Ethics Embodied: Rethinking Selfhood through Continental, Japanese, and Feminist Philosophies

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9780739120507: Ethics Embodied: Rethinking Selfhood through Continental, Japanese, and Feminist Philosophies
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While the body has been largely neglected in much of traditional Western philosophy, there is a rich tradition of Japanese philosophy in which this is not the case. Ethics Embodied explains how Japanese philosophy includes the body as an integral part of selfhood and ethics and shows how it provides an alternative and challenge to the traditional Western philosophical view of self and ethics. Through a comparative feminist approach, the book articulates the striking similarities that exist between certain strands of Japanese philosophy and feminist philosophy concerning selfhood, ethics and the body. Despite the similarities, McCarthy argues that there are significant differences between these philosophies and that each reveals important limitations of the other. Thus, the book urges a view of ethical embodied selfhood that goes beyond where each of these views leaves us when considered in isolation. With keen analysis and constructive comparison, this book will be accessible for students and scholars familiar with the Western philosophical tradition, while still adding a more global perspective.

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About the Author:

Erin McCarthy is associate professor of philosophy at St. Lawrence University and a member of the board of directors of ASIANetwork.

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McCarthy writes with a clarity that shows how deeply she has thought about, and cared about, the encounter of Western feminist thinking with Japanese philosophy. Not only has she made difficult texts accessible to the general reader, she has succeeded inmaking them relevant to an important range of contemporary ethical questions. This little book represents yet another landmark in the opening of Western philosophy to the remarkable insight of an intellectual tradition whose contributions to discussions of the body are irreplaceable... (James W. Heisig, Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture)

A fascinating study of some important intersections between phenomenology, modern Japanese philosophy, and contemporary feminist ethics. By bringing these streams of thought together to re-assess embodiment and its significance for ethics, McCarthy simultaneously develops a novel form of cross-cultural feminist philosophy.... (Alison Stone, Professor of European Philosophy, Lancaster University)

Ethics Embodied is, as the author notes, an introduction, but it also attempts to carve out a new approach to ethics and offers as well a re-thinking of what is essential in teaching at all levels. As an introduction, it succeeds admirably and should create considerable excitement in the minds and bodies of readers.... (Robert Carter, Trent University)

McCarthy builds a strong case for undertaking a crosscultural, interdisciplinary dialogue across the Continental, Japanese, and Feminist philosophical traditions. After a lucid and careful explanation of the Japanese concept of the self (ningen, as found in Watsuji’s philosophy), which partakes simultaneously of the individual and the social as well as the spatial and the temporal, McCarthy builds a robust comparative analysis of these three traditions. (Religious Studies Review 2011-07-01)

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