, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 221–235 | Cite as

The Metaphysics of Ethical Love: Comparing Practical Vedanta and Feminist Ethics



In this paper I compare two very different deployments of love in ethics. Swami Vivekananda's concept of ethical love ties into the project of constructing an alternative masculinity for a colonized people; while feminist care ethics uses love to escape the perceived masculinity of traditional ethical theory. Using Kenneth Goodpaster's distinction between ‘framework questions’ and ‘application questions,’ I try to show that love in Practical Vedanta addresses the former while feminist care ethics concerns itself with the latter. Even though this difference, I suggest, could be a function of their varying historical-political contexts, the two issues need to be taken together for a more complete understanding of the ethical subject.


Swami Vivekananda Feminist care ethics Practical Vedanta Identification Relational self 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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