chapter  6
31 Pages

Leaks and flows: NRTs and the postmodern body

Throughout the foregoing discussion of the developments of a specifically body-conscious feminist postmodernism, I have been concerned to mark its implications for ethics. In particular, the ethics of health care, which both are and are not body-centred, have been problematised both for their abstract universalist claims and for their inherent gender bias. Once what have been taken by liberal humanist accounts to be secure and stable identities and fixed subject positions are opened to a deconstructionist interrogation, then the issue of sameness and difference which has underwritten traditional ethics loses its power. The demise both of the unified and coherent subject, and of homogeneous categories to which such subjects might be assigned, has demanded a reconstruction, not just of moral agency, but of the very possibility of ethical codes. What I have suggested as the basis for a more appropriate ethic is a responsibility towards differences not as the disembodied sites of diverse claims, but as an awareness of the irreducible but fluid bodily investments which ground our own provisional being in the world and our interactions with others.