Major Papers


care ethics, responsibility ethics


This paper explores feminist ethical theories in regards to their ability to enrich Shannon Sullivan’s transactional epistemology (STE) presented in Living Across and Through Skins. The feminist ethical theories that will be explored within this paper include care ethics, as presented by Carol Gilligan and Nel Noddings, and responsibility ethics, as presented by Margaret Urban Walker. In order for a theory to enrich STE it must have an understanding of the person and environments as mutually constitutive of one another and subsequently apply this understanding to effectively address oppressive attitudes and behaviours, particularly those found in the application of rigid gender binaries, in a way that aims to dismantle them. Sullivan describes such an understanding of persons through the notion of “transactional bodies” and asserts that this understanding is significant to the goal of improving bodily existence. Sullivan places this goal of improving bodily existence as central to her philosophy, and to any philosophy that explores corporeal existence. The feminist ethical theory that best addresses the application of rigid gender binaries and thus contributes to STE’s goal of improving bodily existence will be best suited for enriching STE.

Primary Advisor

Dr. Catherine Hundleby

Program Reader

Dr. Philip Rose

Degree Name

Master of Arts



Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year