Feminist Approaches to Violence and Vulnerability

Authored by: Elizabeth Frazer , Kimberly Hutchings

The Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  May  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138795921
eBook ISBN: 9781315758152
Adobe ISBN:


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Considerations of violence and vulnerability are central to feminist philosophy. This is unsurprising given, not only that these are heavily gendered concepts, but also that gendered experiences of violence and vulnerability affect the lives of contemporary women and men across the world. For these reasons, feminist philosophers have wanted to address ontological, phenomenological, epistemological, and ethico-political questions about violence and vulnerability. In doing so, they have developed philosophical insights into a range of topics, from the fundamental nature of the Western philosophical imaginary, to the production of the gendered subject, to the ethics of war and peace, to the nature and meaning of structural and symbolic violence. It is not possible to deal adequately with all of this work here. In what follows, we will focus on two areas of debate within feminist philosophical work on violence and vulnerability: first, how violence and vulnerability are and should be conceptualized; second, feminist responses to normative questions about the ethics of political violence.

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