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Irwin, J. (2012). Why Ethics? Why Motherhood? But Yes!. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 13(2):85-88.

(2012). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 13(2):85-88

Why Ethics? Why Motherhood? But Yes!

Jones Irwin, Ph.D.

This essay contextualizes Baraitser's (2009) Maternal Encounters: The Ethics of Interruption with regard to a persistent neglect of the value of motherhood in Western philosophy. The author argues that Baraitser's approach foregrounds the “maternal encounter” in a way that is distinctive both with regard to mainstream philosophy and with regard to hegemonic versions of feminism. The text is also singular in its style and enactment of a more personalized experience of motherhood, which is nonetheless simultaneously articulated through a subtle and powerful reading of contemporary philosophy, most especially through the work of Alain Badiou and Julia Kristeva. The author argues that Baraitser avoids the more moralistic or naive versions of the contemporary “return to the ethical” and instead plots a powerfully original and iconoclastic philosophy of the maternal, which maintains an idiosyncratic subversive potential, both philosophically and politically.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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