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Summary

Continental feminist philosophy refers to feminist thought emerging from various continental philosophical and intellectual traditions. In France in particular, movements such as existentialism, psychoanalysis, phenomenology, and deconstruction have been taken up by feminist thinkers, making central questions of gender, sexual difference, women’s sexuality, women’s language, and the presence, or more accurately the absence, of women in the dominant Western philosophical tradition. In the Anglophone context, new areas of continental feminism have emerged including gender theory, feminist race theory, feminist phenomenology, post/de-colonial feminist theory, and queer theory.  Continental feminism includes all these, plus continentally informed critical-feminist approaches to knowledge and science, economic and political structures, cultural practices (arts, popular culture, practices of everyday life), and approaches to and engagements with contemporary and historical figures in the continental philosophical tradition.

Key works Simone de Beauvoir’s insight that “one is not born, but becomes a woman” in de Beauvoir & Parshley 1952 arguably marks the inception of contemporary continental feminism. Other foundational texts for French feminist philosophy include Cixous 1976Irigaray 1985, and Kristeva 1984. Other key figures are Michèle Le Doeuff, Sarah Kofman, and Monique Wittig. For a key text in Italian feminist philosophy, see Cavarero 2002. In the Anglophone context, Butler 1989 has been vastly influential. Butler synthesizes insights from thinkers as diverse as Michel Foucault, Friedrich Nietzsche, J.L. Austin, de Beauvoir, and Wittig among others; this text more or less gave birth to the fields of gender theory and queer theory. Spivak 1981 provides a postcolonial and deconstructive context for French feminism. Cornell 1991 melds deconstruction and Lacanian psychoanalysis into a feminist critique of law. Grosz 1994, takes up the thought of Irigaray and Deleuze along with phenomenology to forge work on the body that became foundational to the confluence of feminism and “new materialisms,” while Young 2004 stands as a key example of feminist phenomenology in the lineage of Maurice Merleau-Ponty.
Introductions

Cahill & Hansen 2003: A fine introductory reader in continental feminism. Davidson et al 2010: Excellent introduction to black feminist continental philosophy. Irigaray 1985: Irigaray's foundational collection of essays and interviews explains her philosophical methodology and early positions on a variety of issues. Olkowski 2000: Offers a slew of recent feminist engagements with French philosophy. Le Dœuff 1991: Essays on being a woman in philosophy in France, rereading the history of Western philosophy as a feminist.

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  1. Powerlessness and Personalization.Victoria I. Burke & Robin D. Burke - 2019 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 33 (2):319-343.
    Is privacy the key ethical issue of the internet age? This coauthored essay argues that even if all of a user’s privacy concerns were met through secure communication and computation, there are still ethical problems with personalized information systems. Our objective is to show how computer-mediated life generates what Ernesto Laclou and Chantal Mouffe call an “atypical form of social struggle”. Laclau and Mouffe develop a politics of contingent identity and transient articulation (or social integration) by means of the notions (...)
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  2. Feminisms and Challenges to Institutionalized Philosophy of Religion.Nathan Eric Dickman - 2018 - Religions 9 (4):113.
    For my invited contribution to this special issue of Religions on “Feminisms and the Study of ‘Religions,’” I focus on philosophy of religion and contestations over its relevance to the academic field of Religious Studies. I amplify some feminist philosophers’ voices—especially Pamela Sue Anderson—in corroboration with recent calls from Religious Studies scholars to diversify philosophy of religions in the direction of locating it properly within the current state of Religious Studies. I want to do this by thinking through two proposals (...)
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  3. Ain’T We All “Looking at the World Through a Keyhole”? Science, Magic, and Bias.Carina Pape - 2018 - In Marc D. White (ed.), Doctor Strange and Philosophy. Hoboken, New Jersey, USA: pp. 78-87.
    Marvel Comics legends Stan Lee and Steve Ditko first introduced Doctor Stephen Strange to the world in 1963—and his spellbinding adventures have wowed comic book fans ever since. Over fifty years later, the brilliant neurosurgeon-turned-Sorcerer Supreme has finally travelled from the pages of comics to the big screen, introducing a new generation of fans to his mind-bending mysticism and self-sacrificing heroics. In Doctor Strange and Philosophy, Mark D. White takes readers on a tour through some of the most interesting and (...)
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  4. Comments on Johanna Oksala’s Feminist Experiences. [REVIEW]Andreea Aldea - 2019 - Continental Philosophy Review 52 (1):125-134.
  5. Honoring Gertrude Ezorsky: The Society for Women in Philosophy’s 1997 Distinguished Woman Professor.Nanette Funk & Andrew Wengraf - 1998 - Radical Philosophy Review 1 (2):126-132.
    The paper included here was presented by Nanette Funk in Honor of Gertrude Ezorsky, the famed philosopher, feminist, and antiracism activist, at the 1997 Meeting of the Society for Women in Philosophy. It is published here as presented. Thus, although it is a coauthored talk the “I” refers to Nanette Funk.
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  6. Sade: Critique of Pure Fiction.Catherine Cusset - 1994 - Pli 5:115-131.
    A central passage in Cusset’s essay states: “God, for Sade, is fiction that ‘took hold of the minds of men’. What makes God’s weakness, the impossibility of rationally proving his existence, is precisely what constitutes his strength as fiction. Negated as authority, eliminated as the figure of the almighty father, God is nonetheless everywhere in the Sadean novel: he exists as the fiction principle. Libertines are never done with God because his name represents the power, not of the law, but (...)
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  7. "The Blank Page" and the Issues of Female Creativity.Susan Gubar - 1981 - Critical Inquiry 8 (2):243-263.
    Woman is not simply an object, however. If we think in terms of the production of culture, she is an art object: she is the ivory carving or mud replica, an icon or doll, but she is not the sculptor. Lest this seem fanciful, we should remember that until very recently women have been barred from art schools as students yet have always been acceptable as models. Both Laura and Beatrice were turned into characters by the poems they inspired. A (...)
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  8. Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness.Elaine Showalter - 1981 - Critical Inquiry 8 (2):179-205.
    Until very recently, feminist criticism has not had a theoretical basis; it has been an empirical orphan in the theoretical storm. In 1975, I was persuaded that no theoretical manifesto could adequately account for the varied methodologies and ideologies which called themselves feminist reading or writing.1 By the next year, Annette Kolodny had added her observation that feminist literary criticism appeared "more like a set of interchangeable strategies than any coherent school or shared goal orientation."2 Since then, the expressed goals (...)
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  9. George Bernard Shaw: Women and the Body Politic.Michael Holroyd - 1979 - Critical Inquiry 6 (1):17-32.
    It was difficult to avoid the amiability of [Shaw's] impersonal embrace. Everything he seemed to say was what it was—and another thing. Women were the same as men: but different. But of the two, he calculated, women were fractionally less idiotic than men. "The only decent government is government by a body of men and women," he said in 1906; "but if only one sex must govern, then I should say, let it be women—put the men out! Such an enormous (...)
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  10. Notes and Exchanges.René Wellek, Wayne Booth, Joseph F. Ryan & Jean H. Hagstrum - 1977 - Critical Inquiry 4 (1):203-212.
  11. Good with Her Hands: Women, Boxing, and Work.Carlo Rotella - 1999 - Critical Inquiry 25 (3):566-598.
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  12. What Ails Feminist Criticism? A Second Opinion.Robyn Wiegman - 1999 - Critical Inquiry 25 (2):362-379.
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  13. Pelléas and Pénélope.Vladimir Jankélévitch, Arnold I. Davidson & Nancy R. Knezevic - 2000 - Critical Inquiry 26 (3):584-590.
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  14. What Ails Feminist Criticism?Susan Gubar - 1998 - Critical Inquiry 24 (4):878-902.
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  15. Jane Austen and Edward Said: Gender, Culture, and Imperialism.Susan Fraiman - 1995 - Critical Inquiry 21 (4):805-821.
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  16. Re-Placing Race in (White) Psychoanalytic Discourse: Founding Narratives of Feminism.Jean Walton - 1995 - Critical Inquiry 21 (4):775-804.
  17. Feminist Heterosexuality and Its Politically Incorrect Pleasures.Jane Gaines - 1995 - Critical Inquiry 21 (2):382-410.
  18. Some Notes on Defining a "Feminist Literary Criticism".Annette Kolodny - 1975 - Critical Inquiry 2 (1):75-92.
    A good feminist criticism . . . must first acknowledge that men's and women's writing in our culture will inevitably share some common ground. Acknowledging that, the feminist critic may then go on to explore the ways in which this common ground is differently imaged in women's writing and also note the turf which they do not share. And, after appreciating the variety and variance of women's experience—as we have always done with men's—we must then begin exploring and analyzing the (...)
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  19. The Feminist as Literary Critic.Annette Kolodny - 1976 - Critical Inquiry 2 (4):821-832.
    Reading Morgan's eloquent explanation of himself as a "feminist," self-taught and now wholly enthused at the prospect of teaching a Women Writers course, one comes away sharing Morgan's concern that he not be left out in the cold. It is, after all, exciting and revitalizing to be part of a "revolution"—especially if, like Morgan, one can so generously and wholeheartedly espouse its goals; and, at the same time, it is surely comforting and ego-affirming to experience oneself as a legitimate son (...)
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  20. The Gender and Genre of Reverie.Gérard Genette & Thaïs E. Morgan - 1994 - Critical Inquiry 20 (2):357-370.
  21. Gender Ideology, Gender Change: The Case of Marie Germain.Patricia Parker - 1993 - Critical Inquiry 19 (2):337-364.
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  22. The Great Mother Domesticated: Sexual Difference and Sexual Indifference in D. W. Griffith's "Intolerance".Michael Rogin - 1989 - Critical Inquiry 15 (3):510-555.
    A giant statue of the mother goddess, Ishtar, presides over Intolerance , the movie D. W. Griffith made after his triumph with The Birth of a Nation . Ishtar sits above Babylon’s royal, interior court, but the court itself is constructed on so gigantic a scale that is diminishes the size of the goddess. Perhaps to establish Ishtar’s larger-than-life proportions, Griffith posed himself alongside her in a production still from the movie . The director is the same size as the (...)
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  23. Patriarchy, Lentricchia, and Male Feminization.Donald E. Pease - 1988 - Critical Inquiry 14 (2):379-385.
    So Lentricchia has fulfilled one of his purposes in this essay. He has subverted the patriarchy from within: that is, he has subverted Bloom’s literary history as well as the essentialist feminism associated with it. But he has not fulfilled his affiliated purpose of establishing a dialogue between feminists and feminized males. The “feminization” of literary studies by patriarchal figures like Bloom does not account for the feminization of Stoddard, Gilder, Van Dyke, Woodberry, or Stedman. Their feminization, like that of (...)
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  24. The Damsel, the Knight, and the Victorian Woman Poet.Dorothy Mermin - 1986 - Critical Inquiry 13 (1):64-80.
    The association of poetry and femininity … excluded women poets. For the female figures onto whom the men projected their artistic selves—Tennyson’s Mariana and Lady of Shalott, Browning’s Pippa and Balaustion, Arnold’s Iseult of Brittany—represent an intensification of only a part of the poet, not his full consciousness: a part, furthermore, which is defined as separate from and ignorant of the public world and the great range of human experience in society. Such figures could not write their own poems; the (...)
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  25. The Scribbling Women and the Cosmic Success Story.Henry Nash Smith - 1974 - Critical Inquiry 1 (1):47-70.
    This essay deals with American fiction between the early 1850s, when Hawthorne and Melville produced their best work, and the first novels of Howells and James in the early 1870s. The familiar notion that this was the period of transition from pre-Civil War Romanticism to postwar Realism tells us nothing in particular about it. Yet we need some historical frame in which to place both of the later efforts of Hawthorne and Melville and the apprentice work of the next generation (...)
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  26. The Romance of Caffeine and Aluminum.Jeffrey T. Schnapp - 2001 - Critical Inquiry 28 (1):244-269.
  27. Xopóσ: Dancing Into the Sacred Space of Chora: An Inquiry Into the Choir of Dance From the Chora.Nicoletta Isar - 2005 - Byzantion 75:199-224.
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  28. Aesthetics: An Important Category of Feminist Philosophy.Ewa Plonowska Ziarek - 2012 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 26 (2):385-393.
  29. Introduction: The French Novel Now.Warren F. Motte - 2006 - Substance 35 (3):3-4.
  30. Muslim Women’s Quest for Equality: Between Islamic Law and Feminism.Ziba Mir‐Hosseini - 2006 - Critical Inquiry 32 (4):629-645.
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  31. Writing Hypnagogia.Peter Schwenger - 2008 - Critical Inquiry 34 (3):423-439.
  32. Women and Philosophy.Sandra Edwards - 1978 - Southwestern Journal of Philosophy 9 (3):156-159.
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  33. Von Feministischer Wissenschaftskritik Zu Feministischen Wissenschaftskonstruktionen.Waltraud Ernst - 1994 - Die Philosophin 5 (9):9-25.
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  34. "Chymische Hochzeit" - Ein Alter Alchemistischer Traum.Regula Fankhauser - 1994 - Die Philosophin 5 (9):73-89.
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  35. Was Kommt Nach der Modernen Rationalität?Elisabeth C. Parzer - 1994 - Die Philosophin 5 (9):59-72.
  36. Phantasmen der Neuzeitlichen Naturwissenschaften.Elvira Scheich - 1994 - Die Philosophin 5 (9):45-58.
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  37. Bettina Heintz: Die Herrschaft der Regel. Zur Grundlagengeschichte des Computers.Mona Singer & Ulrike Felt - 1994 - Die Philosophin 5 (9):105-109.
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  38. Elfriede Walesca Tielsch (1910-1993).Brigitte Weisshaupt - 1993 - Die Philosophin 4 (8):118-120.
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  39. Das Internationale Informationszentrum Und Archiv Für Die Frauenbewegung in Amsterdam.Marieke Kramer - 1993 - Die Philosophin 4 (8):121-124.
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  40. Sechzehn Kleine Männerbilder.Friederike Kretzen - 1993 - Die Philosophin 4 (8):87-93.
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  41. Gleichheit, Widerspruch, Differenz. Denkformen Als Politikformen.Brigitte Rauschenbach - 1993 - Die Philosophin 4 (8):57-86.
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  42. Interdisziplinäre Aspekte von Historischer Und Philosophischer Frauenforschung.Katharina Fietze - 1993 - Die Philosophin 4 (7):33-39.
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  43. Das Begehren des Begehrens: Ödipus Und Die Metamorphose Zur Weibilchkeit.Elizabeth Goodstein - 1992 - Die Philosophin 3 (6):8-17.
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  44. Magersucht Schreiben.Heike Schmitz - 1992 - Die Philosophin 3 (6):32-43.
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  45. (K)Ein Weibliches Schreiben.Eva Waniek - 1992 - Die Philosophin 3 (5):45-59.
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  46. Der Verein Wissenschaft Und Frauenbewegung E.V. Und Das FrauenForschungsInstitut Rhein-Ruhr.Johanna Peter - 1992 - Die Philosophin 3 (5):114-117.
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  47. Strategien des Verschwindelns.Christina von Braun - 1991 - Die Philosophin 2 (4):24-34.
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  48. Der "Wiener-Philosophinnenclub" Stellt Sich Vor.Ilse Korotin - 1991 - Die Philosophin 2 (4):112-116.
  49. Frauenakademie München E.V. Schule der Einmischung.Heike Schoch - 1991 - Die Philosophin 2 (4):119-122.
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  50. Mitleid Und Mitlust Ein Beitrag Zur Gegenwärtigen Euthanasiedebatte.Susanne Schriber - 1991 - Die Philosophin 2 (4):35-46.
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