Feministphilosophy 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)
Feministphilosophy 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 feministphilosophy 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, FeministPhilosophy of Religion is an important resource for this new area of study. (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 (...) class='Hi'>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)
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)
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)
The history of modern philosophy is a major topic in philosophy and is crucial to an understanding of the advent of feministphilosophy. 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)
Yielding Gender explores and reconsiders the tensions that deconstruction poses for feministphilosophy. 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)
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 feministphilosophy 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)
This new collection of essays by leading feminist critics highlights the fresh perspectives that feminism can offer to the discussion of past philosophers. Rather than defining itself through opposition to a "male" philosophical tradition, feministphilosophy emerges not only as an exciting new contribution to the history of philosophy, but also as a source of cultural self-understanding in the present.
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)
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 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)
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)
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)
A feminist primer for philosophers of science -- The legacy of twentieth century philosophy of science -- What feminist science studies can offer -- Challenges from every direction -- The prospects of twenty-first century philosophy of science.
This book combines the insights of enlightenment thinking and feminist theory to explore the significance of love in modern philosophy. The author argues for the importance of emotion in general, and love in particular, to moral and political philosophy, pointing out that some of the central philosophers of the enlightment were committed to a moralized conception of love. However, she believes that feminism's insights arise not from its attribution of special and distinctive qualities to women, but from (...) its recognition of human vulernability. (shrink)
This collection showcases the work of 18 analytical feminists from a variety of traditional areas of philosophy. It highlights successful uses of concepts and approaches from traditional philosophy, and illustrates the contributions that feminist approaches have made and could make to the analysis of issues in key areas of traditional philosophy, while also demonstrating that traditional philosophy ignores feminist insights and feminist critiques of traditional philosophy at its own peril.
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 feministphilosophy 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 feministphilosophy in particular. I want us to consider what feministphilosophy 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)
This is the first book to offer a systematic account of feministphilosophy as a distinctive field of philosophy. The book introduces key issues and debates in feministphilosophy 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 FeministPhilosophy shows how (...)feminist thinking on these and related topics has developed since the 1960s. The book also explains how feministphilosophy 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 feministphilosophy including Arendt, Foucault, Freud, and Lacan. Accessible in approach, this book is ideal for students and researchers interested in feministphilosophy, feminist theory, womens studies, and political theory. It will also appeal to the general reader. (shrink)
The Blackwell Guide to FeministPhilosophy is a definitive introduction to the field, consisting of 15 newly-contributed essays that apply philosophical methods and approaches to feminist concerns. Offers a key view of the project of centering women’s experience. Includes topics such as feminism and pragmatism, lesbian philosophy, feminist epistemology, and women in the history of philosophy.
Are we in a post-feminist era? Has the term, feminist, grown out of its resisted stance? What from today's standpoint is an appropriate concept of feministphilosophy? And is it not the case that all people thinking democratically must share its central concern? In FeministPhilosophy , internationally acclaimed philosopher Herta Nagl-Docekal discusses and critiques the theories of today. Her study ranges across philosophical anthropology, aesthetics, philosophy of science, the critique of reason, political (...) theory, and philosophy of law. FeministPhilosophy confronts the entire field with the problem of the hierarchical relations of the sexes. Throughout her work, Nagl-Docekal affirms the importance of feminist thought as she presses for new approaches to common problems. (shrink)
Much of feministphilosophy of language so far can be described as critical—critical either of language itself or of philosophy of language, and calling for change on the basis of these criticisms. Those making these criticisms suggest that the changes are needed for the sake of feminist goals — either to better allow for feminist work to be done or, more frequently, to bring an end to certain key ways that women are disadvantaged. In this (...) entry, I examine these criticisms. I also examine work by feminists that seems to suggest some of the criticisms are misplaced: that, for example, philosophy of language is better able to help in feminist projects than critics suppose. My focus in this entry will generally be on the analytic tradition. For continental approaches, see the entries on feminist approaches to the intersection of analytic and continental philosophy , feminist approaches to the intersection of pragmatism and continental philosophy. (shrink)
I argue against the assumption that the influence of non-cognitive values must lead to bad science and against the methodological norm that seems to some philosophers to follow from it, viz. that a good philosophy of science should analyze the morally and politically neutral production of good science. Against these, I argue for the assumption that non-cognitive values are compatible with good science and for the metaphilosophical norm that a good philosophy of science should allow us to see (...) whether and how non-cognitive values influence good science. In pursuit of one of its scandalous goals, viz. determining whether and when gender politics influence good scientific work, feministphilosophy of science is well served by this methodological norm. (shrink)
Overcoming our disciplinary aversion to assessment mechanisms allows more possibilities for students to achieve fundamental philosophical skills. My essay discusses the use of Bloom’s taxonomy in a FeministPhilosophy course with detailed examples that demonstrate its efficacy as a learning and assessment tool that is particularly suited to philosophy, as well as how critical philosophy in general, and feministphilosophy in particular, is an ideal subject to help students gain critical thinking skills.
Thanks in large part to the record of scholarship fostered by Hypatia, feminist philosophers are now positioned not just as critics of the canon, but as innovators advancing uniquely feminist perspectives for theorizing about the world. As relatively junior feminist scholars, the five of us were called upon to provide some reflections on emerging trends in feministphilosophy and to comment on its future. Despite the fact that we come from diverse subfields and philosophical traditions, (...) four common aims emerged in our collaboration as central to the future of feminist philosophies. We seek to: 1) challenge universalist and essentialist frameworks without ceding to relativism; 2) center coloniality and embodiment in our analyses of the intermeshed realities of race and gender by shifting from oppression in the abstract to concrete cosmologies and struggles, particularly those of women of color and women of colonized communities across the globe; 3) elaborate the materialities of thought, being, and community that must succeed atomistic conceptions of persons as disembodied, individually constituted, and autonomous; 4) demonstrate what is distinctive and valuable about feministphilosophy, while fighting persistent marginalization within the discipline. In our joint musings here, we attempt to articulate how future feminist philosophies might advance these aims, as well as some of the challenges we face. (shrink)
This paper draws upon contemporary feministphilosophy in order to consider the changing meaning of privacy and its relationship to identity, both online and offline. For example, privacy is now viewed by European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) as a right, which when breached can harm us by undermining our ability to maintain social relations. I briefly outline the meaning of privacy in common law and under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in order to show the (...) relevance of contemporary feminist thought, in particular the image of selfhood that stresses its relationality. I argue that the meaning of privacy is in the process of altering as a result of a number of contingent factors including both changes in technology, particularly computer mediated communication (CMC), and changes in the status of women. This latter point can be illustrated by the feminist critique of the traditional reluctance of the liberal state to interfere with violence and injustice within the “privacy” of the home. In asking the question: “how is the meaning of “privacy” changing?” I consider not only contemporary legal case law but also Thomas Nagel’s influential philosophical analysis of privacy. Nagel’s position is useful because of the detail with which he outlines what privacy used to mean, whilst bemoaning its passing. I agree with his view that its meaning is changing but am critical of his perspective. In particular, I challenge his claim regarding the traditional “neutrality of language” and consider it in the context of online identity. (shrink)
Irigaray demonstrates that metaphysics depends upon the specific negation and exclusion of the female body. Readings of Irigaray's Speculum of the Other Woman tend to highlight the status of this excluded materiality: is there an essential female body which precedes negation or is the feminine only an effect of exclusion? I approach Irigaray's work by way of another question: is it possible to move beyond a feminist critique of metaphysics and towards a feministphilosophy?
This paper provides an overview of twenty years of feministphilosophy in Northamerica. The professionalization of feminist theory that has occurred through the mainstreaming of feministphilosophy creates a danger of a gap between theory and practice that creates the danger of co-optation. Three stages of feminist philosophizing are outlined, including the radical critique, gender difference and difference/post-modernist stages. The last stage, it is argued, leads to an conceptual impasse about feminist strategies for (...) social change. (shrink)
A panel titled FeministPhilosophy after Twenty Years was organized by Carol C. Gould for the session sponsored by the Committee on the Status of Women at the American Philosophical Association's 1993 Eastern Division Meeting, December 30, 1993 in Atlanta, GA. The remarks of the three panelists, Linda Lopez McAlister, Ann Ferguson and Kathy Addelson are printed below.
Feministphilosophy is now an established subdiscipline, but it began as an effort to transform the profession. Academics and activists worked together to make the new courses, and feminist theory was tested in the streets. As time passed, the "second wave" receded, but core elements of feminist theory were preserved in the academy. How can feminist philosophers today continue the early efforts of changing profession and the society, hand in hand with women outside the academy.
This paper was originally presented as part of a panel entitled "FeministPhilosophy After Twenty Years" at the 1993 meeting of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association (APA). It is a discussion of the conditions that needed to be-and were-present in the United States in the 1970s in order for feministphilosophy to take root and flourish.
: Contrasting the work of Genevieve Lloyd, Elizabeth Grosz, and Moira Gatens with the poststructuralist philosophy of Judith Butler, this paper identifies a distinctive "Australian" feminism. It argues that while Butler remains trapped by the matter/representation binary, the Spinozist turn in Lloyd and Gatens, and Grosz's work on Bergson and Deleuze, are attempts to think corporeality.
I argue that Stephen Darwall's account of second-personal respect should be of special interest to feminists because it opens up space for the development of certain feminist resources. Specifically, Darwall's account leaves room for an experiential aspect of respect, and I suggest that abilities related to this aspect may vary along with social position. I then point out a potential parallel between the feminist critique of epistemology and a budding feminist critique of moral philosophy (specifically relating (...) to respect). (shrink)
The past twenty years have seen an explosion of work by feminist philosophers and several surveys of this work have documented the richness of the many different ways of doing feministphilosophy. But this major new anthology is the first broad and inclusive selection of the most important work in this field.There are many unanswered questions about the future of feministphilosophy. Which of the many varieties of feministphilosophy will last, and which (...) will fade away? What kinds of accommodations will be possible with mainstream non-feministphilosophy? Which will separate themselves and flourish on their own? To what extent will feminists change the topics philosophers address? To what extent will they change the very way in which philosophy is done?However these questions are answered, it is clear that feministphilosophy is having and will continue to have a major impact on the discipline of philosophy. This volume is the first to allow the scholar, the student, and other interested readers to sample this diverse literature and to ponder these questions for themselves.Organized around nine traditional “types” of feministphilosophy, Feminism and Philosophy is an imaginatively edited volume that will stimulate readers to explore many new pathways to understanding. It marks a defining moment in feministphilosophy, and it will be an essential text for philosophers and for feminist theorists in many other fields. (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)
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)
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 feministphilosophy, 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)
This pathbreaking work pursues two interwoven themes. Firstly, it engages in a deconstruction of Ancient philosopher's texts--mainly from Plato, but also from Homer and Parmenides--in order to free four Greek female figures from the patriarchal discourse which for centuries had imprisoned them in a particular role. Secondly, it attempts to construct a symbolic female order, reinterpreting these figures from a new perspective. Building on the theory of sexual difference, Cavarero shows that death is the central category on which the whole (...) edifice of traditional philosophy is based. By contrast, the category of birth provides the thread with which new concepts of feminist criticism can be woven together to establish a fresh way of thinking. Cavarero develops a philosophical narrative which, by re-interpreting each of the four figures of ancient thought, uncovers several images of the female desire for self-representation. Plato himself had not forseen that one day female subjectivity would assert its autonomy, plundering and throwing into confusion the patriarchal text in order to tell another story. (shrink)
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)
This article revisits the ethical and political questions raised by feminist debates over essentialism, the belief that there are properties essential to women and which all women share. Feminists widespread rejection of essentialism has threatened to undermine feminist politics. Re-evaluating two responses to this problemstrategic essentialism and Iris Marion Youngs idea that women are an internally diverse seriesI argue that both unsatisfactorily retain essentialism as a descriptive claim about the social reality of womens lives. I argue instead that (...) women have a genealogy: women always acquire femininity by appropriating and reworking existing cultural interpretations of femininity, so that all women become situated within a history of overlapping chains of interpretation. Because all women are located within this complex history, they are identifiable as belonging to a determinate social group, despite sharing no common understanding or experience of femininity. The idea that women have a genealogy thus reconciles anti-essentialism with feminist politics. (shrink)
Through its social and political activism goals, postcolonial feminist theoretical approaches not only focus on individual issues that affect health but encompass the examination of the complex interplay between neocolonialism, neoliberalism, and globalization, in mediating the health of non-Western immigrants and refugees. Postcolonial feminism holds the promise to influence nursing research and practice in the 21st century where health remains a goal to achieve and a commitment for humanity. This is especially relevant for nurses, who act as global citizens (...) and as voices for the voiceless. The commitment of nursing to social justice must be further strengthened by relying on postcolonial theories to address issues of health inequities that arise from marginalization and racialization. In using postcolonial feminist theories, nurse researchers locate the inquiry process within a Gramscian philosophy of praxis that represents knowledge in action. (shrink)
The past twenty five years have seen an explosion of feminist writing on the philosophical canon, a development that has clear parallels in other disciplines like literature and art history. Since most of the writing is, in one way or another, critical of the tradition, a natural question to ask is: Why does the history of philosophy have importance for feminist philosophers? This question assumes that the history of philosophy is of importance for feminists, an assumption (...) that is warranted by the sheer volume of recent feminist writing on the canon. This entry explores the different ways that feminist philosophers are interacting with the Western philosophical tradition. (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)
A historically feminized profession, education in North America remains remarkably unaffected by feminism, with the notable exception of pedagogy and its impact on curriculum. The purpose of this paper is to describe characteristics of feminism that render it particularly useful and appropriate for developing potentialities in education and music education. As a set of flexible methodological tools informed by Gilles Deleuze's notions of philosophy and art, I argue feminism may contribute to education's becoming more efficacious, reflexive, and reflective of (...) the values of its participants. Its impetus involves ‘feminist imperative(s)’ to help in the sense articulated by Elizabeth Grosz: to provoke thought, challenge, and problematize. (shrink)
Feminist epistemology and philosophy of science studies the ways in which gender does and ought to influence our conceptions of knowledge, the knowing subject, and practices of inquiry and justification. It identifies ways in which dominant conceptions and practices of knowledge attribution, acquisition, and justification systematically disadvantage women and other subordinated groups, and strives to reform these conceptions and practices so that they serve the interests of these groups. Various practitioners of feminist epistemology and philosophy of (...) science argue that dominant knowledge practices disadvantage women by (1) excluding them from inquiry, (2) denying them epistemic authority, (3) denigrating their “feminine” cognitive styles and modes of knowledge, (4) producing theories of women that represent them as inferior, deviant, or significant only in the ways they serve male interests, (5) producing theories of social phenomena that render women's activities and interests, or gendered power relations, invisible, and (6) producing knowledge (science and technology) that is not useful for people in subordinate positions, or that reinforces gender and other social hierarchies. Feminist epistemologists trace these failures to flawed conceptions of knowledge, knowers, objectivity, and scientific methodology. They offer diverse accounts of how to overcome these failures. They also aim to (1) explain why the entry of women and feminist scholars into different academic disciplines, especially in biology and the social sciences, has generated new questions, theories, and methods, (2) show how gender has played a.. (shrink)
Third wave anti-essentialist critique has too often been used to dismiss second wave feminist projects. I examine claims that Carol Gilligan's work is "essentialist," and argue that her recent research requires this criticism be rethought. Anti-essentialist feminist method should consist in attention to the relations of power that construct accounts of gendered identity in the course of different forms of empirical enquiry, not in rejecting any general claim about women or girls.
: This paper on Ofelia Schutte's work discusses five main themes: gender oppression in the context of Latin American theories of social liberation; normative heterosexuality in Beauvoir and Irigaray; Schutte's analysis of women and capitalist globalization processes; her work on cultural identities; and the possibility of feminist transnational identities. I conclude with a comment on her postcolonial epistemological method in addressing cultural incommensurability and the possibility of a common agenda for transnational feminism.
: What makes us think, and what makes us think as feminists? In seeking to answer these questions, this paper draws on both Deleuze and Guattari's account of the creation of concepts, and feminist thought on feminist thinking, before suggesting with Levinas that our relation to ideas is primarily affective. Via further engagement with Levinas, I argue that it is the relation to the other which provokes and produces thought; models of autonomous theorizing are thereby supplanted by the (...) teaching of the other. (shrink)
: Reading Hegel's 1827 Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion alongside his Phenomenology of Spirit, I argue that his vision for becoming a self-conscious subject—or seeing (oneself as) "spirit"—requires taking responsibility for the insight that every act of reason expresses an experience of sexual difference. It entails working to bring into being communities whose conceptions of gender and the absolute realize this idea.
Building on developments in feminist science scholarship and the philosophy of science, I advocate two methodological principles as elements of a naturalized philosophy of science. One principle incorporates a holistic account of evidence inclusive of claims and theories informed by and/or expressive of politics and non-constitutive values; the second takes communities, rather than individual scientists, to be the primary loci of scientific knowledge. I use case studies to demonstrate that these methodological principles satisfy three criteria for naturalization (...) accepted in naturalized philosophy of science, and allow for the differential assessment of episodes in which values and sociopolitical factors inform, or contribute to the adoption of, theories for which there is sufficient evidential warrant — and episodes in which such factors inform, or contribute to the adoption of, theories for which there is not. I contend that in terms of their empirical and normative import, these principles constitute a further naturalization of the philosophy of science. (shrink)
This essay critiques feminist treatments of maternal-fetal "relationality" that unwittingly replicate features of Western individualism (for example, the Cartesian division between the asocial body and the social-cognitive person, or the conflation of social and biological birth). I argue for a more reflexive perspective on relationality that would acknowledge how we produce persons through our actions and rhetoric. Personhood and relationality can be better analyzed as dynamic, negotiated qualities realized through social practice.
In this article I attempt to reconcile two seemingly conflicting theorisations of love, the one elaborated by Roy Bhaskar as part of his philosophy of meta-Reality and Anna G. Jónasdóttir’s historical materialist-radical feminist theory of love power. While Bhaskar emphasises the essentially non-dual character of love, envisioning it as a ‘no-lose situation’, Jónasdóttir stresses the antagonistic features structuring love relations by conceptualising love as a productive power that men tend to exploit women of. Rather than seeing these accounts (...) as mutually exclusive I show that they can be reconciled by aid of the general ontology elaborated by Bhaskar in his philosophy of meta-Reality. (shrink)
By tracing a specific development through the approaches of Peirce, James, and Dewey I present a view of (classical) pragmatist epistemology that invites comparison with recent work in feminist epistemology. Important dimensions of pragmatism and feminism emerge from this critical dialectical relationship between them. Pragmatist reflections on the role of reason and philosophy in a changing world encourage us to see that philosophy's most creative and most responsible future must also be a feminist one.
The influence of feminist theory on philosophy has been less pervasive than it might have been. This is due in part to inherent tensions between feminist critique and the university as an institution, and to philosophy's place in the academy. These tensions, if explored rather than resisted, can result in a revitalized, more explicitly feminist conception of philosophy itself, wherein philosophy is seen as an attempt to rethink the deepest aspects of experience and (...) culture. (shrink)
Reading Hegel's 1827 Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion alongside his Phenomenology of Spirit, I argue that his vision for becoming a self-conscious subject-or seeing (oneself as) "spirit"-requires taking responsibility for the insight that every act of reason expresses an experience of sexual difference. It entails working to bring into being communities whose conceptions of gender and the absolute realize this idea.
Evelyn Fox Keller and Susan Bordo are often cited as sources for the claim that the notion of objectivity found in Western science and analytic philosophy is male-biased. I argue that even if their arguments that objectivity is male-biased are successful, the bias they establish is not a sort which should worry any feminist analytic philosophers (or scientists). I also examine their suggestions for reconceiving objectivity and find them inadequately motivated.