Environmental Ethics

Volume 22, Issue 2, Summer 2000

Amy L. Goff-Yates
Pages 169-181

Karen Warren and the Logic of Domination
A Defense

Karen Warren claims that there is a “logic of domination” at work in the oppressive conceptual frameworks informing both sexism and naturism. Although her account of the principle of domination as a connection between oppressions has been an influential one in ecofeminist theory, it has been challenged by recent criticism. Both Karen Green and John Andrews maintain that the principle of domination, as Warren articulates it, is ambiguous. The principle, according to Green, admits of two possible readings, each of which she finds flawed. Similarly, Andrews claims that the principle is fundamentally inadequate because it cannot distinguish cases of oppressive domination from cases of nonoppressive domination. In this paper, I elucidate Warren’s views and defend her against these and other criticisms put forward by Green and Andrews. I show that Warren’s account of “the logic of domination” successfully illuminates important conceptual features of oppression.