With the large amount of literature on the feminist, Friedman (301) categorized the feminine self in three perspectives; the metaphysics, their social philosophy and their epistemological make-up. He further delves into the classifications he makes about the female persona and comes up with the following perspectives; the metaphysical dealt with explanations to do with the self, ones persona.
This was further divided into four principals namely ‘agency, gender, body and personhood’ (Friedman 305). The epistemology tries to guide us in understanding where from and how one gains the knowledge about him/herself. He also gave three subdivisions of epistemology namely emotional knowledge, knowledge of the self and others and how women get knowledge on several aspects.
Friedman on Social Treatment
Social treatment, another section of Friedman’s book engages the social aspects of women with regard to ethics and politics. It dwells on and covers several aspects majorly on politics and personal ethics. Friedman lists seven categories from the above which include “care ethics, critiques of individualism, ethical theory, political theory, family and friendship, self-respect, violence, the self and social groups” (Friedman 306). The paper seeks to expound and critique the main subjects and points in relation to Thomas Nagel’s perceptions on Marilyn Friedman Feminist. Nagel, in light of the above discussion claims that the societal make up in regard to feminine interactions, have become awry. She claims that something is not just right much as society is trying to reduce the yardstick for measuring societal values.
In his book, Nagel elaborated his points in three sections. The first section discusses the difference between public and private with a bearing on sexuality. The second discusses the standoff with egalitarian liberalism and the last section which sort of touches on everything covered in the previous sections of the book deals with the problem of the mind and body. It also covers the aspect of rationality and relativity as regards social interactions of the feminist (Nagel 9).
Friedman on communitarianism
Friedman, in her definition of communitarianism, uses a hypothesis around the fact that human beings are programmed to form groupings that are founded on the basis of competition for the few available resources. She further asserts that these communities have little relation or bond other than the protracted interests which are instrumental in assisting them gain. Against the backdrop of this, she explains that most feminists come across as social in nature insisting that communitarianism and social interactions are a combination of the self and the nature of the relationship a given people share (Friedman 309).
The definition of the self is broadened to include even the modified conception of the way community is viewed as today, as such conflict and competition which have been for ages inherent in defining human relationships are being replaced by different virtues borrowed from aspects like nurturance, care and a general interest in others to constitute these relationships. Through such she implies that the self automatically asserts itself in the wake of new feministic virtues such as care and nurturance, she also decries the fact that communitarianism instills a sense of belonging that evolve around such spheres as family, neighborliness and even nationhood.
These forms of social classes that the groupings evoke have been the playground for which the establishments of structures that have subordinated women have been founded on. On the other hand, the communitarian philosophy is built on the attainment of satisfaction of adherents to its principals hence goes a long way in sustaining the moral angle the principles denotes. As such, she argues, communitarianism poses a challenge given the fact that it condones the rather Neanderthal forms of gender disparity which is totally unacceptable from any platform and should be vehemently discouraged (Friedman 312).
The social self, as is cognitively represented in the communitarian aspect is displayed through the self; therefore the determinants do not provide a basis for the nurturing and relational aspects of the self. This does not give the blue- print for the right or wrong tendencies of any individualistic behaviors, nor does it cushion against egotistic self- seeking tendencies. The other aspect of communitarianism is the authority or the moral principle from which the norms or traditions generate from and their bearing in case there is a breakdown of such.
It is normal for people to take for granted such rules and regulations as may be stipulated in case they do not have a bearing in law. To ensure that such is contained, communities have to ensure that their norms have a moral binding in essence that upon contravention of the above, communities normally insist on exclusion and the suppression of members who do not subscribe to the group. The non- members are categorized on several factors such as gender, race and ethnicity. In light of this, she urges that there should be trans- community lines, which would establish neutral platforms that would apply in the case of different loyalties as far as communitarianism is concerned.
Nagel, on the other hand, has a different opinion on the subject. His understanding of the psychosocial machinations that construe privacy norms are rather different; he suggests that underneath the normally composed persona is a rather chaotic steamy lavishness of the inner workings within the person. She further insists that, on the same note, we will find it hard to establish predictable routines of interrelations unless a person’s self- presentation mode is completely controlled.
To attain such they would have to exercise control on the person’s thinking and consequently their desires and impulses are screened. She observes that there has to be a gap between the uncontrolled inner self and the exposed persona that is reception to the public persona. Friedman urges that communitarian platforms have a tendency to override the self, upholding the trappings of communitarianism whilst trampling on the self. She delves into the possibility of striking a balance between a free inner self and the public presentation (Nagel 15).
On the differences that come about as a result of subscribing to different belief systems and the interfering of a person’s privacy as has been the norm recently, she proposes there being a standard unit or bar for which overt differences would be addressed. She further argues that communitarianism and individualism should ascribe to the same set of principles which would have a moral bearing.
As such, social control would be attained through implementing general restraint in which the public or community would be refrained from interference of private thoughts and opinions. The resultant aspect would be an atmosphere of private freedom that combines both the private and public interests, in that sense the balance attained, therefore, would facilitate harmonious coexistence in the application of these principles.