David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Hypatia 19 (2):35-55 (2004)
: This paper addresses the appropriation of theories of evolution by nineteenth-century feminists, focusing on the critical response to Darwin's The Descent of Man by Eliza Burt Gamble (The Evolution of Woman, 1893) and Antoinette Brown Blackwell (The Sexes Throughout Nature, 1875) and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's social evolutionism. For Gilman, evolutionism was a revolutionary resource for feminism, one of its greatest hopes. Gamble and Blackwell revisit Darwin's data with the aim of locating, amidst his ostensive conclusions to the contrary, his implicit "defense" of either the equality (Blackwell) or the superiority (Gamble) of women. This article identifies the reasons for, and limitations of, this enthusiasm. To some extent, the basis of this feminism is provided by its keen perception of disparities between what a text does, and what it says it is doing. But these feminists did not think through the implications for their own rhetoric about race hierarchy. Darwin's trope of the "savage" would return in the work of some of these feminists, occasionally displaced or rejected, but usually reiterated, and sometimes integral to the feminism in question
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References found in this work BETA
Charles Darwin (2008). On the Origin of Species. Oxford University Press.
Lester F. Ward (1903). Pure Sociology. The Monist 13:629.
Larry Ceplair (1993). Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Nonfiction Reader. Utopian Studies 4 (1):92-94.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Kathy Casey & Sheryl L. Meyering (2000). Herland . Utopian Studies 11 (2):259-260.
Citations of this work BETA
Penelope Deutscher (2006). When Feminism is "High" and Ignorance is "Low": Harriet Taylor Mill on the Progress of the Species. Hypatia 21 (3):136-150.
Penelope Deutscher (2006). When Feminism Is “High” and Ignorance Is “Low”: Harriet Taylor Mill on the Progress of the Species. Hypatia 21 (3):136-150.
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Paul A. M. Dongen & Jo M. H. Vossen (1984). Can the Theory of Evolution Be Falsified? Acta Biotheoretica 33 (1).
Hallvard Lillehammer (2010). Methods of Ethics and the Descent of Man: Darwin and Sidgwick on Ethics and Evolution. Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):361-378.
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