Ethics Embodied

Rethinking Selfhood through Continental, Japanese, and Feminist Philosophies

By (author) Erin McCarthy Foreword by Thomas P. Kasulis

Publication date:

17 July 2010

Length of book:

134 pages


Lexington Books

ISBN-13: 9780739120491

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.
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 in making 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.