In her latest book Adriana Cavarero, Italy’s most eminent feminist philosopher, takes a journey through art, literature, history, and philosophy to offer a critique of a geometric figure underlying Western thought: the figure of verticality. This geometry symbolizes a model of subjectivity that represents the ethical and political agent as an erect, autonomous, and rational self. Cavarero argues that this individualistic ontology obstructs the development of an altruistic ethics, for it reduces ethics to abstract principles founded on philosophy’s abstract construction of the self. The intention of Inclinations is therefore to challenge, rather than negate, the vertical model of the subject: to “critique its limits, pretences and its uncritical adoption in the fields of ontology, ethics and politics” (p. 128).
- Italian feminism