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Moral Philosophy and Politics

Editor-in-Chief: Schefczyk, Michael

Managing Editor: Schmidt-Petri, Christoph

Ed. by Meyer, Lukas Heinrich / Peacock, Mark / Schaber, Peter

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The Robust Demands of Oppression Problematizing Pettit’s Account of Attachments

Federica Gregoratto
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  • School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Philosophy Department, University of St Gallen, Unterer Graben 20 CH-9000, St Gallen, Switzerland
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Published Online: 2018-06-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mopp-2017-0021


The article critically discusses Pettit’s account of love as an intimate attachment. I will not question his notion that love implies care; my aim is to show how, under certain social structural conditions, the demands of love bring about and/or reproduce oppression. First, I recap and discuss Pettit’s conception of love. Second, I show how the traditional gender order generates asymmetries in the provision of care, thus setting the ground for situations in which the demands of care become oppressive. Third, I critically discuss the ways in which a person can resist the oppression implied in the demands of care. In a fourth step, I consider Pettit’s critique of problematic forms of love. Finally, I conclude by drawing upon the categories of freedom and domination as key concepts for developing a more critical account of love.

Keywords: love; care; gender; oppression; freedom; domination


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About the article

Published Online: 2018-06-14

Published in Print: 2018-06-26

Citation Information: Moral Philosophy and Politics, Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 49–67, ISSN (Online) 2194-5624, ISSN (Print) 2194-5616, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mopp-2017-0021.

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