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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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195 found
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1 — 50 / 195
  1. added 2019-01-15
    Ambiguity, Absurdity, And Reversibility: Lndetenninacy In De Beauvoir, Camus, And Merleau-Ponty.Gail Weiss - 1993 - Bulletin de la Société Américaine de Philosophie de Langue Française 5 (1):71-83.
  2. added 2018-11-18
    SPEP Co-Director's Address: Hesitation as Philosophical Method—Travel Bans, Colonial Durations, and the Affective Weight of the Past.Alia Al-Saji - 2018 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 32 (3):331-359.
    It is, without a doubt, a difficult task to address at once the state of philosophy as embodied by the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy and the place of one’s own thought within it. This is the task that a co-director’s address tries to fill. Whether with a critical reexamination of the phenomenological mode of seeing distinctive of SPEP, of philosophical progress, or of the place of transcontinental philosophy, prior co-directors found ways to subtly chart the windings and turns (...)
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  3. added 2018-11-16
    Linguistic Alterity and the Multiplicitous Self: Critical Phenomenologies in Latina Feminist Thought.Elena Flores Ruíz - 2016 - Hypatia 31 (2):421-436.
    Latina feminists like Gloria Anzaldúa and Mariana Ortega have developed anti-essentialist accounts of selfhood that are responsive to the problem of alterity and hermeneutic alienation experienced by multiplicitous subjects, understood as those who must navigate between multiple cultural norms and often conflicting interpretive traditions. These accounts can be fortified by examining the sense of inarticulacy that arises from having to name conditions of existence undergirded by social and historical contradictions and ambiguities—especially under the experiential stress of gendered social violence, cultural (...)
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  4. added 2018-11-04
    Linguistic Alterity and the Multiplicitous Self: Critical Phenomenologies in Latina Feminist Thought.Elena Ruíz - 2016 - Hypatia 31 (2):421-436.
    Latina feminists like Gloria Anzaldúa and Mariana Ortega have developed anti-essentialist accounts of selfhood that are responsive to the problem of alterity and hermeneutic alienation experienced by multiplicitous subjects, understood as those who must navigate between multiple cultural norms and often conflicting interpretive traditions. These accounts can be fortified by examining the sense of inarticulacy that arises from having to name conditions of existence undergirded by social and historical contradictions and ambiguities—especially under the experiential stress of gendered social violence, cultural (...)
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  5. added 2018-08-21
    Implied Consent and Sexual Assault: Intimate Relationships, Autonomy, and Voice by Michael Plaxton. [REVIEW]Lucinda Vandervort - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 28:697-702.
    This is a review and critical commentary on Michael Plaxton's 2015 book, Implied Consent and Sexual Assault, in which he proposes that the legal definition of sexual consent be amended to permit sexual partners to define the terms and conditions of sexual consent in accordance with private "normative commitments" between themselves. The proposed "reform" is intended to permit an individual to agree to be a party to sexual activity that would otherwise constitute sexual assault under Canadian law. For reasons explained (...)
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  6. added 2018-07-14
    The Social Constitution of the Body: Bodily Alienation and Bodily Integrity.Leboeuf Celine - 2016 - Dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
    My thesis offers an account of the phenomenon of bodily alienation. Bodily alienation marks the failure to realize oneself in one’s bodily activities. I argue that realizing oneself in one’s bodily activities requires the pursuit of bodily activities for their own sake—not for the appearance they produce, and the ability to deal skillfully with one’s environment. I characterize bodily alienation by examining three cases concerning gender and race: the tendency, inflected by gender norms, to identify with certain fetishized body parts (...)
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  7. added 2018-06-21
    Merleau-Ponty, World-Creating Blindness, and the Phenomenology of Non-Normate Bodies.Joel Michael Reynolds - 2017 - Chiasmi International: Trilingual Studies Concerning Merleau-Ponty's Thought 19:419-434.
    An increasing number of scholars at the intersection of feminist philosophy and critical disability studies have turned to Merleau-Ponty to develop phenomenologies of disability or of what, following Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, I call "non-normate" embodiment. These studies buck the historical trend of philosophers employing disability as an example of deficiency or harm, a mere litmus test for normative theories, or an umbrella term for aphenotypical bodily variation. While a Merleau-Pontian-inspired phenomenology is a promising starting point for thinking about embodied experiences of (...)
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  8. added 2018-06-13
    Gender and the Senses of Agency.Nick Brancazio - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.
    This paper details the ways that gender structures our senses of agency on an enactive framework. While it is common to discuss how gender influences higher, narrative levels of cognition, as with the formulation of goals and in considerations about our identities, it is less clear how gender structures our more immediate, embodied processes, such as the minimal sense of agency. While enactivists often acknowledge that gender and other aspects of our socio-cultural situatedness shape our cognitive processes, there is little (...)
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  9. added 2018-05-30
    The Order of Life: How Phenomenologies of Pregnancy Revise and Reject Theories of the Subject.Talia Welsh - 2013 - In Sarah LaChance Adams & Caroline R. Lundquist (eds.), Coming to Life: Philosophies of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Mothering. New York: Fordham University Press. pp. 283-299.
    This chapter discusses how phenomenologies of pregnancy challenge traditional philosophical accounts of a subject that is seen as autonomous, rational, genderless, unified, and independent from other subjects. Pregnancy defies simple incorporation into such universal accounts since the pregnant woman and her unborn child are incapable of being subsumed into traditional theories of the subject. Phenomenological descriptions of the experience of pregnancy lead one to question if philosophy needs to reject the subject altogether as central, or rather to revise traditional descriptions (...)
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  10. added 2018-05-30
    Unfit Women: Freedom and Constraint in the Pursuit of Health.Talia Welsh - 2013 - Janus Head: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenological Psychology, and the Arts 4 (13):58-77.
    Feminist phenomenology has contributed significantly to understanding the negative impact of the objectification of women’s bodies. The celebration of thin bodies as beautiful and the demonization of fat bodies as unattractive is a common component of that discussion. However, when one turns toward the correlation of fat and poor health, a feminist phenomenological approach is less obvious. In this paper, previous phenomenological work on the objectification of women is paralleled to the contemporary encouragement to discipline one’s body in order to (...)
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  11. added 2018-02-17
    The (In) Visible Body: Feminism, Phenomenology, and the Case of Cosmetic Surgery.Luna Dolezal - 2010 - Hypatia 25 (2):357-375.
    This paper will examine the experience of and drive for boaly invisibility in women through the theoretical approaches of phenomenology and social constructionism. An examination of the social disruptions of bodily invisibility and the compulsive avoidance of such instances, particuhrly with respect to the fastidious maintenance of body comportment and appearance within the narrow parameters afforded by social norms, will lead to an exploration of the conflation of biomedicine with the beauty industry.
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  12. added 2018-02-17
    Book Review: Elizabeth Fallaize.Simone de Beauvoir: A Critical Reader. London and New York: Routledge, 1998. [REVIEW]Kristana Arp - 1999 - Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 14 (4):186-191.
  13. added 2018-02-17
    Book Review: Margaret A. Simons. Feminist Interpretations of Simone de Beauvoir. University Park, Pa: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995. [REVIEW]Nancy Bauer - 1996 - Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 11 (3):161-164.
  14. added 2017-09-13
    Two Women in Flight in Beauvoir’s Fiction.Larry Alan Busk - 2017 - Southwest Philosophy Review 33 (1):105-114.
    This paper analyzes two forms of “flight from freedom” embodied by characters in Beauvoir’s fiction, connecting these portrayals to the situation of women as described in The Second Sex as well as the discussion of social freedom in The Ethics of Ambiguity. The characters under consideration are Monique from the story “The Woman Destroyed” and Françoise from the novel She Came to Stay, who represent flight from freedom in related but distinct ways. My claim is that considering these two characters (...)
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  15. added 2017-02-09
    Iris Marion Young, 1949-2006.Patchen Markell - 2007 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 80 (5):184 - 185.
  16. added 2017-02-09
    Iris Marion Young (1949-2006).William E. Scheuerman - 2006 - Political Theory 34 (6):687 - 689.
  17. added 2017-02-08
    Ferguson, Ann , and Nagel, Mechthild . Dancing with Iris: The Philosophy of Iris Marion Young . New York: Oxford University Press, 2009 . Pp. 268. $99.00 (Cloth); $24.95 (Paper). [REVIEW]Elizabeth V. Spelman - 2010 - Ethics 120 (3):596-600.
  18. added 2017-01-29
    The Girl's Encyclopæia.Amy B. Barnard - 1909
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  19. added 2017-01-29
    A Girl's Outlook.Mary Bramston - 1903
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  20. added 2017-01-28
    Throwing the Book at Them.Thomas Mates - 2006 - Free Inquiry 26:39-41.
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  21. added 2017-01-28
    Throwing Like a Girl and Other Essays in Feminist Philosophy and Social Theory.Iris Marion Young - 1990
  22. added 2017-01-27
    Girl Ascending.Melissa Ann Pinney - 2011 - Center for American Places.
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  23. added 2017-01-27
    Intersecting Voices: Dilemmas of Gender, Political Philosophy, and Policy. By Iris Marion Young.M. Papastephanou - 2000 - The European Legacy 5 (2):318-318.
  24. added 2017-01-27
    Iris Marion M. Young. Intersecting Voices: Dilemmas of Gender, Political Philosophy and Policy.S. Mendus - 1998 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 15 (3):303-304.
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  25. added 2017-01-27
    Throwing Granny Away.H. L. Nelson - 1991 - Hastings Center Report 21 (1):3-3.
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  26. added 2017-01-26
    Young Girl in Family Portrait.Cynthia Hogue - 1999 - Feminist Studies 25 (2):397.
  27. added 2017-01-26
    Jeffner Allen and Iris Marion Young, Eds., Thinking the Muse: Feminism and Modern French Philosophy Reviewed By.Tina Chanter - 1991 - Philosophy in Review 11 (2):79-80.
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  28. added 2017-01-24
    Throwing Like a Girl and Other Essays in Feminist Philosophy and Social Theory. By Iris Marion Young. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990. [REVIEW]Kelly Oliver - 1991 - Hypatia 6 (3):218-221.
  29. added 2017-01-23
    Iris Marion Young and “Intersecting Voices”.Fred Evans - 2008 - Philosophy Today 52 (Supplement):10-18.
  30. added 2017-01-22
    Review of Ann Ferguson, Mechthild Nagel (Eds.), Dancing with Iris: The Philosophy of Iris Marion Young[REVIEW]Falguni A. Sheth - 2010 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (9).
  31. added 2017-01-21
    Iris Marion Young, On Female Body Experience: “Throwing Like a Girl” and Other Essays:On Female Body Experience: “Throwing Like a Girl” and Other Essays.Sonia Kruks - 2006 - Ethics 117 (1):164-168.
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  32. added 2017-01-19
    An Interview with Iris Marion Young.Mitja Sardoˇ & Michael F. Shaughnessy - 2001 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 33 (1):95–101.
  33. added 2017-01-17
    The American Girl: Playing with the Wrong Dollie?Victoria Davion - 2016 - Metaphilosophy 47 (4-5):571-584.
    This essay explores the American Girl Just Like You doll through a variety of feminist lenses. It was inspired by my experiences chaperoning my friend Grace to the American Girl Store in New York City, and returning to the store to shop for my own doll. I returned to the store because I was not sure why I was so extremely disturbed by this doll. The doll is not emaciated, not overtly sexy, and marketed along with outfits that supposedly send (...)
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  34. added 2017-01-17
    Dancing with Iris: The Philosophy of Iris Marion Young.Ann Ferguson & Mechtild Nagel (eds.) - 2009 - Oup Usa.
    Dancing with Iris engages with Iris Marion Young's prolific writings in political theory and in phenomenology. Contributors discuss her work from a variety of disciplines, including philosophy, political science, human rights law, cultural geography and dance studies.
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  35. added 2017-01-15
    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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  36. added 2017-01-15
    In Memory of Iris.John Murungi - 2008 - Hypatia 23 (3):1-3.
  37. added 2017-01-15
    Phenomenology, Pomo Baskets, and the Work of Mabel McKay.Sheridan Hough - 2003 - Hypatia 18 (2):103-113.
    This article characterizes the work of Native basket weaver Mabel McKay, using some of the conceptual tools of twentiethth-century phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Specifically, McKay's baskets have often been described as "living;" Merleau-Ponty's account of the world as "living flesh" seems to suggest a way of thinking about these baskets as more than mere artifacts. I conclude that McKay's baskets are a powerful propaedeutic: they awaken a sense of ourselves as perceivers.
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  38. added 2017-01-15
    Phenomenology of the Event: Waiting and Surprise.Françoise Dastur - 2000 - Hypatia 15 (4):178-189.
    How, asks Françoise Dastur, can philosophy account for the sudden happening and the factuality of the event? Dastur asks how phenomenology, in particular the work of Heidegger, Husserl, and Merleau-Ponty, may be interpreted as offering such an account. She argues that the "paradoxical capacity of expecting surprise is always in question in phenomenology," and for this reason, she concludes, "We should not oppose phenomenology and the thinking of the event. We should connect them; openness to phenomena must be identified with (...)
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  39. added 2017-01-14
    Feminist Phenomenology and Medicine.Kristin Zeiler & Lisa Folkmarson Käll (eds.) - 2014 - State University of New York Press.
    _Phenomenological insights into health issues relating to bodily self-experience, normality and deviance, self-alienation, and objectification._.
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  40. added 2016-12-08
    Cultural Norms, the Phenomenology of Incorporation, and the Experience of Having a Child Born with Ambiguous Sex.Kristin Zeiler - 2010 - Social Theory and Practice 36 (1):133-156.
    The influence of pervasive cultural norms on people’s actions constitutes a longstanding problem for autonomy theory. On the one hand, such norms often seem to elude the kind of reflection that autonomous agency requires. On the other hand, they are hardly entirely beyond the pale of autonomy: people do sometimes reflect critically on them and resist them. This paper draws on phenomenological accounts of embodiment in order to reconcile these observations. We suggest that pervasive cultural norms exert a strong and (...)
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  41. added 2016-12-08
    Seeing Oneself Through the Eyes of the Other: Asymmetrical Reciprocity and Self-Respect.Marguerite la Caze - 2008 - Hypatia 23 (3):118-135.
    Iris Marion Young argues we cannot understand others' experiences by imagining ourselves in their place or in terms of symmetrical reciprocity (1997a). For Young, reciprocity expresses moral respect and asymmetry arises from people's greatly varying life histories and social positions. La Caze argues there are problems with Young's articulation of asymmetrical reciprocity in terms of wonder and the gift. By discussing friendship and political representation, she shows how taking self-respect into account complicates asymmetrical reciprocity.
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  42. added 2016-12-05
    Perspectives on Embodiment: The Intersections of Nature and Culture.Gail Weiss & Honi Fern Haber (eds.) - 1999 - Routledge.
    First published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
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  43. added 2016-08-13
    French Feminist Theory an Introduction.Dani Cavallaro - 2003
  44. added 2016-08-11
    Sexuality Situated: Beauvoir on "Frigidity".Sue L. Cataldi - 1999 - Hypatia 14 (4):70-82.
    This essay relates scenes from Beauvoir's novels to her views of female eroticism and frigidity in The Second Sex. Expressions of frigidity signal unjust power relations in Beauvoir's literature. She constructs frigidity as a symbolic means of rejecting dominance in heterosexual relations. Thus frigidity need not be interpreted, as it sometimes is, as a form of bad faith. The essay concludes with some thoughts on the relevance of Beauvoir's view of frigidity to contemporary feminism.
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  45. added 2016-07-31
    WHO Collaborative Studies on Breastfeeding.M. Carballo - 1977 - Journal of Biosocial Science 9 (S4):83-89.
  46. added 2016-06-13
    Feminist Theaters in the U.S.A. Staging Women's Experience.Charlotte Canning - 1996
  47. added 2016-06-01
    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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  48. added 2016-06-01
    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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  49. added 2016-05-31
    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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  50. added 2016-05-18
    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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1 — 50 / 195