This article examines the work of the seventeenth-century thinker Catharine Trotter Cockburn with an eye toward explication of her trenchant empiricism, and the foundations upon which it rested. It is argued that part of the originality of Cockburn's work has to do with her consistent line of thought with regard to evidence from the senses and the process of abstract conceptualization; in this she differed strongly from some of her contemporaries. The work of Martha Brandt Bolton and Fidelis Morgan is (...) cited, and there is an auxiliary argument to the effect that Cockburn is probably better known as a playwright than she is as a philosophical thinker. (shrink)
Feminist standpoint theory, as a tool for examining women’s lives in less developed nations, is scrutinized from the vantage of NGO-driven work and its changes in women’s routines. Work from Bangladesh and Mexico is cited, and commentary from workers in UN agencies and other non-governmental organizations is used.
Examining the writings of Katherine Parr both from the standpoint of metaphysical issues of her time and her status as a writer of the Tudor era, it is concluded that Queen Katherine had a developed humanist ontology, and one that coincided with a great deal of the new learning of the Henrician period, whether stridently Protestant or not. Analyses from James, Dubrow, and McConica are alluded to, and a comparison is made to some of the currents at work in English (...) intellectual life at that time. (shrink)
Edith Stein is honored today not only because of her sainthood but because of what is now seen as important and groundbreaking work in phenomenology done under especially arduous conditions. Thus it may be said with some accuracy that Stein is, among philosophers, in the comparatively rare category of being acknowledged both for her work and her exemplary life. Writing on Stein has standardly proceeded with an emphasis on the biographical factors that caused her to live and write as she (...) did. One often reads that Stein was reared in a strongly Judaic tradition—her family was more observant, for example, than the family of Simone Weil—but that experiences she had as a young woman caused her to turn in the .. (shrink)
Margaret Fuller's name today often appears when the Transcendentalists in general are mentioned-we may hear of her in the course of writing on Emerson, or Bronson Alcott-but not nearly enough work about Margaret herself, her thought, and her remarkable childhood has been done in recent times.1 Interestingly enough, her name surfaces in connection with some theorizing done about same-sex relationships, but the great import of Fuller's editing of "The Dial," a periodical of the time, her authoring of Woman in the (...) Nineteenth Century, and her life of adventure and rebellion has seldom been articulated.2A virtual child prodigy, Margaret Fuller was educated at home in a way reminiscent of the sort of education given to .. (shrink)
The work of Cox, Bales, Dingwaney, and others is cited in an effort to construct an argument about the special rights violations of contemporary slavery. It is contended that two forms, debt bondage and sexual slavery, are related and bear close examination.
Lines of argument to support the notion that global bioethics can use work from feminist epistemology are set out, and much of the support for such contentions comes from specific cases of ethical issues in indigenous cultures. Theorists such as Kuhse, Arizpe, Egnor and Bumiller are cited, and it is concluded that local feminist epistemologies often conflict with standard ethical views, but that the failure to incorporate feminist thought undercuts hopes to establish a viable bioethics on an international scale.
Sheldrake’s work on canine cognition is examined from more than one standpoint. His use of the terms “social field” and “morphic field” is delineated, and in addition recent work on ethology and cognition, done by Allen and Bekoff, is set out and contrasted with Sheldrake’s theorizing. The importance of the allusion to a number of comparatively unexamined concepts, including some borrowed from research on extrasensory perception, is analyzed and it is concluded that Sheldrake has yet to establish his case in (...) acceptable terms. (shrink)
An argument is made for the special preservationist value of rock formations and other geological features, independent of their biotic status or aesthetic appeal. The work of Passmore, Hay and other contemporary ecological thinkers is cited.
Depending on the realist or instrumentalist twist that is given to positivism, interesting arguments can be made for both causal and classical theories of reference with regard to the use of scientific terms in the language of theory. But my claim is that the rigid foundationalism that supports the theoretical terms via the correspondence rules of the Received View undercuts the notion that it is possible to argue coherently for a causal theory of reference as allied to a positivistic view.
Several lines of analysis support the contention that Sartres theorizing can be used to bolster feminist concerns. Both philosophical and literary works are examined, and Notebooks for an Ethics, The Flies and The Respectful Prostitute are examined at some length. The commentary of Flynn, Bell and Pellauer is employed, and in general the argument relies on the notion that the construction of the for-itself, along with Sartres generalized portrayal of the Other, can be used for feminist purposes. Key Words: gender (...) theory Sartre transcendence. (shrink)
Recent work in naturalised epistemology has focused almost exclusively on the intersection of cognitive psychology and theory of knowledge; work from sociolinguistics is just now beginning to gain ground. At the same time, feminist epistemologies have striven to articulate the precise paths of connectedness and relatedness that gynocentric theory standardly postulates as being characteristic of female ways of knowing. This paper attempts to articulate the intersection of sociolinguistically naturalised epistemology and feminist theory of knowledge. A model of gynocentrically centred justification (...) is presented, and it is concluded that the intersection of these areas is a rich and rewarding one. (shrink)
Bringing to bear two major lines of argument, I claim that foundationalism is vitiated by its reliance (in its various forms) on privileged access, and by its noninstantiability. The notion of privileged access is examined, and the status of propositions said to be evocative of privileged access addressed. Noninstantiability is viewed through the current project of naturalizing epistemology, and naturalized alternatives to the rigorous foundationalism of the normative epistemologists are brought forward.
An attempt is made to try to delineate the common ground of feminist concerns and the work of Wittgenstein by alluding to several areas of theory - among them are the orality-literacy distinction, the notion of the universal, and the realm of particulars. I cite portions of both the Tractatus and the Investigations, and utilize the work of commentators such as Anscombe, Fogelin and Genova. The broader argument is that Wittgenstein's turn away from a kind of logical atomism is (...) a move that can readily be used for feminist purposes, but that it requires precise articulation and a clear setting-out of conditions. Key Words: feminist theory orality-literacy particulars and the universal reference Wittgenstein's Investigations Wittgenstein's Tractatus. (shrink)
The argument that a holistic analysis of Dewey's work, drawing not only on the major portions subject to extensive commentary (such as Experience and Nature) but also on his aesthetics, provides fuel for feminist theorizing is sustained by advertence to the standard commentary and also to new work in aesthetic feminism itself. Sleeper, Rorty, Hickman and Russell are cited, and the recent resurgence of interest in developing the intersection between analytic aesthetics and feminist aesthetics is alluded to. It is concluded (...) that the enterprising feminist theorist may suffer from an embarrassment of riches in attempting to approach Dewey but that such an approach is well worth the effort. (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)
Using material taken from contemporary feminist theory and also from work on human rights, it is argued that rape is a form of torture, and that it operates on powerful levels, both literally and metaphorically. Part of the argument is that rape has achieved the status it has as political force for exploitation because of strong beliefs about cultural reproduction and about the roles that women play in cultural reproduction.
The notion that plants, as well as animals, have a moral status is examined both in general, and with respect to the status of particularly rare plants that may be deemed to be lacking in general instrumentality, such as the Joshua tree. The work of Passmore, Singer and Santos is adduced, and several lines of argument revolving around preservation, sentiency and attractiveness to humans are constructed.
This book presents the current feminist critique of science and the philosophy of science in such a way that students of philosophy of science, philosophers, feminist theorists, and scientists will find the material accessible and intellectually rigorous.Contemporary feminist debate, as well as the debate brought on by the radical critics of science, assumes—incorrectly—that certain movements in philosophy of science and science-driven theory are understood in their dynamics as well as in their details. All too often, labels such as “Kuhnian” or (...) “positivistic” are taken for granted, and much of the contemporary postmodern or post-structuralist feminist theory that sets out to criticize science does little to alleviate the reader’s lack of knowledge with regard to such movements.Unlike other texts, Philosophies of Science: Feminist Theories provides a student-oriented framework so that, for example, positivism is given a thorough grounding before the feminist critique of such epistemological theory is given. Other movements discussed include the Kuhnian turn, sociology of science, and the radical critique of science. Feminist theory and critique are interwoven throughout, with one chapter devoted to feminist thought, which includes the work of such thinkers as Longino, Hararway, Hubbard, Nelson, Harding, and Keller. (shrink)