While feminist aestheticians have long interrogated gendered, raced, and classed hierarchies in the arts, feminist philosophers still don’t talk much about popular music. Even though Angela Davis and bell hooks have seriously engaged popular music, they are often situated on the margins of philosophy. It is my contention that feminist aesthetics has a lot to offer to the study of popular music, and the case of popular music points feminist aesthetics to some of its own limitations and unasked questions. This (...) essay addresses the paucity of work in feminist philosophy and popular music by (1) applying insights from other areas of feminist aesthetics (the role of gender in the art/craft distinction, concepts of genius and creativity, notions of active spectatorship, etc.) to questions of popular music, and (2) thereby using feminist aesthetics – specifically, Julia Kristea’s notion of female genius and the genius spectator – to critique itself. (shrink)
This paper considers whether eudaimonism is necessarily an idealizing approach to ethics. I argue, contrary to what is implied by Christine Swanton, that it is not, and I suggest that a non-ideal eudaimonistic virtue ethics can be useful for feminist and critical race theorists. For eudaimonist theorists in the Aristotelian tradition, the claim that one should aim to live virtuously assumes that there will typically be good enough background conditions so that an exercise of the virtues, in conjunction with these (...) favorable external conditions, will suffice for someone to flourish both in the sense of living virtuously and in the sense of living well or living the good life. However, under some forms of oppression the background conditions will not be good enough, and thus an exercise of the virtues will often be insufficient to constitute a flourishing life. It may seem that eudaimonism, with its foregrounding of the concept of flourishing and its assumption of a tight connection between living virtuously and living well, may function as a form of ideology that elides the ways in which non-ideal and oppressive conditions can separate virtue from well-being and can make the state of flourishing (in its dual senses) unattainable. I point out that eudaimonism can be revised to incorporate the claim that virtue and flourishing may typically be unlinked, and I advocate retaining flourishing as an unattainable end, exercising the virtues even with a sense of their absurdity, and confronting the existential states of frustration and disappointment that may result. (shrink)
Feminist philosophy of science has been criticized on several counts. On the one hand, it is claimed that it results in relativism of the worst sort since the political commitment to feminism is prima facie incompatible with scientific objectivity. On the other hand, when critics acknowledge that there may be some value in work that feminists have done, they comment that there is nothing particularly feminist about their accounts. I argue that both criticisms can be addressed through a better (...) understanding of the current work in feminist epistemology. I offer an examination of standpoint theory as an illustration. Harding and Wylie have suggested ways in which the objectivity question can be addressed. These two accounts, together with a third approach, ‘model-based objectivity’, indicate there is a clear sense in which we can understand how standpoint theory both contributes to a better understanding of scientific knowledge and can provide a feminist epistemology. (shrink)
How should feminist philosophers regard the inequalities that structure the lives of women? Some of these inequalities are trivial and others are not; together they form a framework of unequal treatment that shapes women’s lives. This paper asks what priority we should give inequalities that affect women; it critically analyzes Claudia Card’s view that feminists ought to give evils priority. Sometimes ending gender-based inequalities is the best route to eliminating gender-based evil.
Sharge explores the moral pemises of feminist sexual politics, focusing in particular on the emotive issues of abortion, prostitution and adultery, in order to develop an interpretative and pluralist approach to feminist ethics.
This third edition of the bestselling An Introduction to Sociology: Feminist Perspectives confirms the ongoing centrality of feminist perspectives and research to the sociological enterprise and introduces students to the wide range of feminist contributions to key areas of sociological concern. This completely revised edition includes: · new chapters on sexuality and the media · additional material on race and ethnicity, disability and the body · many new international and comparative examples · the influence of theories of globalization and post-colonial (...) studies. The theoretical elements have also been fully rethought in light of recent developments in social theory. Written by three experienced academics, this book gives students of sociology and women's studies an accessible overview of the feminist contribution to all the key areas of sociological concern. (shrink)
This collection of original essays explores the social and relational dimensions of individual autonomy. Rejecting the feminist charge that autonomy is inherently masculinist, the contributors draw on feminist critiques of autonomy to challenge and enrich contemporary philosophical debates about agency, identity, and moral responsibility. The essays analyze the complex ways in which oppression can impair an agent's capacity for autonomy, and investigate connections, neglected by standard accounts, between autonomy and other aspects of the agent, including self-conception, self-worth, memory, and the (...) imagination. (shrink)
Feminist work in the history of philosophy has come of age as an innovative field in the history of philosophy. This volume marks that accomplishment with original essays by leading feminist scholars who ask basic questions: What is distinctive of feminist work in the history of philosophy? Is there a method that is distinctive of feminist historical work? How can women philosophers be meaningfully included in the history of the discipline? Who counts as a philosopher? This collection is a unique (...) collaboration among philosophers from North America and the Nordic Countries, including papers written from both analytic and continental philosophical perspectives and discussing both ancient and modern philosophers. Feminist Reflections on the History of Philosophy will be of interest to historians of philosophy, feminist theorists, women's studies faculty and students, and humanists interested in canon formation and transformation. (shrink)
So what is feminism anyway? Why are all the experts so reluctant to give us a clear definition? Is it possible to make sense of the complex and often contradictory debates? In this concise and accessible introduction to feminist theory, Chris Beasley provides clear explanations of the many types of feminism. She outlines the development of liberal, radical and Marxist//socialist feminism, and reviews the more contemporary influences of psychoanalysis, postmodernism, theories of the body, queer theory, and attends (...) to the ongoing significance of race and ethnicity. Given the diversity of feminist ideas, Chris Beasley a number of ways of looking at feminist theory and offer an open-ended approach which allows for variety and change. What is Feminism? is a clear and up-to-date guide to Western feminist theory for students, their teachers, researchers and anyone else who wants to understand and engage in current feminist debates. `Over the last three decades feminist theories and methodologies have become an increasingly complex as well as somewhat fraught terrain where ideas and egos alternately clash productively and destructively. This is an up-to-date and intelligent introduction to a field which remains a vital component of contemporary sociopolitical issues and debates' - Sneja Gunew, Professor of English and Women’s Studies, University of British Columbia. (shrink)
In this paper I explore some possible reasons why white feminists philosophers have failed to engage the radical work being done by non-Western women, U.S. women of color and scholars of color outside of the discipline. -/- Feminism and academic philosophy have had lots to say to one another. Yet part of what marks feminist philosophy as philosophy is our engagement with the intellectual traditions of the white forefathers. I’m not uncomfortable with these projects: Aristotle, Foucault, Sartre, Wittgenstein, Quine, (...) Austin, and countless others have provided us with some very powerful conceptual tools.. However, as Sandra Harding observes, conventional standards for what counts as “good science” (or in this case “good philosophy”) always bear the imprint of their creators. So, I think about whether the tools my discipline hands me ever serve as strategies for exclusion. -/- My conversation begins with intersectionality, which for feminists working outside of philosophy, is a predictable point of departure; but as a white feminist philosopher I have specific reasons for starting here. The fact that intersectionality is, at once, such a widely recognized strategy for making visible women of color’s issues and concerns in academic and policy discussions, and so neglected by philosophers is telling. I want to invite philosophers to think more seriously about intersectionality and other pluralist approaches as strategies for calling attention to whiteness of philosophy in general and feminist philosophy in particular. I want us to consider what feminist philosophy would be like if women of color’s writing, experiences, and communities drove philosophical inquiry. -/- Since most philosophers are unfamiliar with intersectional methodologies, I begin with a basic explanation of the foundational claims of this approach. Next, I explore some reasons why white feminists working in philosophy may be resistant to this method. I identify both disciplinary and personal reasons for this hesitancy and argue that intersectionality serves as a useful strategic tool for examining white authority in the emergent feminist canon. Finally, I explore the role intersectional thinking might play in creating a feminist critical race philosophy by outlining four projects that I think will challenge and enrich feminist work in the discipline. (shrink)
How is feminism changing the way women and men think, feel, and act? Virginia Held explores how feminist theory is changing contemporary views of moral choice. She proposes a comprehensive philosophy of feminist ethics, arguing persuasively for reconceptualizations of the self of relations between the self and others and of images of birth and death, nurturing and violence. Held shows how social, political, and cultural institutions have traditionally been founded upon masculine ideals of morality. She then identifies a distinct (...) feminist morality that moves beyond culturally embedded notions about motherhood and female emotionality. Examining the effects of this alternative moral and ethical system on changing social values, Held discusses its far-reaching implications for altering standards of freedom, democracy, equality, and personal development. Ultimately, she concludes, the culture of feminism could provide a fresh perspective on--even solutions to--contemporary social problems. Feminist Morality makes a vital contribution to the ongoing debate in feminist theory on the importance of motherhood. For philosophers and other readers outside feminist theory, it offers a feminist moral and social critique in clear and accessible terms. (shrink)
This is a revised edition of Walker's well-known book in feminist ethics first published in 1997. Walker's book proposes a view of morality and an approach to ethical theory which uses the critical insights of feminism and race theory to rethink the epistemological and moral position of the ethical theorist, and how moral theory is inescapably shaped by culture and history. The main gist of her book is that morality is embodied in "practices of responsibility" that express our identities, (...) values, and connections to others in socially patterned ways. Thus ethical theory needs to be empirically informed and politically critical to avoid reiterating forms of socially entrenched bias. Responsible ethical theory should reveal and question the moral significance of social differences. The book engages with, and challenges, the work of contemporary analytic philosophers in ethics. Moral Understandings has been influential in reaching a global audience in ethics and feminist philosophy, as well as in tangential fields like nursing ethics; research ethics; disability ethics; environmental ethics, and social and political theory. This revised edition contains a new preface, a substantive postscript to Chapter 1 about "the subject of moral philosophy"; the addition of a new chapter on the importance of emotion in practices of responsibility; and the addition of an afterword, which responds to critics of the book. (shrink)
This second edition of Women, Knowledge and Reality continues to exhibit the ways in which feminist philosophers enrich and challenge philosophy. Essays by twenty-five feminist philosophers, seventeen of them new to the second edition, address fundamental issues in philosophical and feminist methods, metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophies of science, language, religion and mind/body. This second edition expands the perspectives of women of color, of postmodernism and French feminism, and focuses on the most recent controversies in feminist theory and philosophy. (...) The chapters are organized by traditional fields of philosophy, and include introductions which contrast the ideas of feminist thinkers with traditional philosophers. The collected essays illustrate both the depth and breadth of feminist critiques and the range of contemporary feminist theoretical perspectives. (shrink)
This is the first book to offer a systematic account of feminist philosophy as a distinctive field of philosophy. The book introduces key issues and debates in feminist philosophy including: the nature of sex, gender, and the body; the relation between gender, sexuality, and sexual difference; whether there is anything that all women have in common; and the nature of birth and its centrality to human existence. An Introduction to Feminist Philosophy shows how feminist thinking on these and related topics (...) has developed since the 1960s. The book also explains how feminist philosophy relates to the many forms of feminist politics. The book provides clear, succinct and readable accounts of key feminist thinkers including de Beauvoir, Butler, Gilligan, Irigaray, and MacKinnon. The book also introduces other thinkers who have influenced feminist philosophy including Arendt, Foucault, Freud, and Lacan. Accessible in approach, this book is ideal for students and researchers interested in feminist philosophy, feminist theory, womens studies, and political theory. It will also appeal to the general reader. (shrink)
Up Against Foucault offers both a feminist critique of Foucauldian theories as well as an attempt to reconcile these seemingly irreconcilable perspectives. Feminists are often "up against Foucault" because he questions key conclusions in feminism regarding the nature of gender relations, and men's possession of power. This book, however, fills the gap in literature about Foucault by showing how his theories of sexuality and power relations are often applicable to the everyday realities of women's lives. Drawing upon their diverse (...) backgrounds in social theory and philosophy, the contributors discuss the ways in which Foucault provokes feminists into questioning their grasp of power relations, and examines the implications of his decision to overlook categories of gender in his discussion of sexuality and power relations. They also show that in spite of his lack of interest in gender, Foucault's ways of understanding the control of women and female sexuality ultimately have much to offer feminism. (shrink)
From the historical roots of second-wave feminism to current debates about feminist theory and politics. This introduction to Anglo-American feminist thought provides a critical and panoramic survey of dominant trends in feminism since 1968. Feminism is too often considered a monolithic movement, consisting of an enormous range of women and ideologies, with both similar and different perspectives and approaches. The book is divided into two parts, the first of which takes a close look at the most influential (...) strands of feminism: liberal feminism, Marxist/socialist feminism, radical feminism, lesbian feminism, and black feminism. In later chapters, Whelehan ties these complexities of, and conflicts within, feminism. The role and relationship of men to feminism, and feminism's often thorny relationship to postmodernism, are also the subject of chapter length treatment. Concluding with a provocative discussion of the much-heralded advent of post-feminism and the rise of the new feminist superstars such as Camille Paglia, Naomi Wolf, Susan Faludi, and Katie Roiphe, Modern Feminist thought is an ideal text for students and a book no feminist teacher or activist should be without. (shrink)
Abstract This paper examines a convergence between Heidegger's reconceptualization of subjectivity and intersubjectivity and some recent work in feminist philosophy on relational autonomy. Both view the concept of autonomy to be misguided, given that our capacity to be self-directed is dependent upon our ability to enter into and sustain meaningful relationships. Both attempt to overturn the notion of a subject as an isolated, atomistic individual and to show that selfhood requires, and is based upon, one's relation to and dependence upon (...) others. The paper argues that Heidegger's notion of authentic Mitsein (being-with) rejects traditional notions of autonomy and subjectivity in favor of a relational model of selfhood. Ultimately, it provides a new point of entry into contemporary debates within feminist philosophy on Heidegger's thinking and defends Heidegger from certain feminist critiques. (shrink)
Feminist philosophy of religion as a subject of study has developed in recent years because of the identification and exposure of explicit sexism in much of the traditional philosophical thinking about religion. This struggle with a discipline shaped almost exclusively by men has led feminist philosophers to redress the problematic biases of gender, race, class and sexual orientation of the subject. Anderson and Clack bring together new and key writings on the core topics and approaches to this growing field. Each (...) essay exhibits a distinctive theoretical approach and appropriate insights from the fields of literature, theology, philosophy, gender and cultural studies. Beginning with a general introduction, part one explores important approaches to the feminist philosophy of religion, including psychoanalytic, poststructualist, postmetaphysical, and epistemological frameworks. In part two the authors survey significant topics including questions of divinity, embodiment, autonomy and spirituality, and religious practice. Supported by explanatory prefaces and an extensive bibliography which is organized thematically, Feminist Philosophy of Religion is an important resource for this new area of study. (shrink)
Rethinking Feminist Ethics bridges the gap between women theorists disenchanted with aspects of traditional theories that insist upon the need for some ethical principles. The book raises the question of whether the female conception of ethics based on care, trust and empathy can provide a realistic alternative to the male ethics based on duty and rule bound conception of ethics developed from Kant, Mill and Rawls. Koehn concludes that it cannot, showing how problems for respect of the individual arise also (...) in female ethics because it privileges the caregiver over the cared for. Drawing on Socrates' Crito , she shows how an ethic of dialogue can instill a critical respect for the view of the other and the ethical principles absent from the female ethic. (shrink)
In this ground breaking new book, Kirsten Campbell takes up the debate, but instead of asking what feminist politics is or should be, she examines how feminism changes the ways we understand ourselves and others. Using Lacanian psychoanalysis as a starting point, Campbell examines contemporary feminism's turn to accounts of feminist "knowing" to create new conceptions of the political, before going on to develop a theory of that feminist knowing as political practice in itself.
This collection of essays, first published two decades ago, presents central feminist critiques and analyses of natural and social sciences and their philosophies. Unfortunately, in spite of the brilliant body of research and scholarship in these fields in subsequent decades, the insights of these essays remain as timely now as they were then: philosophy and the sciences still presume kinds of social innocence to which they are not entitled. The essays focus on Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hobbes, Rousseau, and Marx; on (...) the 'adversary method' model of philosophic reasoning; on principles of individuation on philosophical ontology and philosophy of language; on individualistic assumptions in psychology; functionalism in sociological and biological theory; evolutionary theory; the methodology of political science; and conceptions of objective inquiry in the sciences. In taking insights of both Liberal and Marxian women's movements into the purportedly most abstract and value-free areas of Western thought, these essays chart sexist and androcentric assumptions, claims and practices in the cognitive, technical cores of Western sciences and their philosophies. They begin to identify the distinctive aspects of women's experiences and locations in male-supremacist social structures which can provide resources needed for the creation of post-androcentric thinking in research, scholarship, and public policy. Such uses of feminist insights remain controversial today, and even among some feminists. These authors were all junior researchers and scholars two decades ago; today many are among the most distinguished senior scholars in their fields. Their work here provides a splendid opportunity for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in philosophy and the social sciences to explore some of the most intriguing and controversial challenges to disciplinary projects and to public policy today. (shrink)
What makes feminist theory feminist? How did so many different feminisms come to exist? In Fundamental Feminism, Judith Grant addresses these questions by offering a critical exploration of the evolution of feminist theory and the state of feminist thinking today. Grant provides a lively assessment of the major problems of contemporary feminist thought and identifies a set of common assumptions that link the wide variety of feminist theories in existence. Fundamental Feminism calls for nothing less than a substantial (...) revision of the core concepts responsible for shaping feminist theory as we now know it. Grant identifies and critiques three core concepts of feminist theory--"woman," "experience," and "personal politics"--from their origins in pamphlets and writings from the early women's liberation movement to their current construction in feminist thought. She then connects a number of major debates in feminism today to the longstanding influence of these core assumptions. These debates include the hegemony of the white female perspective, the tension between anti-pornography and pro-sex feminists, and the discussions surrounding the challenges presented by postmodernism. Grant gives readers valuable insight into the dilemma facing feminist theory today. Fundamental Feminism is a thorough and provocative analysis that will be essential reading for anyone interested in the future of feminist theory and the power of feminist politics. (shrink)
As has been noted by Alvin Goldman, there are some very interesting similarities between his Veritistic Social Epistemology (VSE) and Sandra Harding's Feminist Standpoint Theory (FST). In the present paper, it is argued that these similarities are so significant as to motivate an incorporation of FST into VSE, considering that (i) a substantial common ground can be found; (ii) the claims that go beyond this common ground are logically compatible; and (iii) the generality of VSE not only does justice to (...) the inclusive ambition of FST, but even solves a well-discussed problem for the latter. (shrink)
This paper argues that communitarian philosophy can be an important philosophic resource for feminist thinkers, particularly when considered in the light of Jane Addams's (1860-1935) feminist-pragmatism. Addams's communitarianism requires progressive change as well as a moral duty to seek out diverse voices. Contrary to some contemporary communitarians, Addams extends her concept of community to include interdependent global communities, such as the global community of women peace workers.
Pragmatist philosopher John Dewey famously stated that man is a creature of habit, and not of reason or instinct. In this paper, I will assess Dewey’s explication of the habituated self and the potential it holds for radical transformative processes. In particular, I will examine the process of coming to feminist consciousness, and will show that a feminist-pragmatist reading of change can accommodate a view of the self as responsible agent. Following the elucidation of the changing self, I will appraise (...) key pragmatist concepts of inquiry, such as doubt and self-reflexivity, with regard to their treatment of deep-seated internalisations of oppressive norms and the initiation of change. Ultimately, I will argue that a feminist-pragmatist understanding of transformation is conducive not only to the project of personal transformation, but also to social and political change more generally. (shrink)
The history of modern philosophy is a major topic in philosophy and is crucial to an understanding of the advent of feminist philosophy. Feminism and Modern Philosophy introduces fundamental topics in modern philosophy from a feminist perspective. It takes the student through the subject step by step by looking at the main thinkers most usually examined on a course in modern philosophy and by examining the role of gender in studying classic philosophical texts. The book covers the following structure (...) looking at the ideas and work of the important thinkers in this period: * Rereading the canon * The attack on modernist philosophical reason * The nature of "Man" * The search for male allies * Discovering women philosophers * Are there universal philosophical truths? * The function of history within the discipline of philosophy Each chapter looks closely at the way in which the traditional philosophical canon has been re-interpreted by feminist theory and examines the implications for our interpretation of specific texts. It looks at, for example: * A feminist critique of Cartesian rationalism * The implications of Locke's state of nature for the idea of the family * An appreciation of Hume's unique "collaboration" with Annette Baier Chapters close with a summary and the book contains an extensive annotated bibliography. Andrea Nye's style is student friendly and will be ideal for anyone coming to the topic for the first time. It will be appropriate for philosophy as well as gender studies courses looking at the development of modern Western thought. (shrink)
Jean Hampton argues that we can detect exploitation in personal relationships by thinking about what we would agree to were we to set aside the emotional benefits we receive from those relationships. Hampton calls her account "feminist contractarianism," but it has recently been critiqued as decidedly unfeminist, on the grounds that it is hostile to women's interests and women's values. Furthermore, Hampton's requirement that we imaginatively distance ourselves from our emotional connections to our loved ones--the key element in her contractarian (...) test--is simply ad hoc. In this essay, I will evaluate these objections and offer a new justification for Hampton's test. I conclude that feminist contractarianism is not only a useful tool for detecting exploitation in the family, it is also deserving of its feminist label. (shrink)
The precondition of any feminist politics – a usable category of ‘woman’ – has proved to be difﬁcult to construct, even proposed to be impossible, given the ‘problem of exclusion’. This is the inevitable exclusion of at least some women, as their lives or experiences do not ﬁt into the necessary and sufﬁcient condition(s) that denotes group membership. In this paper, I propose that the problem of exclusion arises not because of inappropriate category membership criteria, but because of the presumption (...) that categories can only be organised by identity relations or shared properties among their members. This criterion of sameness as well as the characterisation of this exclusion as essentialism attests to a metaphysics that is not conducive to resistance and liberatory projects. Following a strain of hybrid thinking in feminist and post-colonial theory, I outline an alternative pluralist logic that confronts oppressive binaries that impede theory work in gender, sexuality, and race theory, and limit political action and resistance. The problem of exclusion is neither irresolvable nor is it essentialism. Instead it is a denial of subjectivity due to pseudodualistic self/Other dichotomies that can be resisted by adopting a new categorial logic. While this paper focuses on the speciﬁc problem of formulating a category of ‘woman’, it has implications for other areas of gender, critical race, and postcolonial theory. Rather than working toward an inclusive category founded on sameness, theorists need to develop independent and positive categories grounded in difference. Our current categorial logic does not permit such a project, and therefore a new metaphysics must be adopted. (shrink)
Differences That Matter challenges existing ways of theorising the relationship between feminism and postmodernism which ask 'is or should feminism be modern or postmodern?' Sara Ahmed suggests that postmodernism has been allowed to dictate feminist debates and calls instead for feminist theorists to speak (back) to postmodernism, rather than simply speak on (their relationship to) it. Such a 'speaking back' involves a refusal to position postmodernism as a generalisable condition of the world and requires closer readings of what (...) postmodernism is actually 'doing' in a variety of disciplinary contexts. Sara Ahmed hence examines constructions of postmodernism in relation to rights, ethics, subjectivity, authorship, meta-fiction and film. (shrink)
Christine Battersby rethinks questions of embodiment, essence, sameness and difference, self and "other", patriarchy and power. Using analyses of Kant, Adorno, Irigaray, Butler, Kierkegaard and Deleuze, she challenges those who argue that a feminist metaphysics is a a contradiction in terms. This book explores place for a metaphysics of fluidity in the current debates concerning postmodernism, feminism and identity politics.
This unique volume presents a debate between four of the top feminist theorists in the US today, discussing the key questions facing contemporary feminist theory, responding to each other, and distinguishing their views from others.
Recent decades of women's rights advocacy have produced numerous regional and international agreements for protecting women's security, including a UN convention that affirms the state's responsibility to protect key gender-specific rights, with no exceptions on the basis of culture or religion. At the same time, however, the focus on universal women's rights has enabled influential feminists in the United States to view women's rights in opposition to culture, and most often in opposition to other people's cultures. Not surprisingly, then, feminists (...) across the global South have criticized the universal-women's-rights agenda. This article reviews representative critical responses to universal-women's-rights advocacy. The author argues that, taken collectively, these critical responses do not reject the possibility of cross-cultural feminist advocacy but they do suggest the need for feminists in the United States and Europe to focus less on transferring rights across the obstacles of culture and more on how they can revise and expand their own understanding of women's rights in response to the struggles of other women, many of whom view women's rights as organic to their own cultures and as connected to broader social struggles. (shrink)
This is a bold and controversial feminist, philosophical critique of postmodernism. While providing a brief and accessible introduction to postmodernist feminist thought, Enlightened Women is also a unique defence of realism and enlightenment philosophy. The first half of the book covers an analysis of some of the most influential postmodernist theorists, such as Luce Irigaray and Judith Butler. In the second half Alison Assiter advocates a return to modernism in feminism. She argues, against the current orthodoxy, that there can (...) be a distinction between "sex" and "gender". For students trying to pick their way through the maze of literature in the area of postmodernist feminism, Enlightened Women is a concise guide to contemporary thought - as well as a radical contribution to the debate. (shrink)
Yielding Gender explores and reconsiders the tensions that deconstruction poses for feminist philosophy. Emphasizing the important role of deconstruction in revealing the ambiguity and unstable nature of gender, Penelope Deutscher asks the crucial question: does the very instability of gender mean that we can no longer talk of a man or a woman of reason in the history of philosophy? Using the work of Judith Butler, Jacques Derrida and Luce Irigaray, Deutscher explores this question by examining the issue of gender (...) as "trouble", deconstruction and feminist criticism of the history of philosophy. She then considers and challenges feminist interpretations of some key figures in the history of philosophy. Deutscher sketches how Rousseau, St. Augustine and Simone de Beauvoir have described gender and argues that their readings of gender are in fact empowered by gender's own contradiction and instability rather than limited by it. (shrink)
In her paper ‘An Awkward Relationship: the Case of Feminism and Anthropology’, Marilyn Strathern argues that feminist research cannot produce a paradigm shift in social anthropology. I present an argument for thinking that, on the relevant understanding of paradigm shift, it is possible for this to happen. I then object to Strathern’s arguments against the possibility.
Feminist research in ethics : an introduction -- Theology in fragmented time : reflections with the concept 'postmodernism' as a starting point -- On the material spirituality of housework and its political implications -- Neither trivial nor sentimental : de-trivialization as a method in women's studies -- Power that we have; power that we need -- Women's solidarity : a value with a future -- Androcentrism and where do we go from here? : perspectives for theological reflection on 'the human (...) being' -- The minor distinction between mothers and test tubes : on the concept of women in science -- Feminist ethics and the ecology question -- The debate on animal experiments -- Biotechnology and ethics -- Invitation to feminist reflection on the economy -- Femaleness as social work -- From the norm of marriage to a plurality of lifestyles. (shrink)
Linda LeMoncheck introduces a new way of thinking and talking about women's sexual pleasures, preferences, and desires. Using the tools of contemporary analytic philosophy, she discusses methods for mediating the tensions among apparently irreconcilable feminist perspectives on women's sexuality and shows how a feminist epistemology and ethic can advance the dialogue in women's sexuality across a broad political spectrum. She argues that in order to capture the diversity and complexity of women's sexual experience, women's sexuality must be examined from two (...) equally compelling perspectives: that of women's sexual oppression under conditions of individual and institutional male dominance; and that of women's sexual liberation, both in terms of each woman's pursuit of sexual agency and self-definition, and in terms of women's sexual liberation as a class. Loose Women, Lecherous Men sheds crucial new light on such much-debated topics as promiscuity, adultery, sexual deviance, prostitution, pornography, sexual harassment, and sexual violence against women. Her book supports a dialogue that encourages both women and men to take up a feminist perspective in exploring the meaning and value of sexuality in their lives. (shrink)
Recent debates in contemporary feminist theory have been dominated by the relation between identity and politics. Beyond Identity Politics examines the implications of recent theorizing on difference, identity and subjectivity for theories of patriarchy and feminist politics. Organised around the three central themes of subjectivity, power and politics, this book focuses on a question which feminists struggled with and were divided by throughout the last decade, that is: how to theorize the relation between the subject and politics. In this thoughtful (...) engagement with these debates Moya Lloyd argues that the turn to the subject in process does not entail the demise of feminist politics as many feminists have argued. She demonstrates how key ideas such as agency, power and domination take on a new shape as a consequence of this radical rethinking of the subject-politics relation and how the role of feminist political theory becomes centred upon critique. A resource for feminist theorists, women's and gender studies students, as well as political and social theorists, this is a carefully composed and wide-ranging text, which provides important insights into one of contemporary feminism's most central concerns. (shrink)
The path-breaking Encyclopedia of Feminist Theories is an accessible, multidisciplinary insight into the complex field of feminist thought. The Encyclopedia contains over 500 authoritative entries commissioned from an international team of contributors and includes clear, concise and provocative explanations of key themes and ideas. Each entry contains cross references and a bibliographic guide to further reading; over 50 biographical entries provide readers with a sense of how the theories they encounter have developed out of the lives and situations of their (...) authors. Areas covered: * traditional taxonomies of feminist theory (eg socialist thought) * theoretical subdivisions (eg ecofeminism and feminist spirituality) * discipline-specific issues (eg philosophy and anthropology) * the conceptual apparatus of gender theory (eg biologism) * methodologies (eg deconstruction and narrative theory) * intersections (eg with racial theory, queer theory) * political issues (eg citizenship, reproductive rights). (shrink)
In Political Theory and Feminist Social Criticism, Brooke Ackerly demonstrates the shortcomings of contemporary deliberative democratic theory, relativism and essentialism for guiding the practice of social criticism in the real, imperfect world. Drawing theoretical implications from the activism of Third World feminists who help bring to public audiences the voices of women silenced by coercion, Brooke Ackerly provides a practicable model of social criticism. She argues that feminist critics have managed to achieve in practice what other theorists do only incompletely (...) in theory. Complemented by Third World feminist social criticism, deliberative democratic theory becomes critical theory - actionable, coherent, and self-reflective. While a complement to democratic theory, Third World feminist social criticism also addresses the problem in feminist theory associated with attempts to deal with identity politics. Third World feminist social criticism thus takes feminist theory beyond the critical impasse of the tension between anti-relativist and anti-essentialist feminist theory. (shrink)
This book provides a detailed overview of postmodern feminist theory and practice. The author critically examines the work of the major contemporary feminist theorists and makes a significant intervention into current debates about the future of feminism.
How can we critique political theory when all we have to use are its own conceptual tools? As Hannah Arendt observed, it can only be done through leaps, inversions, and the turning of concepts upside-down. But this twisting operation must be done in order to turn those who philosophize back to the hard work of real life change. In Turning Operations , renowned theorist Mary G. Dietz challenges specific contemporary modes of theorizing (...) politics-from feminist theory to Habermasian discourse--while appropriating some of political theory's own approaches and some of its most striking figures, including Aristotle, Nietzsche, Weber, Beauvoir, and Arendt in order to foment some leaps, inversions, reversals and turns on politics along the way. Dietz confronts a number of current debates, arguing that most are filled with artificial division and empty terms. She argues that we must abandon commonly supported dichotomies-masculine versus feminine, speech versus action, liberty versus community -to create abetter discourse, and a better world. Turning Operations is an essential new contribution to democratic and feminist political thought. (shrink)
This book evaluates the major debates around which the discipline of international relations has developed in the light of contemporary feminist theories. The three debates (realist versus idealist, scientific versus traditional, modernist versus postmodernist) have been subject to feminist theorising since the earliest days of known feminist activities, with the current emphasis on feminist, empiricist standpoint and postmodernist ways of knowing. Christine Sylvester shows how feminist theorising could have affected our understanding of international relations had it been included in the (...) three debates. She elaborates a feminist method of empathetically cooperative conversation which challenges the identity politics of IR, and illustrates that method with reference to the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp and the efforts of Zimbabwean women to negotiate international funding for their local producer cooperatives. (shrink)
Feminist economists have demonstrated that interrogating hierarchies based on gender, ethnicity, class and nation results in an economics that is biased and more faithful to empirical evidence than are mainstream accounts. This rigorous and comprehensive book examines many of the central philosophical questions and themes in feminist economics including: · History of economics · Feminist science studies · Identity and agency · Caring labor · Postcolonialism and postmodernism With contributions from such leading figures as Nancy Folbre, Julie Nelson and Sandra (...) Harding, Toward a Feminist Theory of Economics looks set to become the book on feminist economics for some time to come and will be greatly appreciated by all those interested in gender studies, economic methodology and social theory. (shrink)
This collection is one of the first to offer feminist perspectives on epistemology from thinkers outside North America. It presents essays from an international group of contributors, including Rosi Braidotti, Gemma Corradi Fiumara, Anna Yeatman, Sabina Lovibond and Liz Stanley. Using approaches and methods from both analytic and continental philosophy, the contributors engage with questions of traditional epistemology and with issues raised by postmodernist critiques. The essays deal with the central question of difference: the difference which a feminist perspective yields (...) in relation to traditional knowledge and the effects on feminist perspectives of differences between women. This awareness of difference requires a re-evaluation of the idea of objectivity and the justification of knowledge claims in ways that focus attention on the subjects who constitute the knowledge producers. Knowing the Difference presents some of the most innovative thinking in feminist epistemology and sets the agenda for the next decade. (shrink)
Womens Liberation and the Sublime is a passionate report on the state of feminist thinking and practice after the linguistic turn. A critical assessment of masculinist notions of the sublime in modern and postmodern accounts grounds the author's positive and constructive recuperation of sublime experience in a feminist voice.
Feminist perspectives have been increasingly influential on philosophy of science. Feminism and Philosophy of Science is designed to introduce the newcomer to the central themes, issues and arguments of this burgeoning area of study. Elizabeth Potter engages in a rigorous and well-organized study that takes in the views of key feminist theorists - Nelson, Wylie, Anderson, Longino and Harding - whose arguments exemplify contemporary feminist philosophy of science. The book is divided into six chapters looking at important themes: naturalized (...) feminist empiricism feminist value theory feminist conceptual empiricism standpoint epistemologies of science value-free science Arranged thematically, F eminism and Philosophy of Science looks at the spectrum of views that have arisen in the debate, and unpicks the arguments on key topics such as value-free science, values, objectivity, point of view and relativism. It assumes no previous knowledge of the subject, and is written in an accessible, student-friendly style. It will be an important read for students of philosophy, philosophy of science, gender studies and feminist studies. (shrink)
A highly original work in history and theory, this survey considers major themes including identity, class and sexual difference, weaves them into debates on the nature and point of history, and arrives at new ways of doing history that – very unusually – consider non-Western history and feminist approaches. Using wide range of historical and cultural contexts, the study draws extensively on feminist scholarship, both feminist history and postcolonial feminism.
Drawing on postmodernist analyses, Leaky Bodies and Boundaries presents a feminist investigation into the marginalization of women within western discourse that denies both female moral agency and bodylines. With reference to contemporary and historical issues in biomedicine, the book argues that the boundaries of both the subject and the body are no longer secure. The aim is both to valorize women and to suggest that "leakiness" may be the very ground for a postmodern feminist ethic. The contribution made by Margrit (...) Shildrick is to go beyond modernist feminisms to radically displace the mechanisms by which women are devalued. The anxiety that postmodernism cannot yield an ethics, nor advance feminist concerns is addressed. (shrink)
In this unique work, James P. Sterba argues that traditional ethics has yet to confront the three significant challenges posed by environmentalism, feminism, and multiculturalism. He maintains that while traditional ethics has been quite successful at dealing with the problems it faces, it has not addressed the possibility that its solutions to these problems are biased in favor of humans, men, and Western culture. In Three Challenges to Ethics: Environmentalism, Feminism, and Multiculturalism, Sterba examines each of these challenges. (...) In the case of environmentalism, he argues that traditional ethics must incorporate conflict resolution principles that favor nonhumans over humans in a significant range of cases. In terms of feminism, he maintains that traditional ethics should rule out gendered family structures and implement an ideal of androgyny. In regard to multiculturalism, he contends that traditional ethics must endorse an ethics that is secular in character and that can survive an extensive comparative evaluation of both Western and non-Western moral ideals and cultures. The only textbook devoted to this topic, Three Challenges to Ethics is an engaging text for introductory courses in ethics and moral problems and is also interesting and provocative reading for scholars and general readers. (shrink)
This essay focuses on the extent to which the methods of analytic philosophy can be useful to feminist philosophers. I pose nine general questions feminist philosophers might ask to determine the suitability of a philosophical method. Examples include: Do its typical ways of formulating problems or issues encourage the inclusion of a wide variety of women's points of view? Are its central concepts gender-biased, not merely in their origin, but in very deep, continuing ways? Does it facilitate uncovering roles that (...) gender, politics, power, and social context play in philosophy as well as in other facets of life? (shrink)
Sara Ruddick's contemporary philosophical account of mothering reconsiders the maternal arguments used in the women's peace movements of the earlier part of this century. The culmination of this project is her 1989 book, Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace. Ruddick's project is ground-breaking work in both academic philosophy and feminist theory. -/- In this chapter, I first look at the relationship between the two basic components of Ruddick's argument in Maternal Thinking: the "practicalist conception of truth" (PCT) and feminist (...) standpoint theory (FST). I argue that Ruddick is never clear about the exact relation between the two components. These tensions point to a deeper problem in Ruddick's discussion of the critical power of maternal thinking. -/- The diversity of maternal practices presents a genuine challenge to Ruddick’s account. I argue that neither of the components she explores can adequately ground a feminist peace politics without first answering the question of who speaks for mothers. While I can suggest ways to make Ruddick's argument consistent, she still faces-despite her claims of universality- the deeper problem of reconciling her account of maternal practice with the genuine diversity of actual maternal practices. (shrink)
This book focuses on the significance of the body in contemporary feminist scholarship. Whether the body is treated as biological bedrock or subversive metaphor, it is implicated in the cultural and historical construction of sexual difference as well as asymmetrical power relations. The contributors to this volume examine the role of the body as socially shaped and historically colonized territory and as the focus of individual womenÆs struggles for autonomy and self-determination. They also analyze its centrality to the feminist critique (...) of male-stream science as dualistic, distanced, and decontextualized. While the body has become a "hot item" in contemporary social theory and research, the renewed interest has received a mixed reaction from feminists. The body may be back, but the "new" body theory often proves to be just as disembodied as it ever was. The body revival seems to be less an attempt to re-embody masculinist science than just another expression of the same condition that evoked the feminist critique in the first place: a flight from femininity and everything that is associated with it in Western culture. Drawing on insights from contemporary feminist theories of gender and power, this book offers a timely critical appraisal of the recent "body revival." Embodied Practices not only sets an agenda for research about the body, but for an embodied perspective on the body as well. It will be a valuable and thought-provoking resource for students of womenÆs studies, social theory, cultural studies, and medical sociology. (shrink)
Since 1972, the journal Radical Philosophy has provided a forum for the discussion of radical and critical ideas in philosophy. This anthology reprints some of the best articles to have appeared in the journal during the past five years. It covers topics in social and moral philosophy which are central to current controversies on the left, focusing on theoretical issues raised by socialist, feminist, and environmental movements. The articles engage with contemporary issues in critical terms, and represent the best of (...) recent philosophical work on the left. (shrink)
Many feminist philosophers have been highly critical of Kant’s ethics, either because of his rationalism or because of particular claims he makes about women in his writings on anthropology and political philosophy. In this paper, I call attention to the aspects of Kant’s ethical theory that make it attractive from a feminist standpoint. Kant’s duties to oneself are rich resource for feminism. These duties require women to act in ways that show respect for themselves as rational human agents by, (...) e.g., avoiding servility, self-deception, self-mutilation, and sexual self-degradation, and cultivating their natural talents (as well as their virtue). Duties to others demand that other people treat women respectfully by requiring that they avoid mocking, degrading, or acting arrogantly toward others. Indeed, even when one sets out to promote others’ happiness, Kant’s ethics requires that one not act paternalistically. Kant’s ethics insists that every rational agent recognize the equality and dignity of all rational agents. Thus, it pushes women to respect themselves and to demand respect from others; and it pushes men to respect women as a basic moral requirement. (shrink)
Some feminists have argued that the “master's tools” cannot be utilized for feminist projects. When read through the lens of non-ideal theory, Judith Butler's reevaluation of “autonomy” and “universality” and Peaches's engagement with guitar rock are instances in which implements of patriarchy are productively repurposed for feminist ends. These examples evince two criteria whereby one can judge the success of such an attempt: first, accessibility and efficacy; second, that the use is deconstructive of its own conditions.
In The Impossibility of Perfection, Michael Slote tries to show that the traditional Aristotelian doctrine of the unity of the virtues is mistaken. His argumentative strategy is to provide counterexamples to this doctrine, by showing that there are what he calls “partial virtues”—pairs of virtues that conflict with one another but both of which are ethically indispensible. Slote offers two lines of argument for the existence of partial virtues. The first is an argument for the partiality of a particular pair (...) of virtues: frankness and tact. The second is a kind of feminist critique. I argue that both of these lines of argument fail. In both cases, Slote fails to ask whether the apparent conflict between putatively partial virtues has arisen from a misunderstanding of the demands of those virtues. From this error I suggest we can learn an important lesson: whether in our studies thinking about the virtues or in our everyday lives trying to practice them, it is a serious mistake to focus on the relationships among virtues without considering precisely what each of these virtues demands. (shrink)
This book brings together new work by some of the foremost writers in the health care law arena. It presents exciting new insights,drawing on feminist theory and methodology to further our understanding of health care law. Whilst the book makes a real contribution to both feminist debates and the analysis of this area of law, it is also accessible to the undergraduate student who is approaching this area of legal scholarship and feminist jurisprudence for the first time. Its focus is (...) not merely on those issues which have traditionally excited feminist attention, but also includes those subjects which have proved of less apparent interest such as confidentiality, medical research, medical negligence and professional discipline. (shrink)
Changing the Wor(l)d draws on feminist publishing, postmodern theory and feminist autobiography to powerfully critique both liberal feminism and scholarship on the women's movement, arguing that both ignore feminism's unique contributions to social analysis and politics. These contributions recognize the power of discourse, the diversity of women's experiences, and the importance of changing the world through changing consciousness. Young critiques social movement theory and five key studies of the women's movement, arguing that gender oppression can be understood only (...) in relation to race, sexuality, class and ethnicity; and that feminist activism has always gone beyond the realm of public policy to emphasize improving women's circumstances through transforming discourse and consciousness. Young examines feminist discursive politics, critiques social science methodology, and proposes an alternative approach to understanding the women's movement. This approach explores feminist publishing and feminist autobiographical writing as examples of discursive activism with broadly subversive potential. (shrink)
The Philosopher Queen: Feminist Essays on War, Love, and Knowledge. By Chris Cuomo. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2003. The Philosopher Queen is a powerful illustration of what Cherríe Moraga calls a "theory in the flesh." That is, theorizing from a place where "physical realities of our lives—our skin color, the land or concrete we grow up on, our sexual longings—all fuse to create a politic [and, I would add, an ethics, spirituality, and epistemology] born out of necessity" (...) (Moraga 21). Cuomo's theory in the flesh combines standard philosophical essays with personal narratives and invites us to do philosophy from this joyful and witty place. Readers are invited to reframe and reexamine war, science, gender, sexuality, race, ecology, knowledge, and politics in a voice that is fearless, funny, faithful, and feminist—one that disrupts common understandings of how philosophy ought to be done. Instead philosophy should help us to "negotiate a wild, wicked world, and to provide some understanding of being and existence. The best philosophy aims to promote good and to produce knowledge, and therefore enable flourishing" (xi). Accepted philosophical approaches alone are inadequate. Life's challenges resist formulaic solutions. Knowledge is not always produced through neat deductions: truths are partial, power divides, stomachs growl, hearts are broken, and emotions influence... (shrink)
Subjection and Subjectivity offers an account of moral subjectivity and moral reflection designed to meet the needs of feminism, as well as other emancipatory movements. Diana Tietjens Meyers argues that impartial reason--the appraoch to moral reflection which has dominated 20th century Anglo-American philosophy and judicial reasoning--is inadequate for addressing real world injustices. Dealing with the problems of group-based social exclusion requires empathy with others. But empathy often becomes distorted by prejudicial attitudes which may be publicly condemned but continue to (...) be transmitted through cultural figurations. Meyers uses Julia Kristeva's work on xenophobia and aesthetic practices as a starting point for developing a feminist politics of dissident speech, one that aims to dislodge prejudice. With the goal of offering an empathy-friendly account of moral reflection and judgment, she shows how moral reflection embodies the value of mutual recognition--a value enunciated in the work of Nancy Chodorow and Jessica Benjamin. Meyers argues that it is a mistake to view the moral subject as independent, transparent and rational. Instead, she presents a picture of a heterogeneous and pluralistic subject, one that is defined by ties to other people, liable to misunderstand its own motives and aims, and in need of a repertory of strategies for purposes of moral reflection. (shrink)
Jane Duran's Worlds of Knowing begins to fill an enormous gap in the literature of feminist epistemology: a wide-ranging, cross-cultural primer on worldviews and epistemologies of various cultures and their appropriations by indigenous feminist movements in those cultures. It is the much needed epistemological counterpart to work on cross-cultural feminist social and political philosophy. This project is absolutely breath-taking in scope, yet a manageable read for anyone with some background in feminist theory, history, or anthropology. Duran draws many comparisons and (...) connections to Western philosophical and feminist ideas, yet avoids facile or imperialistic over-universalization. Her book is powerful, comprehensive, and brave. It will prove an enormously useful resource for scholars in women's studies, philosophy, anthropology, religious studies, and history. (shrink)
This collection of essays analyzes relations of social inequality that appear to be logical extensions of a "natural order," and in the process demonstrates that a revitalized feminist anthropology of the 1990s has much to offer the field of feminist theory. Fashioned as a response to the lack of cultural analysis in feminist scholarship, the contributors question the category of gender within the inclusive context of the structural dynamics of inequality. They also examine how cultural identities, domains and institutions affect (...) our perception of gender in society. The first selection of essays addresses how ideas of family and kinship have fostered society's hierarchies and legitimized the status quo. In part two, the essays show how several dimensions of inequality are implicit in the construction of identities that are based upon ideas of social solidarity. Contributors: Susan McKinnon, University of Virginia; Kath Weston, Arizona State West; Rayna Rapp, New School for Social Research; Janet Dolgin, Hofstra University; Harriet Whitehead, Duke University; Carol Delaney, Stanford University; Brackette Williams, University of Arizona; Sylvia Yanagisako, Stanford University; Phyllis Chock, Catholic University; Sherry Ortner, University of Michigan; Anna Tsing, University of California, Santa Cruz. (shrink)
Showing that a radical feminist analysis cuts across class, race, sexuality, region, and religion, the varied contributors in this collection reveal the global reach of radical feminism and analyze the causes and solutions to patriarchal oppression.
In recent years feminist scholarship has increasingly focused on the importance of the body and its representations in virtually every social, cultural, and intellectual context. Many have argued that because women are more closely identified with their bodies, they have access to privileged and different kinds of knowledge than men. In this landmark new book, Paula Cooey offers a different perspective on the significance of the body in the context of religious life and practice. Building on the pathbreaking work of (...) Elaine Scarry in The Body in Pain, Cooey looks at a wide range of evidence, from the Argentine prison narrative of Alicia Partnoy, to the novels of Toni Morrison and the paintings of Frida Kahlo. Drawing on current social theory and critique, cognitive psychology, contemporary fiction and art, and women's accounts of religious experience, Cooey relates the reality of sentience to the social construction of reality. Beginning with an examination of the female body as a metaphor for alternative knowledge, she considers the significance of physical pain and pleasure to the religious imagination, and the relations between sentience, sensuality, and female subjectivity. Cooey succeeds in bringing forward a sophisticated new understanding of the religious importance of the body, at the same time laying the foundations of a feminist theory of religion. (shrink)
"Are you visiting women? Do not forget your whip!" -- Thus Spoke Zarathustra ". . . the democratic movement is . . . a form assumed by man in decay" -- Beyond Good and Evil Nietzsche's views on women and politics have long been the most problematic aspects of his thought. Nietzsche, Feminism and Political Theory is the first book to focus on the interest Nietzsche's work now arouses among feminist theorists and political philosophers. It is unique in its (...) examination of the ways in which Nietzsche has become an essential point of reference for postmodern ethical and political thought. In twelve outstanding essays, the contributors pursue questions about Nietzsche's views on the body, power, knowledge, self and sexual difference. The collection illuminates aspects of Nietzsche's epistemology or critical method which have direct bearing on contemporary methodological debates, and makes direct comparisons between Nietzsche and classical political theorists such as Hobbes, Rousseau and Marx. The final essays discuss the effects of Nietzsche's philosophy as mediated by recent post-structuralist readings of his work. This innovative collection shows some of the overlapping and divergent ways in which Nietzsche has become an essential reference point in contemporary ethical and political theory. Contributors: Keith Ansell-Pearson, Howard Caygill, Daniel W. Conway, Rosalyn Diprose, Penelope Deutscher, Elizabeth Grosz, Frances Oppel, Paul Patton, Paul Redding, Ted Sadler, Marion Tapper, Cathryn Vasseleu. (shrink)
An important volume connecting classical studies with feminism, Feminism and Ancient Philosophy provides an even-handed assessment of the ancient philosophers' discussions of women and explains which ancient views can be fruitful for feminist theorizing today. The papers in this anthology range from classical Greek philosophy through the Hellenistic period, with the predominance of essays focusing on topics such as the relation of reason and the emotions, the nature of emotions and desire, and related issues in moral psychology. The (...) volume contains some new, ground-breaking essays on Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics, as well as previously published pieces by established scholars like Martha Nussbaum and Julia Annas. It promises to be of interest to an interdisciplinary audience including those working in classics, ancient philosophy, and feminist theory. (shrink)
Contemporary feminist theory is at an impasse: the project of reformulating concepts of self and social identity is thwarted by an association between identity and oppression and victimhood. In Sacrificial Logics, Allison Weir proposes a way out of this impasse through a concept of identity which depends on accepting difference. Weir argues that the equation of identity with repression and domination links "relational" feminists like Nancy Chodorow, who equate self-identity with the repression of connection to others, and poststructuralist feminists like (...) Judith Butler, who view any identity as a repression of nonidentity and difference. Through readings of Chodorow, Butler, Jessica Benjamin, Luce Irigaray, Jacqueline Rose and Julia Kristeva, Weir analyzes the relation of theories of self-identity to theories of women's identity, social identity, the identity of meaning in language and feminist solidarity. Drawing particularly on the work of Julia Kristeva, she argues for a reformulation of self-identity as a capacity to participate in a social world, and sketches a model of a self-identity which depends on a capacity to accept nonidentity, difference and connections to others. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophical discourse on global responsibility has sustained a nearly unwavering focus on justice. In response, I investigate an underrepresented element in global justice discussions: insights from feminist philosophy, and more specifically, from the ethics of care. I assess current theories of cosmopolitanism, criticizing the shortcomings of cosmopolitan justice from the perspective of cosmopolitan care. Through the concepts of dependence, vulnerability, and need, I develop a feminist global obligation--the global duty to care--and explore the distinctive vision it offers as the (...) ground and content of a feminist theory of global responsibility. (shrink)
"An eloquent work. Somer Brodribb not only gives us a feminist critique of postmodernism with its masculinist predeterminants in existentialism, its Freudian footholdings and its Sadean values, but in the very form and texture of the critique, she literally creates new discourse in feminist theory. Brodribb has transcended not only postmodernism but its requirement that we speak in its voice even when criticizing it. She creates a language that is at once poetic and powerfully analytical. Her insistent and compelling radical (...) critique refuses essentialism-from both masculinist thinkers and their women followers. She demystifies postmodernism to reveal that it and its antecedents represent yet another mundane version of patriarchal politics. Ultimately Brodribb returns us to feminist theory with the message that we must refuse to be derivative and continue to originate theory and politics from the condition of women under male domination." -Kathleen Barry, author of Female Sexual Slavery An iconoclastic work brilliantly undertaken . . . Nothing Mat(T)ers magnificently shows that postmodernism is the cultural capital of late patriarchy. It is the art of self- display, the conceit of masculine self and the science of reproductive and genetic engineering in an ecstatic Nietzschean cycle of statis." -Andre Michel Nothing Mat(T)ers encapsulates in its title the valuelessness of the current academic fad of postmodernism. Somer Brodribb has written a brave and witty book demolishing the gods and goddesses of postmodernism by deconstructing their method and de-centering their subjects and, in the process, has deconstructed deconstructionism and decentered decentering! This is a long-awaited and much-needed book from a tough- minded, embodied, and unflinching scholar." -Janice Raymond. (shrink)
Feminist Amnesia is an important challenge to contemporary academic feminism. Jean Curthoys argues that the intellectual decline of university arts education and the loss of a deep moral commitment in feminism are related phenomena. The contradiction set up by the radical ideas of the 1960s, and institutionalised life of many of its protagonists in the academy, has produced a special kind of intellectual distortion. This book criticizes current trends in feminist theory from the perspective of forgotten and allegedly (...) outdated feminist ideas. (shrink)