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Summary

Following the works of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Simone de Beauvoir, to name a few of the major figures in this tradition, phenomenology operates on both the ontological and epistemological level to insist that all contact with the world occurs through a layer of living experience.  Phenomenology attends to both what is being observed, the givenness of what is being observed, and the intentions of the one doing the observing while conditioned as being-in-the-world.  In other words, phenomenology commences with the belief that initial contact with the world is not already clearly distinguishable as subjective or objective.  Refusing the constraints of reducing the world to either that which exists out there or to the projections of the inner self, phenomenology understands the lived world as an open-ended framework with meaning complexes.  Because of the open-ended nature of experience and of meaning, knowledge is always unfinished and incomplete.

As the study of the phenomenal constraints of living in the world, feminist phenomenology holds the position that being-in-the-world is not an abstract condition--without sex or gender.  At the most obvious level, this leads to a focus on gendered embodiment and its impact on subjectivity.  From these beginnings, feminist phenomenology clarifies how sex and gender impacts one’s experiences and understandings of the world, broadening to explore the social political consequences.

Key works

Alcoff, Linda Martin (2000). “Merleau-Ponty and Feminist Theory on Experience.”. Chiasm, Merleau-Ponty's Notion of Flesh, Fred Evans Leonard Lawlor (ed.), (New York:  SUNY Press.

Bartky, Sandra Lee (1990).  Femininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression (New York:  Routledge).

Butler, Judith (1989). Butler,  “Sexual Ideology and Phenomenological Description:  A Feminist Critique of Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception,” The Thinking Muse: Feminism and Modern French Philosophy., eds. Jeffner Allen&Iris Marion Young (eds.). (Bloomington:  Indiana University Press).

Weiss, Gail (1999). Body Images:  embodiment as intercorporeality (New York:  Routledge).

Young, Iris Marion (2005).  On Female Body Experience: "Throwing Like a Girl" and Other Essays. (New York:  Oxford University Press). 

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187 found
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1 — 50 / 187
  1. At the Table with Arendt: Toward a Self-Interested Practice of Coalition Discourse.Katherine H. Adams - 2002 - Hypatia 17 (1):1-33.
    : This article draws from Hannah Arendt's theory of "inter-est" to formulate a model of coalition discourse that can coarticulate difference and commonality and approach them as mutually nourishing conditions rather than as polarities. By disrupting the normative fantasies of unified, a priori subjectivity and universal truth, interest-based discourse facilitates political interactions that neither rely on sameness nor reify difference to the exclusion of connection.
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  2. Feminist Futures.Sara Ahmed - 2003 - In Mary Eagleton (ed.), A Concise Companion to Feminist Theory. Blackwell.
  3. 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 (...)
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  4. The Racialization of Muslim Veils: A Philosophical Analysis.Alia Al-Saji - 2010 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 36 (8):875-902.
    This article goes behind stereotypes of Muslim veiling to ask after the representational structure underlying these images. I examine the public debate leading to the 2004 French law banning conspicuous religious signs in schools and French colonial attitudes to veiling in Algeria, in conjunction with discourses on the veil that have arisen in other western contexts. My argument is that western perceptions and representations of veiled Muslim women are not simply about Muslim women themselves. Rather than representing Muslim women, these (...)
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  5. A Phenomenology of Critical-Ethical Vision: Merleau-Ponty, Bergson, and the Question of Seeing Differently.Alia Al-Saji - 2009 - Chiasmi International 11:375-398.
    Drawing on Merleau-Ponty’s “Eye and Mind” and Bergson’s Matière et mémoire and “La perception du changement,” I ask what resources are available in vision for interrupting objectifying habits of seeing. While both Bergson and Merleau-Ponty locate the possibility of seeing differently in the figure of the painter, I develop by means of their texts, and in dialogue with Iris Marion Young’s work, a more general phenomenology of hesitation that grounds what I am calling “critical-ethical vision.” Hesitation, I argue, stems from (...)
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  6. 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).
  7. “Merleau-Ponty and Feminist Theory on Experience.”.Linda Martin Alcoff - 2000 - In Fred Evans Leonard Lawlor (ed.), Chiasm, Merleau-Ponty's Notion of Flesh.
  8. Feminist Phenomenology and the Woman in the Running Body.Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson - 2011 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 5 (3):297 - 313.
    Modern phenomenology, with its roots in Husserlian philosophy, has been taken up and utilised in a myriad of ways within different disciplines, but until recently has remained relatively underused within sports studies. A corpus of sociological-phenomenological work is now beginning to develop in this domain, alongside a longer-standing literature in feminist phenomenology. These specific social-phenomenological forms explore the situatedness of lived-body experience within a particular social structure. After providing a brief overview of key strands of phenomenology, this article considers some (...)
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  9. Beauvoir and The Second Sex: Feminism, Race, and the Origins of Existentialism (Review).Barbara S. Andrew - 2000 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 14 (2):156-160.
  10. Book Review: Elizabeth Fallaize. Simone de Beauvoir: A Critical Reader. London and New York: Routledge, 1998. [REVIEW]Kristana Arp - 1999 - Hypatia 14 (4):186-191.
  11. F.J.J. Buytendijk on Woman: A Phenomenological Critique.Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino - 2000 - In Linda Fisher & Lester Embree (eds.), Feminist Phenomenology. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  12. The Girl's Encyclopæia.Amy B. Barnard - 1909
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  13. Reply to Commentators on "Femininity and Domination".Sandra Bartky - 1993 - Hypatia 8 (1):192-196.
    Sandra Bartky's reply to the paper in the Symposium on her book Femininity and Domination.
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  14. Reply to Commentators on Femininity and Domination.Sandra Bartky - 1993 - Hypatia 8 (1):192-196.
  15. Skin Deep: Femininity as a Disciplinary Regime.Sandra Lee Bartky - 1998 - In Bat-Ami Bar On & Ann Ferguson (eds.), Daring to Be Good: Essays in Feminist Ethico-Politics. Routledge.
  16. Toward a Phenomenology of Feminist Consciousness.Sandra Lee Bartky - 1975 - Social Theory and Practice 3 (4):425-439.
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  17. Edith Stein's Philosophy of Woman and of Women's Education.Mary Catharine Baseheart - 1989 - Hypatia 4 (1):120 - 131.
    Edith Stein, Husserl's brilliant student and assistant, devoted ten years of her life to teaching in a girls' secondary school, during which time she gave a series of lectures on educational reform and the appropriate education to be provided to girls. She grounds her answer to these questions in a philosophical account of the nature of woman. She argues that men and women share some universally human characteristics, but that they have separate and distinct natures. Her awareness of the rich (...)
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  18. Dedication: Iris Marion Young, 1949-2006.Tanya Basok, Suzan Ilcan & Jeffrey Noonan - 2007 - Studies in Social Justice 1 (1):p 1.
  19. Book Review: C�Line L�on and Sylvia Walsh. Feminist Interpretations of s�Ren Kierkegaard. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997. [REVIEW]Christine Battersby - 1999 - Hypatia 14 (3):172-176.
  20. The Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir: Gendered Phenomenologies, Erotic Generosities, And: Sex and Existence: Simone de Beauvoir's 'The Second Sex', And: Beauvoir and The Second Sex : Feminism, Race, and the Origins of Existentialism, And: Philosophy as Passion: The Thinking of Simone de Beauvoir (Review).Nancy Bauer - 1999 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 37 (4):688-691.
  21. Book Review: Margaret A. Simons. Feminist Interpretations of Simone de Beauvoir. University Park, Pa: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995. [REVIEW]Nancy Bauer - 1996 - Hypatia 11 (3):161-164.
  22. Michele Le Doeuff.De Beauvoir - 2006 - In Margaret A. Simons (ed.), The Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir: Critical Essays. Indiana University Press. pp. 11.
  23. Friendship Between Women: A Phenomenological Study of Best Friends.Carol S. Becker - 1987 - Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 18 (1):59-72.
  24. Women's Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice, and Mind.Mary Field Belenky, Blythe Mcvicker Clinchy, Nancy Rule Goldberger & Jill Mattuck Tarule - 1988 - Hypatia 3 (2):177-179.
  25. Feminist Imagination: Genealogies in Feminist Theory.Vikki Bell - 1999 - Sage Publications.
    Reading feminist theory as a complex imaginative achievement, Feminist Imagination considers feminist commitment through the interrogation of its philosophical, political and affective connections with the past, and especially with the `race' trials of the twentieth century. The book looks at: the 'directionlessness' of contemporary feminist thought; the question of essentialism and embodiment; the racial tensions in the work of Simone de Beauvoir; the totalitarian character in Hannah Arendt; the 'mimetic Jew' and the concept of mimesis in the work of Judith (...)
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  26. On Female Body Experience: Throwing Like a Girl and Other Essays (Review).Debra Bergoffen - 2008 - Hypatia 23 (3):pp. 217-220.
  27. On Female Body Experience: Throwing Like a Girl and Other Essaysby Iris Marion Young.Debra Bergoffen - 2008 - Hypatia 23 (3):217-220.
  28. On Female Body Experience: Throwing Like a Girl and Other Essaysby Iris Marion Young.Debra Bergoffen - 2008 - Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 23 (3):217-220.
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  29. Cluster: Contesting the Norms of Embodiment — Editors' Introduction.Debra Bergoffen & Gail Weiss - 2012 - Hypatia 27 (2):241-242.
  30. Embodying the Ethical—Editors' Introduction.Debra Bergoffen & Gail Weiss - 2011 - Hypatia 26 (3):453-460.
  31. Philosophy and Feminism: The Case of Susan Bordo.E. Bernick Susan - 1992 - Hypatia 7 (3):188 - 196.
    In this paper I lay out what I take to be the crucial insights in Susan Bordo's "Feminist Skepticism and the 'Maleness' of Philosophy" and point out some additional difficulties with the skeptical position. I call attention to an ambiguity in the nature or content of the "maleness" of philosophy that Bordo identifies. Finally, I point out that, unlike some feminist skeptics, Bordo never loses sight in her work of women's lived experiences.
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  32. 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 (...)
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  33. Renaturalizing the Body.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 (...)
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  34. Paradoxes of Femininity in the Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir.Ulrika Björk - 2010 - Continental Philosophy Review 43 (1):39-60.
    This article explicates the meaning of the paradox from the perspective of sexual difference, as articulated by Simone de Beauvoir. I claim that the self, the other, and their becoming are sexed in Beauvoir’s early literary writing before the question of sexual difference is posed in The Second Sex (1949). In particular, Beauvoir’s description of Françoise’s subjective becoming in the novel She Came to Stay (1943) anticipates her later systematic description of ‘the woman in love’. In addition, I argue that (...)
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  35. Closer: Performance, Technologies, Phenomenology. By Susan Kozel.Ulrika Björk - 2010 - Hypatia 25 (3):704-707.
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  36. A Girl's Outlook.Mary Bramston - 1903
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  37. Impressionism a Feminist Reading : The Gendering of Art, Science, and Nature in the Nineteenth Century.Norma Broude - 1997
  38. Emigration for Women.E. L. Browne - 1883
  39. From Ethical Substance to Reflection: Hegel’s Antigone.Victoria I. Burke - 2008 - Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature 41 (3).
    Hegel’s treatment of Sophocles’s Antigone exposes a tension in our own landscape between religious and civil autonomy. This tension reflects a deeper tension between unreflective, implicit norms and reflective, explicit norms that can be autonomously endorsed. The tension is, as Hegel recognizes, of particular importance to women. Hegel’s characterization of this tension in light of Antigone is, as H.S. Harris argues, both a more developed and a more fundamental moment in the Phenomenology of Spirit than the moment of Enlightenment autonomy (...)
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  40. Reading Woman: Displacing the Foundations of Femininity.Wendy A. Burns-Ardolino - 2003 - Hypatia 18 (3):42-59.
    I offer here an analysis of contemporary foundation garments while exploring the ways in which these garments encourage, reinforce and protect normative femininity. In examining the performatives of contemporary normative, ideal femininity as they perpetuate inhibited intentionality, ambiguous transcendence, and discontinuous unity, I look to the possibility for subversive performativity vis-à-vis the strengths of women in order to proliferate categories of gender and to potentially displace current notions of what it means to become woman.
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  41. The Political Structure of Emotion: From Dismissal to Dialogue.Sylvia Burrow - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (4):27-43.
    How much power does emotional dismissal have over the oppressed's ability to trust outlaw emotions, or to stand for such emotions before others? I discuss Sue Campbell's view of the interpretation of emotion in light of the political significance of emotional dismissal. In response, I suggest that feminist conventions of interpretation developed within dialogical communities are best suited to providing resources for expressing, interpreting, defining, and reflecting on our emotions.
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  42. Engendering Questions.Deidre Butler - 2000 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 7 (1):13-19.
    Levinas’s often reflexive internalization of female stereotypes, as well as his reification of particularly patriarchal tendencies within the biblical and rabbinic tradition in his dialogue with Jewish law and thought. are only two of the many problems feminists, and particularly Jewish feminists, must address as they engage his ethics. Despite these difficulties. Levinas’s compelling description of the radical obligation to the Other invites feminists to enter into dialogue with his thought. This article explores the possibilities of developing and enhancing feminist (...)
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  43. Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory.J. Butler - forthcoming - Theatre Journal:519--531.
  44. Sexual Ideology and Phenomenological Description.Judith Butler - 1989 - In Jeffner Allen & Iris Marion Young (eds.), The Thinking Muse: Feminism and Modern French Philosophy. Indiana University Press. pp. 85-100.
  45. The Phenomenology of Pornography.E. C. - 1997 - Law and Philosophy 16 (2):177-199.
    Most people are familiar with Justice Stewart's now classic statement that while he cannot describe pornography, he certainly knows it when he sees it. We instantly identify with Justice Stewart. Pornography is not difficult to recognize, but it does elude description. This is because traditional attempts at description are attempts that seek to explain at either an abstract or empirical level rather than at the level that accounts for experience in its totality. Justice Stewart's lament represents the need to understand (...)
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  46. Getting to My Fighting Weight.Ann J. Cahill - 2010 - Hypatia 25 (2):485 - 492.
  47. Feminist Pleasure and Feminine Beautification.Ann J. Cahill - 2003 - Hypatia 18 (4):42-64.
    This paper explores the conditions under which feminine beautification constitutes a feminist practice. Distinguishing between the process and product of beautification allows us to isolate those aesthetic, inter-subjective, and embodied elements that empower rather than disempower women. The empowering characteristics of beautification, however, are difficult and perhaps impossible to represent in a sexist context; therefore, while beautifying may be a positive experience for women, being viewed as a beautified object in current Western society is almost always opposed to women's equality (...)
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  48. Feminist Theaters in the U.S.A. Staging Women's Experience.Charlotte Canning - 1996
  49. WHO Collaborative Studies on Breastfeeding.M. Carballo - 1977 - Journal of Biosocial Science 9 (S4):83-89.
  50. Interview with Iris Marion Young.Casals Neus Torbisco & Boran Idil - 2008 - Hypatia 23 (3):173-181.
    Originally, the idea of interviewing Iris Marion Young in Barcelona came about after she accepted an invitation to give a public lecture at the Law School of Pompeu Fabra University in May 2002. I had first met Iris back in 1999, at a conference in Bristol, England, and I was impressed deeply by her personality and ideas. We kept in touch since then and exchanged papers and ideas. She was very keen to come to Spain (it seems that her mother (...)
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