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Profile: Mari Mikkola (Humboldt-University, Berlin)
  1. Mari Mikkola (2011). Kant on Moral Agency and Women's Nature. Kantian Review 16 (1):89-111.
    Some commentators have condemned Kant’s moral project from a feminist perspective based on Kant’s apparently dim view of women as being innately morally deficient. Here I will argue that although his remarks concerning women are unsettling at first glance, a more detailed and closer examination shows that Kant’s view of women is actually far more complex and less unsettling than that attributed to him by various feminist critics. My argument, then, undercuts the justification for the severe feminist critique of Kant’s (...)
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  2.  78
    Mari Mikkola (2015). Doing Ontology and Doing Justice: What Feminist Philosophy Can Teach Us About Meta-Metaphysics. Inquiry 58 (7-8):780-805.
    Feminist philosophy has recently become recognised as a self-standing philosophical sub-discipline. Still, metaphysics has remained largely dismissive of feminist insights. Here I make the case for the value of feminist insights in metaphysics: taking them seriously makes a difference to our ontological theory choice and feminist philosophy can provide helpful methodological tools to regiment ontological theories. My examination goes as follows. Contemporary ontology is not done via conceptual analysis, but via quasi-scientific means. This takes different ontological positions to be competing (...)
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  3.  8
    Mari Mikkola (forthcoming). On the Apparent Antagonism Between Feminist and Mainstream Metaphysics. Philosophical Studies:1-14.
    The relationship between feminism and metaphysics has historically been strained. Metaphysics has until recently remained dismissive of feminist insights, and many feminist philosophers have been deeply skeptical about any value that metaphysics might have when thinking about advancing gender justice. Nevertheless, feminist philosophers have in recent years increasingly taken up explicitly metaphysical investigations. Such feminist investigations have expanded the scope of metaphysics in holding that metaphysical tools can help advance debates on topics outside of traditional metaphysical inquiry. Moreover, feminist philosophers (...)
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  4. Mari Mikkola (2012). Der Begriff der Entmenschlichung und seine Rolle in der feministischen Philosophie. In H. Landweer, C. Newmark, C. Kley & S. Miller (eds.), Philosophie und die Potenziale der Gender Studies. Transcript
  5. Mari Mikkola (2007). Gender Sceptics and Feminist Politics. Res Publica 13 (4):361-380.
    Some feminist gender sceptics hold that the conditions for satisfying the concept woman cannot be discerned. This has been taken to suggest that (i) the efforts to fix feminism’s scope are undermined because of confusion about the extension of the term ‘woman’, and (ii) this confusion suggests that feminism cannot be organised around women because it is unclear who satisfies woman. Further, this supposedly threatens the effectiveness of feminist politics: feminist goals are said to become unachievable, if feminist politics lacks (...)
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  6. Mari Mikkola (2011). Ontological Commitments, Sex and Gender. In Charlotte Witt (ed.), Feminist Metaphysics. Springer 67--83.
    This paper develops an alternative for (what feminists call) ‘the sex/gender distinction’. I do so in order to avoid certain problematic implications that the distinction underpins. First, the sex/gender distinction paradigmatically holds that some social conditions determine one’s gender (whether one is a woman or a man), and that some biological conditions determine one’s sex (whether one is female or male). Further, sex and gender come apart. Since gender is socially constructed, this implies that women exist mind-dependently, or due to (...)
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  7.  39
    Mari Mikkola (2013). Pornography, Art and Porno-Art. In Hans Maes (ed.), Pornographic Art and the Aesthetics of Pornography. Palgrave Macmillan 27.
    Philosophers involved in the ‘porn-or-art’ debates standardly assume that pornography is centrally about sexual arousal, while art is about something else. I argue against this assumption and for the view that there is no single thing that pornography (or art) ‘is about’. This suggests that there is no prima facie reason for claiming that some x cannot be both pornography and art. I further go on to develop an understanding of (what I call) ‘porno-art’ - a wholly new kind of (...)
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  8. Mari Mikkola (2008). Contexts and Pornography. Analysis 68 (300):316-320.
    Jennifer Saul has argued that the speech acts approach to pornography, where pornography has the illocutionary force of subordinating women, is undermined by that very approach: if pornographic works are speech acts, they must be utterances in contexts; and if we take contexts seriously, it follows that only some pornographic viewings subordinate women. In an effort to defend the speech acts approach, Claudia Bianchi argues that Saul focuses on the wrong context to fix pornography’s illocutionary force. In response, I defend (...)
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  9.  15
    Mari Mikkola (2015). Sex in Medicine: What Stands in the Way of Credibility? Topoi 34.
    Childfree females encounter greater obstacles in obtaining voluntary sterilizations than childfree males. This paper discusses what might explain this and it proposes that female patients encounter particular credibility deficits that undermine their ability to grant informed consent. In particular, the paper explores Miranda Fricker’s recent suggestion that members of structurally disadvantaged groups encounter a particular sort of injustice that harms them in their capacity as knowers: they sustain testimonial injustice. The task of the paper is to investigate whether and in (...)
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  10. Mari Mikkola, Feminist Perspectives on Sex and Gender. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Feminism is the movement to end women’s oppression. One possible way to understand ‘woman’ in this claim is to take it as a sex term: ‘woman’ picks out human females and being a human female depends on various anatomical features (like genitalia). Historically many feminists have understood ‘woman’ differently: not as a sex term, but as a gender term that depends on social and cultural factors (like social position). In so doing, they distinguished sex (being female or male) from gender (...)
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  11.  89
    Mari Mikkola (2011). Illocution, Silencing and the Act of Refusal. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (3):415-437.
    Rae Langton and Jennifer Hornsby argue that there may be a free-speech argument against pornography, if pornographic speech has the power to illocutionarily silence women: women's locution ‘No!’ that aims to refuse unwanted sex may misfire because pornography creates communicative conditions where the locution does not count as a refusal. Central to this is the view that women's speech lacks uptake, which is necessary for illocutionary acts like that of refusal. Alexander Bird has critiqued this view by arguing that uptake (...)
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  12. Mari Mikkola (2009). Gender Concepts and Intuitions. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (4):pp. 559-583.
    The gender concept woman is central to feminism but has proven to be notoriously difficult to define. Some feminist philosophers, most notably Sally Haslanger, have recently argued for revisionary analyses of the concept where it is defined pragmatically for feminist political purposes. I argue against such analyses: pragmatically revising woman may not best serve feminist goals and doing so is unnecessary. Instead, focusing on certain intuitive uses of the term ‘woman’ enables feminist philosophers to make sense of it.
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  13.  16
    Mari Mikkola (2016). Nancy Bauer: Review of How to Do Things with Pornography. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (2):537-539.
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  14. Mari Mikkola (2006). Elizabeth Spelman, Gender Realism, and Women. Hypatia 21 (4):77-96.
    : Elizabeth Spelman has famously argued against gender realism. By and large, feminist philosophers have embraced Spelman's arguments and deemed gender realist positions counterproductive. To the contrary, Mikkola shows that Spelman's arguments do not in actual fact give good reason to reject gender realism in general. She then suggests a way to understand gender realism that does not have the adverse consequences feminist philosophers commonly think gender realist positions have.
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  15. Mari Mikkola (2011). Dehumanization. In Thom Brooks (ed.), New Waves in Ethics. Palgrave-MacMillan
    Martha Nussbaum endorses a kind of humanist feminism, which (for her) involves articulating the notion of human being as a normative ethical concept: once this normative concept is articulated, it can be employed to pick out those modes of treating women that are inappropriate with the view to developing corrective public policies. Contra Nussbaum, Louise Antony argues that human being cannot be defined in a normative sense. For Antony, the only plausible human universals are biological or genetic traits, which lack (...)
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  16.  29
    Mari Mikkola, How Essential is Gender Essentialism? Symposia on Gender, Race and Philosophy.
  17.  3
    Mari Mikkola (2014). Art and Pornography: Philosophical Essays, Edited by H.Maes and J.Levinson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, 344 Pp. ISBN 978-0-19-960958-1 Hb £35. [REVIEW] European Journal of Philosophy 22:e15-e21.
  18.  6
    Mari Mikkola (2014). Art and Pornography: Philosophical Essays, Edited by H. Maes and J. Levinson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, 344 Pp. ISBN 978‐0‐19‐960958‐1 Hb £35. [REVIEW] European Journal of Philosophy 22:e15-e21.
  19.  4
    Mari Mikkola (2006). Elizabeth Spelman, Gender Realism, and Women. Hypatia 21 (4):77-96.
    Spelman has famously argued against gender realism (the view that women have some social feature in common that makes them women). Many feminist philosophers have accepted Spelman’s argument and gender realist positions are, generally speaking, rejected. I show that Spelman’s arguments are inadequate and do not give good reasons to reject gender realism per se. I also propose a gender realist position that makes use of David Armstrong’s work on complex universals.
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  20. Mari Mikkola (2010). Is Everything Relative? Anti-Realism, Truth and Feminism. In A. Hazlett (ed.), New Waves in Metaphysics. Palgrave-Macmillan
    This paper takes issue with anti-realist views that eschew objectivity. Minimally, objectivity maintains that an objective gap between what is the case and what we take to be the case exists. Some prominent feminist philosophers and theorists endorse anti-realism that rejects such a gap. My contention is that this is bad news for political movements like feminism since this sort of anti-realism fosters radical relativism; feminists, then, must retain a commitment to objectivity. However, some anti-realist feminists, who take truth to (...)
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  21. Mari Mikkola (2016). The Wrong of Injustice: Dehumanization and its Role in Feminist Philosophy. Oxford University Press Usa.
    This book examines contemporary structural social injustices from a feminist perspective. It asks: what makes oppression, discrimination, and domination wrongful? Is there a single wrongness-making feature of various social injustices that are due to social kind membership? Why is sexist oppression of women wrongful? What does the wrongfulness of patriarchal damage done to women consist in? In thinking about what normatively grounds social injustice, the book puts forward two related views. First, it argues for a paradigm shift in focus away (...)
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