Intact: A Defence of the Unmodified Body
In an age of social media and selfies, of pixel-perfect pictures and surgically-enhanced celebrities, the pressure to change our bodies can often seem overwhelming. We are told we should conceal the signs of ageing and get our bodies back after pregnancy. We ought to perfect our complexions, build our biceps, trim our waistlines, cure our disabilities, conceal our quirks. More than ever before, we should contort our physical selves to prejudiced standards of beauty and acceptability. In this thought-provoking work, acclaimed political philosopher Clare Chambers argues that the unmodified body is a key principle of equality. While defending the right of anyone to change their bodies, she argues that the…
Cosmetic procedures: ethical issues
Nuffield Council on Bioethics, 2017 This report was written by the Working Party on Cosmetic Procedures, of which I am a member. There has been increasing demand for invasive cosmetic procedures in the UK, prompting questions about potential risks to users and the lack of regulation and professional standards in this area. This report explores ethical issues in cosmetic procedures with a particular focus on the role and responsibilities of health and scientific professionals and others in responding to demand for invasive non-reconstructive procedures that aim to enhance or normalise appearance. It engages in detailed ethical analysis and makes recommendations affecting all parts of the sector. You can read the report…
Medicalised Genital Cutting and the Limits of Choice
in Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery: Interdisciplinary Analysis and Solution, edited by Sarah Creighton and Lih-Mei Lao (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).
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Ideology and Normativity
In Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society: Supplementary Edition ( 2017)
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Sex, Culture, and Justice: The Limits of Choice
(Penn State University Press, 2008) Autonomy is fundamental to liberalism. But autonomous individuals often choose to do things that harm themselves or undermine their equality. In particular, women often choose to participate in practices of sexual inequality—cosmetic surgery, gendered patterns of work and childcare, makeup, restrictive clothing, or the sexual subordination required by membership in certain religious groups. In this book, Chambers argues that this predicament poses a fundamental challenge to many existing liberal and multicultural theories that dominate contemporary political philosophy. Click on the book title to see more.
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Are breast implants better than female genital mutilation? Autonomy, gender equality and Nussbaum’s political liberalism
in Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (CRISPP) Vol. 7 No. 3 (Autumn 2004).