Wollstonecraft’s Feminist Virtue Ethics: Friendship and the Good Society

Academia Letters 717 (717):1-6 (2021)
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This paper will show that Mary Wollstonecraft developed a modern feminist version of virtue ethics. Virtue ethics is an all-encompassing moral theory which holds that the best life for individuals is commensurate with a good society. Simply, self-interest and our public duties are argued as identical and not at odds when we realize what is truly good for ourselves and for others. In the Western philosophic cannon, the most common version of virtue ethics is Aristotle’s, with the Nicomachean Ethics as the definitive presentation. Wollstonecraft’s argument for the political, social, economic, and personal equality of women utilizes ideas that are reminiscent of classical virtue ethics. Her novel and effective addition is to show that the explicit inclusion of women requires a reconsideration of the duties needed for happy lives to be led and for a good society, and good families, to exist.
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Archival date: 2021-08-01
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