Conventional wisdom and commonsense morality tend to take the integrity of persons for granted. But for people in systematically unjust societies, self-respect and human dignity may prove to be impossible dreams.Susan Babbitt explores the implications of this insight, arguing that in the face of systemic injustice, individual and social rationality may require the transformation rather than the realization of deep-seated aims, interests, and values. In particular, under such conditions, she argues, the cultivation and ongoing exercise of moral imagination is necessary to discover and defend a more humane social vision.Impossible Dreams is one of those rare books that fruitfully combines discourses that were previously largely separate: feminist and antiracist political theory, analytic ethics and philosophy of mind, and a wide range of non-philosophical literature on the lives of oppressed peoples around the world. It is both an object lesson in reaching across academic barriers and a demonstration of how the best of feminist philosophy can be in conversation with the best of ?mainstream? philosophy?as well as affect the lives of real people.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Myths, Fantasies, and Realism: The Story of Sethe; Transformation Experiences and Rational Deliberation; Objective Interests, Nonpropositional Knowledge, and Conversion Experiences; Leading Life from the Inside: Individuals, Minority Rights, and Some Problems About Indeterminacy; Personal Integrity, Politics, and Moral Imagination; Feminists and Nature: A Defense of Essentialism; Reason and the Erotic: The Moral Significance of Personal Relations and Commitments; Philosophy and Literature: Recalling the Archangel; Epilogue
Susan E. Babbitt is assistant professor of philosophy at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.