About this topic
Summary If metaphysics is the study of what there is and what it is like— of what exists and the nature of that which exists (actually or potentially), then feminist metaphysics is metaphysics that pays particular attention to potential gender biases in our metaphysical methods, concepts, and theories. Along with other branches of feminist inquiry, it is a central tenet of feminist metaphysics that knowledge, including metaphysical knowledge, is socially situated, and thus that we need to attend to the social environment in which our theorizing takes place and the potential impact it has on our theorizing and theories. Of special importance to feminist metaphysics is the inquiry into feminist tools and methods, such as the concepts of gender, sex, gendering, social construction, objectivity, and bias.
Key works Important 20th century works include De Beauvoir 1952, Frye 1983, Spelman 1988, Butler 1990, Butler 1993, and the edited collection Meyers 1997. Recent works include Alcoff 2006, Witt 2011, Haslanger 2012, and the edited volume Witt 2011.
Introductions The encyclopædia article Haslanger & Sveinsdóttir 2008;2011 provides an introduction and an overview.
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1 — 50 / 391
  1. Unity and Difference: A Critical Appraisal of Polarizing Gender Identities.Stephanie Adair - 2012 - Hypatia 27 (4):847-863.
    In The Phenomenology of Spirit, Hegel draws out the interdependency of unity and difference. In order to have a unity, there must be differences that compose it, as a unity unifies different elements. At the same time, in unifying these elements, they must not cease to be different from one another, as that would reduce the unity to a simple singularity.In this paper, I take up this interdependency of unity and difference, applying it to gender identities. I follow the psychoanalytically (...)
  2. Gender/Body/Machine.Alison Adam - 2002 - Ratio 15 (4):354–375.
    This article considers the question of embodiment in relation to gender and whether there are models of artificial intelligence (AI) which can enrol a concept of gender in their design. A central concern for feminist epistemology is the role of the body in the making of knowledge. I consider how this may inform a critique of the AI project and the related area of artificial life (A-Life), the latter area being of most interest in this paper. I explore briefly the (...)
  3. Beyond Humanism and Postmodernism: Theorizing a Feminist Practice.Sara Ahmed - 1996 - Hypatia 11 (2):71 - 93.
    The model of feminism as humanist in practice and postmodern in theory is inadequate. Feminist practice and theory directly inform each other to displace both humanist and postmodern conceptions of the subject. An examination of feminism's use of rights discourse suggests that feminist practice questions the humanist conception of the subject as a self-identity. Likewise, feminist theory undermines the postmodern emphasis on the constitutive instability and indeterminacy of the subject.
  4. Bodies and Sensings: On the Uses of Husserlian Phenomenology for Feminist Theory.Alia Al-Saji - 2010 - Continental Philosophy Review 43 (1):13-37.
    What does Husserlian phenomenology have to offer feminist theory? More specifically, can we find resources within Husserl’s account of the living body ( Leib ) for the critical feminist project of rethinking embodiment beyond the dichotomies not only of mind/body but also of subject/object and activity/passivity? This essay begins by explicating the reasons for feminist hesitation with respect to Husserlian phenomenology. I then explore the resources that Husserl’s phenomenology of touch and his account of sensings hold for feminist theory. My (...)
  5. Review of Iris Marion Young, On Female Body Experience: "Throwing Like a Girl" and Other Essays[REVIEW]Alia Al-Saji - 2005 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (10).
  6. Cultural Feminism Versus Post-Structuralism: The Identity Crisis in Feminist Theory.L. Alcoff - 1988 - Signs 13 (3):405--436.
  7. Experience and Knowledge: The Case of Sexual Abuse Memories.L. M. Alcoff - forthcoming - Feminist Metaphysics:209--223.
  8. Gender and Reproduction.Linda Alcoff - 2008 - Asian Journal of Women's Studies 14 (4):7-27.
  9. Dreaming of Iris.Linda Alcoff - 2008 - Philosophy Today 52 (Supplement):4-9.
  10. Philosophy Matters. [REVIEW]Linda Alcoff - 2000 - Signs 25 (3):841-882.
    This paper provides an overview of feminist philosophy published in the 1990's, covering work in epistemology, the history of philosophy, social philosophy, and metaphysics.
  11. Who's Afraid of Identity Politics?Linda Martin Alcoff - manuscript
    This volume is an act of talking back, of talking heresy. To reclaim the term “realism,” to maintain the epistemic significance of identity, to defend any version of identity politics today is to swim upstream of strong academic currents in feminist theory, literary theory, and cultural studies. It is to risk, even to invite, a dismissal as naive, uninformed, theoretically unsophisticated. And it is a risk taken here by people already at risk in the academy, already assumed more often than (...)
  12. The Metaphysics of Gender and Sexual Difference.Linda Martin Alcoff - 2005 - In Barbara S. Andrew, Jean Clare Keller & Lisa H. Schwartzman (eds.), Feminist Interventions in Ethics and Politics: Feminist Ethics and Social Theory. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    “It is certainly true, as nominalists have been concerned to acknowledge, that judgements about kinds are determined in part by human interests, projects, and practices. But the possibility that human interests, projects, and practices sometimes develop as they do because the real (physical or social) world is as it is suggests that this sort of dependence is not by itself an argument against essentialism.”.
  13. Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self.Linda Martn Alcoff - 2006 - Oup Usa.
    Visible Identities critiques the critiques of identity and of identity politics and argues that identities are real but not necessarily a political problem. Moreover, the book explores the material infrastructure of gendered identity, the experimental aspects of racial subjectivity for both whites and non-whites, and in several chapters looks specifically at Latio identity.
  14. Dependency, Subordination, and Recognition: On Judith Butler's Theory of Subjection. [REVIEW]Amy Allen - 2005 - Continental Philosophy Review 38 (3-4):199-222.
    Judith Butler's recent work expands the Foucaultian notion of subjection to encompass an analysis of the ways in which subordinated individuals becomes passionately attached to, and thus come to be psychically invested in, their own subordination. I argue that Butler's psychoanalytically grounded account of subjection offers a compelling diagnosis of how and why an attachment to oppressive norms – of femininity, for example – can persist in the face of rational critique of those norms. However, I also argue that her (...)
  15. Power Trouble: Performativity as Critical Theory.Amy Allen - 1998 - Constellations 5 (4):456-471.
    Although Judith Butler’s theory of the performativity of gender has been highly influential in feminist theory, queer theory, cultural studies, and some areas of philosophy, it has yet to receive its due from critical social theorists. This oversight is especially problematic given the crucial insights into the study of power – a central concept for critical social theory – that can be gleaned from Butler’s work. Her analysis is somewhat unique among discussions of power in its attempt to theorize simultaneously (...)
  16. Knowledge, Human Interests, and Objectivity in Feminist Epistemology.Elizabeth Anderson - 1995 - Philosophical Topics 23 (2):27-58.
  17. Ambivalence and Identity in Black Culture.Sharon Anderson-Gold - 2000 - Social Philosophy Today 16:11-24.
    For decades American sociologists maintained that due to the elimination of their ancestral heritage under slavery, African-American shad no ethnic culture. Social segregation was due to poverty rather than racial prejudice. Social theorist Robert Blauner contests this view. The theory that black culture is only a lower class life-style is flawed because it ignores the culture-producing effects of racism which is the basis for a distinctive African-American culture. Following Blauner, this paper argues that racism is a more complex phenomenon than (...)
  18. The Psychology of Tyranny: Wollstonecraft and Woolf on the Gendered Dimension of War.Barbara Andrew - 1994 - Hypatia 9 (2):85 - 101.
    Mary Wollstonecraft and Virginia Woolf criticize the social construction of the soldier and argue that gender hierarchy relies on particular constructions of masculinity and femininity. Both contend that private tyrannies lead to public ones, and that men's domination in families provides a model for public domination. This reveals the social and psychological conditions which replicate domination, violence, and war. I examine how gender constructs promote and participate in the psychological conditions necessary for war.
  19. A Mind of One's Own: Feminist Essays on Reason and Objectivity.Louise M. Antony & Charlotte Witt (eds.) - 2002 - Westview Press.
    A book of tremendous influence when it first appeared, A Mind of One's Own reminded readers that the tradition of Western philosophy-- in particular, the ideals of reason and objectivity-- has come down to us from white males, nearly all of whom are demonstrably sexist, even misogynist. In this second edition, the original authors continue to ask, What are the implications of this fact for contemporary feminists working within this tradition? The second edition pursues this question about the value of (...)
  20. A Mind of One's Own: Feminist Essays on Reason and Objectivity.Louise Antony, Charlene Witt, Linda Alcoff & Elizabeth Potter - 1993 - Hypatia 8 (4):140-149.
    The contributors to two new anthologies A Mind of One's Own: Feminist Essays on Reason and Objectivity and Feminist Epistemologies are philosophers for whom feminism is an intellectual as well as political commitment and they produce original, valuable feminist and philosophical work. I focus on differences between the anthologies and on two themes: the social character of knowledge and the allegedly oppressive "masculinism" of epistemological ideals.
  21. The Issue in Which I Am Interested is a Broad Metaphysical One: How to Understand the Metaphysics of Changing From Woman to Man or Man to Woman. Who or What is Changed, and Who or What Remains the Same? How, If at All, Do These Changes Affect Personal Identity?Life-Changing Aspirations - 2009 - In Laurie J. Shrage (ed.), You've Changed: Sex Reassignment and Personal Identity. Oup Usa. pp. 11.
  22. Comparing Responses to Critical Realism.Siobhan Austen & Therese Jefferson - 2006 - Journal of Economic Methodology 13 (2):257-282.
    This article is a study of the response of two heterodox schools of economic thought to ?new? philosophical ideas. Specifically, it considers the response within Post Keynesian and feminist economics to Tony Lawson's recent call for economists to pay greater attention to ontology and for economists to adopt research methods consistent with critical realism. Lawson's arguments were formally introduced to these schools over the space of a few years and continue to generate considerable discussion within their ranks. The focus of (...)
  23. Gender Is a Natural Kind with a Historical Essence.Theodore Bach - 2012 - Ethics 122 (2):231-272.
    Traditional debate on the metaphysics of gender has been a contrast of essentialist and social-constructionist positions. The standard reaction to this opposition is that neither position alone has the theoretical resources required to satisfy an equitable politics. This has caused a number of theorists to suggest ways in which gender is unified on the basis of social rather than biological characteristics but is “real” or “objective” nonetheless – a position I term social objectivism. This essay begins by making explicit the (...)
  24. Rethinking Identity and Feminism: Contributions of Mapuche Women And.Ana Mariella Bacigalupo - 2003 - Hypatia 18 (2).
    : I analyze how machi discourse and practice of gender and identity contribute to feminist debates about gendered indigenous Others, and the effects that Western notions of Self and Other and feminist rhetoric have on Mapuche women and machi: people who heal with herbal remedies and the help of spirits. Machi juggling of different worlds offers a particular understanding of the way identity and gender are constituted and of the relationship between Self and Other, theory and practice, subject and object, (...)
  25. Rethinking Identity and Feminism: Contributions of Mapuche Women and Machi From Southern Chile.Ana Mariella Bacigalupo - 2003 - Hypatia 18 (2):32 - 57.
    I analyze how machi discourse and practice of gender and identity contribute to feminist debates about gendered indigenous Others, and the effects that Western notions of Self and Other and feminist rhetoric have on Mapuche women and machi: people who heal with herbal remedies and the help of spirits. Machi juggling of different worlds offers a particular understanding of the way identity and gender are constituted and of the relationship between Self and Other, theory and practice, subject and object, feminism (...)
  26. Despising an Identity They Taught Me to Claim.Alison Bailey - 1999 - In Chris J. Cuomo & Kim Q. Hall (eds.), WHITENESS: FEMINIST PHILOSOPHICAL NARRATIVES.
    This essay is a personal philosophical reflection on particular dilemma privilege-cognizant white feminists face in thinking through how to use privilege in liberatory ways. Privilege takes on a new dimension for whites who resist common defensive or guilt-ridden responses to privilege and struggle to understand the connections between ill-gotten advantages and the genuine injustices that deny humanity to peoples of color. The temptation to despise whiteness and its accompanying privilege is a common response to white privilege awareness and it is (...)
  27. Privilege: Expanding on Marilyn Frye's Oppression.Alison Bailey - 1998 - Journal of Social Philosophy 29 (3):104-119.
    This essay serves as both a response and embellishment of Marilyn Frye's now classic essay " Oppression." It is meant to pick up where this essay left off and to make connections between oppression, as Frye defines it, and the privileges that result from institutional structures. This essay tries to clarify one meaning of privilege that is lost in philosophical discussions of injustice. I develop a distinction between unearned privileges and earned advantages. Clarifying the meaning of privilege as unearned structural (...)
  28. The Reproduction of Whiteness: Race and the Regulation of the Gendered Body.Alison Bailey & Jacquelyn N. Zita - 2007 - Hypatia 22 (2):vii-xv.
    Historically critical reflection on whiteness in the United States has been a long-standing practice in slave folklore and in Mexican resistance to colonialism, Asian American struggles against exploitation and containment, and Native American stories of contact with European colonizers. Drawing from this legacy and from the disturbing silence on "whiteness" in postsecondary institutions, critical whiteness scholarship has emerged in the past two decades in U.S. academies in a variety of disciplines. A small number of philosophers, critical race theorists, postcolonial theorists, (...)
  29. Persons: Natural, Yet Ontologically Unique.Lynne Baker - 2008 - Encyclopaideia 23.
  30. Follett's Pragmatist Ontology of Relations: Potentials for a Feminist Perspective on Violence.Amrita Banerjee - 2008 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 22 (1):pp. 3-11.
  31. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Realism and Social Constructivism Without Contradiction.Karen Barad - 1996 - In Lynn Hankinson Nelson & Jack Nelson (eds.), Feminism, Science, and the Philosophy of Science. pp. 161--194.
  32. Definition and the Question of "Woman".Victoria Barker - 1997 - Hypatia 12 (2):185 - 215.
    Within recent feminist philosophy, controversy has developed over the desirability, and indeed, the possibility of defining the central terms of its analysis-"woman," "femininity," etc. The controversy results largely from the undertheorization of the notion of definition; feminists have uncritically adopted an Aristotelian treatment of definition as entailing metaphysical, rather than merely linguistic, commitments. A "discursive" approach to definition, by contrast, allows us to define our terms, while avoiding the dangers of essentialism and universalism.
  33. Definition and the Question of “Woman”.Victoria Barker - 1997 - Hypatia 12 (2):185-215.
    Within recent feminist philosophy, controversy has developed over the desirability, and indeed, the possibility of defining the central terms of its analysis-"woman," "femininity," etc. The controversy results largely from the undertheorization of the notion of definition; feminists have uncritically adopted an Aristotelian treatment of definition as entailing metaphysical, rather than merely linguistic, commitments. A "discursive" approach to definition, by contrast, allows us to define our terms, while avoiding the dangers of essentialism and universalism.
  34. Realism and Social Structure.Elizabeth Barnes - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-17.
    Social constructionism is often considered a form of anti-realism. But in contemporary feminist philosophy, an increasing number of philosophers defend views that are well-described as both realist and social constructionist. In this paper, I use the work of Sally Haslanger as an example of realist social constructionism. I argue: that Haslanger is best interpreted as defending metaphysical realism about social structures; that this type of metaphysical realism about the social world presents challenges to some popular ways of understanding metaphysical realism.
  35. The Phenomenal Woman: Feminist Metaphysics and the Patterns of Identity.Christine Battersby - 2013 - Routledge.
    "First Published in 1998, Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.".
  36. The Phenomenal Woman: Feminist Metaphysics and the Patterns of Identity.Christine Battersby - 1998 - Routledge.
    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.
  37. Beauvoir on the Allure of Self-Objectification.N. Bauer - 2011 - In Charlotte Witt (ed.), Feminist Metaphysics. Springer Verlag. pp. 117--129.
  38. Edith Stein's Theory of the Person in Her Münster Years.Beate Beckmann-Zöller - 2008 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 82 (1):47-70.
    The new critical edition of Stein ’s lectures on philosophical and theological anthropology makes it possible to research further her theory of the person as developed during her middle period in Munster, that is, between 1932 and 1933. Her project revolves around the anthropological foundations of a Catholicpedagogy. Th is phase of her work is marked by various debates. On one hand, she attempts to bring the intellectual legacy of Husserl and phenomenology intodialogue with Thomas Aquinas and other Scholastic thinkers. (...)
  39. Situating the Self: Gender, Community, and Postmodernism in Contemporary Ethics.Seyla Benhabib - 1992 - Routledge.
    Situating the Self is a decisive intervention into debates concerning modernity, postmodernity, ehtics, and the self. It will be of interest to all concerned with critical theory or contemporary ethics.
  40. Shadow of the Other: Intersubjectivity and Gender in Psychoanalysis.Jessica Benjamin - 1997 - Routledge.
    Shadow of the Other is a discussion of how the individual has two sorts of relationships with an "other"--other individuals. The first regards the other as a s work apart is her brilliant utilization of a systematic dialectical approach to her subject, always maintaining the delicate balance between opposing tensions: masculinity and femininity, subjectivity and objectivity, passivity and activity, love and aggression, fantasy and reality, modernism and postmodernism, the intrapsychic and the intersubjective. Benjamin s work apart is her brilliant utilization (...)
  41. Feminist Second Thoughts About Free Agency.Paul Benson - 1990 - Hypatia 5 (3):47-64.
    This essay suggests that common themes in recent feminist ethical thought can dislodge the guiding assumptions of traditional theories of free agency and thereby foster an account of freedom which might be more fruitful for feminist discussion of moral and political agency. The essay proposes constructing that account around a condition of normative-competence. It argues that this view permits insight into why women's labor of reclaiming and augmenting their agency is both difficult and possible in a sexist society.
  42. Latina Feminist Metaphysics and Genetically Engineered Foods.Lisa A. Bergin - 2009 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 22 (3):257--271.
    In this paper I critique two popular, non-scientific attitudes toward genetically engineered foods. In doing so, I will be employing the concepts of ambiguity, purity/impurity, control/resistance, and unity/diversity as developed by Latina feminist metaphysicians. I begin by casting a critical eye toward a specific anti-biotech account of transgenic food crops, an account that I will argue relies on an anti-feminist metaphysics. I then cast that same critical eye toward a specific pro-biotech account, arguing that it also relies on such an (...)
  43. The Interruptive Feminine: Aleatory Time and Feminist Politics.Emanuela Bianchi - 2012 - In Henriette Gunkel, Chrysanthi Nigianni & Fanny Söderbäck (eds.), Undutiful Daughters: New Directions in Feminist Thought and Practice. Palgrave-Macmillan.
  44. Receptacle/Chōra: Figuring the Errant Feminine in Plato's Timaeus.Emanuela Bianchi - 2006 - Hypatia 21 (4):124-146.
    This essay undertakes a reexamination of the notion of the receptacle/chōra in Plato's Timaeus, asking what its value may be to feminists seeking to understand the topology of the feminine in Western philosophy. As the source of cosmic motion as well as a restless figurality, labile and polyvocal, the receptacle/chōra offers a fecund zone of destabilization that allows for an immanent critique of ancient metaphysics. Engaging with Derridean, Irigarayan, and Kristevan analyses, Bianchi explores whether receptacle/chōra can exceed its reduction to (...)
  45. Is Feminist Philosophy Philosophy?Emanuela Bianchi (ed.) - 1999 - Northwestern University Press.
    Drawing attention to the vexed relationship between feminist theory and philosophy, Is Feminist Philosophy Philosophy? demonstrates the spectrum of significant work being done at this contested boundary. The volume offers clear statements by seventeen distinguished scholars as well as a full range of philosophical approaches; it also presents feminist philosophers in conversation both as feminists and as philosophers, making the book accessible to a wide audience. -/- Table of Contents -/- Opening plenary: Drucilla Cornell, Jacques Derrida, and Teresa Brennan — (...)
  46. Earth Muse: Feminism, Nature, and Art.Carol Bigwood - 1993 - Temple University Press.
  47. Renaturalizing the Body (With the Help of Merleau-Ponty).Carol Bigwood - 1991 - Hypatia 6 (3):54 - 73.
    Some poststructuralist feminist theorists hold that the body is merely the product of cultural determinants and that gender is a free-floating artifice. I discuss how this "denaturalization" of gender and the body entrenches us yet deeper in the nature/culture dichotomy. The body, I maintain, needs to be "renaturalized" so that its earthy significance is recognized. Through a feminist reappropriation of Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of the body, I develop a noncausal linkage between gender and the body. I present the body as an (...)
  48. Recent Feminist Outlooks on Intersectionality.S. Bilge - 2010 - Diogenes 57 (1):58-72.
    With its recognition of the combined effects of the social categories of race, class and gender intersectionality has risen to the rank of feminism’s most important contribution to date. Though the first intersectional research (American and British) gave visibility to the social locus of women who self-identified as "black" or "of colour", current research goes beyond the confines of the English-speaking world and aims increasingly to develop an intersectional instrument to deal with discrimination. This project gives rise to two kinds (...)
  49. Feminism and the Biological Body.Lynda I. A. Birke - 2000 - Rutgers University Press.
  50. Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body.S. Bordo - 2004 - University of California Press.
    Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body Susan Bordo. Tiegs, Cheryl, 163 Timaeus (Plato), 34 Time, 193, 268, 269 Tom Jones, 110, 116-17 Torture, public, 143 Totalization, and "difference," 259, 260 Toys, children's, 263 Transcendence, 4, ...
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