Originally published in 1994, asks how moral theories, whether traditional or feminist are made a reality. Using detailed examples to bring moral norms to light, the book addresses historical cases and contemporary social problems such as teen pregnancy, contraception, abortion and gay rights. Her in-depth study of Margaret Sanger's early work on birth control shows how the knowledge of birth control as well as the action of abortion was (and still is) declared deviant and reveals the collective nature of both morality and knowledge.
‘…a profound application of the view that ideas, whether scientific or moral, develop out of the historical context and social relations of their creation and use…. The book ought to be on the shelf of everyone interested in the next steps in our collective research in ethics, epistemology and social policy.’ Ann Ferguson, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
‘By incorporating the insights of contemporary sociological theory into philosophical and feminist ethics, Kathryn Addelson contributes powerfully to current critiques of individualism and professional authority.’ Laurie Shrage, Cal Poly Pomona
1. A Philosopher’s Question, ‘How Should We Live?’ 2. Three Answers 3. Making Moral Problems Public 4. Margaret Sanger’s Answer: The Woman of Practical Wisdom 5. Autonomy and Life Plan: The Problem of the ‘Middle Class’ 6. A Collectivist Perspective 7. The Knowers and the Known 8. Self and Social Order