 6 Part Two: Feminism as Theory and Context Chapter 7 What Does the Different Voice Say? Gilligan's Women and Moral Philosophy Chapter 8 Moral Understandings: Alternative 'Epistemology' for a Feminist Ethics Chapter 9 Feminism, Ethics, and the Question of Theory Chapter 10 Seeing Power in Morality: A Proposal for Feminist Naturalism in Ethics Chapter 11 Some Thoughts on Feminists, Philosophy, and Feminist Philosophy Part 12 Part Three: Institutional and Social Contexts Chapter 13 Keeping Moral Space Open: New Images of Ethics Consulting Chapter 14 Ineluctable Feelings and Moral Recognition Chapter 15 Naturalizing, Normativity, and Using What 'We' Know in Ethics Chapter 16 Getting Out of Line: Alternatives to Life as a Career Part 17 Part Four: The 'Human' Context Chapter 18 Human Conditions