Beyond adaptive preferences: Rethinking women's complicity in their own subordination

European Journal of Philosophy 30 (4):1317–1334 (2021)
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An important question confronting feminist philosophers is why women are sometimes complicit in their own subordination. The dominant view holds that complicity is best understood in terms of adaptive preferences. This view assumes that agents will naturally gravitate away from subordination and towards flourishing as long as they do not have things imposed on them that disrupt this trajectory. However, there is reason to believe that ‘impositions’ do not explain all of the ways in which complicity can arise. This paper defends a phenomenological account of complicity, which offers an alternative explanation.

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Charlotte Knowles
University of Groningen


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