In this article I criticize some traditional impartiality practices in Western philosophical ethics and argue in favor of Marilyn Friedman’s dialogical practice of eliminating bias. But, I argue, the dialogical approach depends on a more fundamental practice of equanimity. Drawing on the works of Tibetan Buddhist thinkers Patrul Rinpoche and Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang, I develop a Buddhist-feminist concept of equanimity and argue that, despite some differences with the Western impartiality practices, equanimity is an impartiality practice that is not (...) only psychologically feasible but also central to loving relationships. I conclude by suggesting ways that feminist dialogical practices for eliminating bias and meditative practices are mutually supportive. (shrink)
In her Women and Buddhist Philosophy, Jin Y. Park examines the life and philosophy of the Korean Zen Buddhist nun Kim Iryŏp. By retracing the evolution of Iryŏp’s philosophy, the book not only explores a distinct way of doing philosophy—narrative philosophy—but also demonstrates a Buddhist nun’s full agency in her conversion as well as her dedicated Buddhist practice.
Covering the historical, social, political, and cultural contexts, The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy and Gender presents a comprehensive overview of the complexity of gender disparity in Chinese thought and culture. -/- Divided into four main sections, an international group of experts in Chinese Studies write on Confucian, Daoist and Buddhist approaches to gender relations. Each section includes a general introduction, a set of authoritative articles written by leading scholars and comprehensive bibliographies, designed to provide the non-specialist with (...) a practical and broad overview. Beginning with the Ancient and Medieval period before moving on to Modern and Contemporary approaches, specially commissioned chapters include Pre-Qin canonical texts, women in early Chinese ethics, the yin-yang gender dynamic and the Buddhist understanding of the conception of gender. Considering why the philosophy of women and gender dynamics in Chinese thought is rarely confronted, The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy and Gender is a pioneering cross-disciplinary introduction to Chinese philosophy's intersection with gender studies. -/- By bridging the fields of Chinese philosophy, religion, intellectual history, feminism, and gender studies, this cutting-edge volume fills a great need in the current literature on Chinese philosophy and provides student and scholars with an invaluable research resource to a growing field. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/the-bloomsbury-research-handbook-of-chinese-philosophy-and-gender-97814 72569851/#sthash.vFg3oUPk.dpuf. (shrink)
Virtuous Bodies breaks new ground in the field of Buddhist ethics by investigating the diverse roles bodies play in ethical development. Traditionally, Buddhists assumed a close connection between body and morality. Thus Buddhist literature contains descriptions of living beings that stink with sin, are disfigured by vices, or are perfumed and adorned with virtues. Taking an influential early medieval Indian Mahayana Buddhist text-Santideva's Compendium of Training (Siksasamuccaya)-as a case study, Susanne Mrozik demonstrates that Buddhists regarded ethical development (...) as a process of physical and moral transformation. Mrozik chooses The Compendium of Training because it quotes from over one hundred Buddhist scriptures, allowing her to reveal a broader Buddhist interest in the ethical significance of bodies. The text is a training manual for bodhisattvas, especially monastic bodhisattvas. In it, bodies function as markers of, and conditions for, one's own ethical development. Most strikingly, bodies also function as instruments for the ethical development of others. When living beings come into contact with the virtuous bodies of bodhisattvas, they are transformed physically and morally for the better. Virtuous Bodies explores both the centrality of bodies to the bodhisattva ideal and the corporeal specificity of that ideal. Arguing that the bodhisattva ideal is an embodied ethical ideal, Mrozik poses an array of fascinating questions: What does virtue look like? What kinds of physical features constitute virtuous bodies? What kinds of bodies have virtuous effects on others? Drawing on a range of contemporary theorists, this book engages in a feminist hermeneutics of recovery and suspicion in order to explore the ethical resources Buddhism offers to scholars and religious practitioners interested in the embodied nature of ethical ideals. (shrink)
The notion of "feminist pragmatism" or "pragmatist feminism" has been around since Charlene Haddock Seigfried introduced it two decades ago. However, the bulk of the work in this field has been directed toward recovering the feminist strain of classical American philosophy, largely through renewed interest in the work of Jane Addams. This exploration of the origins of feminism and pragmatism has been fruitful in building a foundation for theoretical considerations. The editors of this volume believe the next logical (...) step is the contemporary application to both theory and experience. Contemporary Feminist Pragmatism is the first book to address the modern significance of the nexus of feminism and pragmatism. The issues explored here include the relationship between community and identity, particularly around the impact of gender and race; reframing political practice regarding feminist pragmatist commitments including education, sustainability movements, and local efforts like community gardens; and the association between ethics and inquiry including explorations of Buddhism, hospitality, and animal-human relationships. (shrink)
In this collection of original essays, international scholars put Asian traditions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism, into conversation with one or more contemporary feminist philosophies, founding a new mode of inquiry that attends to diverse voices and the complex global relationships that define our world. -/- These cross-cultural meditations focus on the liberation of persons from suffering, oppression, illusion, harmful conventions and desires, and other impediments to full personhood by deploying a methodology that traverses multiple philosophical styles, historical (...) texts, and frames of reference. Hailing from the discipline of philosophy in addition to Asian, gender, and religious studies, the contributors offer a fresh take on the classic concerns of free will, consciousness, knowledge, objectivity, sexual difference, embodiment, selfhood, the state, morality, and hermeneutics. One of the first anthologies to embody the practice of feminist comparative philosophy, this collection creatively and effectively engages with global, cultural, and gender differences within the realms of scholarly inquiry and theory construction. -/- http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-16624-9/asian-and-feminist-philosophies-in-dialogue. (shrink)
In Thai Buddhism, a high number of examples show that during the last 20 years or so the triangular interrelationship between hermeneutics, canonical authenticity and authority has been?more or less consciously?the subject of numerous, often very fervent debates. This has made clear the importance of the P?li canon as a centre of reference for normative and formative authority in Thai society. Also, during these debates the conservatism of Thai Therav?da, and thereby its identity, has been challenged in various ways, e.g. (...) by Western influenced text-critical or intertextual approaches, by reference to superior religious insight and by requests for feminist interpretations of the P?li canon. At the same time, however, and in response to these challenges, the rationale for Thai Therav?da's conservatism and identity have become very clearly articulated, to an extent that has arguably never happened before in Thai history. By looking at some of the debates in which the foremost Thai Buddhist thinker and scholar monk P. A. Payutto (1939? ) has been involved, I seek to gain a deeper understanding of what these debates can teach us about the specific context and state of Thai Buddhist studies. (shrink)
Chandra Mohanty, in introducing the phrase “feminism without borders,” acknowledges that she is influenced by the image of “doctors without borders” and wants to highlight the multiplicity of voices and viewpoints within the feminist coalition. So the question of agency assumes primary significance here. But answering the question of agency becomes harder once we try to accommodate this multiplicity. Take, for example, the practice of veiling among certain Muslim women. As many third-world feminists have pointed out, although veiling can't (...) simply be perceived as an expression of women's oppression, it can't be perceived as an expression of “free agency” either since what is required for true feminist agency is women's ability to “formulate choices” and not simply to make choices. In this paper I argue that this ability includes two related abilities: first, to develop a perspective of self that acknowledges and accepts its own grounding in its given intersectionalities; second, to realize that its interdependencies and interconnectivities enable a sense of continuity and solidarity that works collaboratively toward consensus without sacrificing or stifling all differences. My main argument is that feminist self-consciousness informed by Buddhist mindfulness gives us opportunities to articulate clearly and to cultivate both of these abilities. (shrink)
I explore how the Buddhist icon Kuan Yin is emerging as a point of identification for trans people and has the potential to resolve a tension within feminism. As a figure that slips past the male/female binary, Kuan Yin explodes the dichotomy between universal and particular in a way that captures the pragmatist and feminist emphasis on doing justice to concrete, particular lives without becoming stuck in an essentialist quagmire.
_Buddhist Studies from India to America_ covers four important areas of Buddhist Studies: Vinaya Studies and Ethics, the history of Buddhist schools, Western Buddhism, and Inter-religious dialogue. These are the main areas which Charles S. Prebish has either inaugurated or helped to define; and his academic career as a leading, international scholar, and his significant professional achievements are celebrated within this volume. The geographical and historical scope of the essays in this collection range from ancient India to modern (...) America, and includes contributions by well-known international scholars. The contributors discuss a variety of academic disciplines including philosophy, psychology, history, feminism, and sociology. It will appeal to scholars whose interests embrace either ancient or modern aspects of the Buddhist tradition. (shrink)
Kim Iryŏp was raised and initially educated in a devout Methodist Christian environment under the strict guidance of her fideistic pastor father and her mother, who believed in female education. Both parents died while she was in her teens, and she questioned her Christian faith at an early age. She was one of the first Korean women to pursue higher education in Korea and Japan. Kim became a prolific poet and essayist, her writings engaging cultural and social issues, and a (...) leading figure of the feminist “new woman” movement in the 1920s, which promoted women’s self-awareness, freedom, and rights in the context of the complex intersection of traditional Korean... (shrink)
Contemporary feminist debates over the meanings of gender lead time and again to a certain sense of trouble, as if the indeterminacy of gender might eventually culminate in the failure of feminism. Perhaps trouble need not carry such a..
This essay is a critical review of Sandra Harding's The Science Question in Feminism. Her text constitutes a monumental effort to capture an overview of recent feminist critique of science and to develop a feminist dialectical and materialist conception of the history of masculinist science. In this analysis of Harding's work, the organizing categories as well as the main assumptions of the text are reconstructed for closer examination within the context of modern feminist critique of science and feminist theory (...) in general. Although a postive review of Harding's text is presented, questions are raised concerning the adequacy of socialist feminist assumptions for such a project, the limitations of Harding's theorization of gender, and the appropriateness of "postmodernism" as a final category of residence. (shrink)
How should we react to the development of sexbot technology? Taking their cue from anti-porn feminism, several academic critics lament the development of sexbot technology, arguing that it objectifies and subordinates women, is likely to promote misogynistic attitudes toward sex, and may need to be banned or restricted. In this chapter I argue for an alternative response. Taking my cue from the sex positive ‘feminist porn’ movement, I argue that the best response to the development of ‘bad’ sexbots is (...) to make better ones. This will require changes to the content, process and context of sexbot development. Doing so will acknowledge the valuable role that technology can play in human sexuality, and allow us to challenge gendered norms and assumptions about male and female sexual desire. This will not be a panacea to the social problems that could arise from sexbot development, but it offers a more realistic and hopeful vision for the future of this technology in a pluralistic and progressive society. (shrink)
This chapter presents an overview of feminism and aesthetics in the 2007 Blackwell Guide to Feminist Philosophy edited by Linda Martin Alcoff and Eva Feder Kittay. Sections cover the topics of distinguishing aesthetics and philosophy of art, bringing feminist theory into aesthetics, developing feminist challenges to aesthetics, the role of women artists in feminist aesthetics, feminist philosophers reflect on self-portraiture and women as objects of beauty, and future developments.
A critical review of Charles Goodman's view about Buddhism and free will to the effect that Buddhism is hard determinist, basically because he thinks Buddhist causation is definitively deterministic, and he thinks determinism is definitively incompatible with free will, but especially because he thinks Buddhism is equally definitively clear on the non-existence of a self, from which he concludes there cannot be an autonomous self.
While feminist aestheticians have long interrogated gendered, raced, and classed hierarchies in the arts, feminist philosophers still don’t talk much about popular music. Even though Angela Davis and bell hooks have seriously engaged popular music, they are often situated on the margins of philosophy. It is my contention that feminist aesthetics has a lot to offer to the study of popular music, and the case of popular music points feminist aesthetics to some of its own limitations and unasked questions. This (...) essay addresses the paucity of work in feminist philosophy and popular music by applying insights from other areas of feminist aesthetics to questions of popular music, and thereby using feminist aesthetics – specifically, Julia Kristea’s notion of female genius and the genius spectator – to critique itself. (shrink)
This collection of original essays explores the social and relational dimensions of individual autonomy. Rejecting the feminist charge that autonomy is inherently masculinist, the contributors draw on feminist critiques of autonomy to challenge and enrich contemporary philosophical debates about agency, identity, and moral responsibility. The essays analyze the complex ways in which oppression can impair an agent's capacity for autonomy, and investigate connections, neglected by standard accounts, between autonomy and other aspects of the agent, including self-conception, self-worth, memory, and the (...) imagination. (shrink)
Third World and transnational feminisms have emerged in opposition to white second-wave feminists’ single-pronged analyses of gender oppression that elided Third World women’s multiple and complex oppressions in their various social locations. Consequently, these feminisms share two “Third World feminist” mandates: First, feminist analyses of Third World women’s oppression and resistance should be historically situated; and second, Third World women’s agency and voices should be respected. Despite these shared mandates, they have diverged in their proper domains of investigation, with transnational (...)feminism concentrating on the transnational level and Third World feminism focusing on local and national contexts. Further, their respective positions regarding nation-states and nationalism have been antithetical, as leading transnational feminists have categorically rejected nation-states and nationalism as detrimental to feminism. In recent decades, transnational feminism has become the dominant feminist position on Third World women, overshadowing Third World feminism, and the dismissal of nation-states and nationalism as irrelevant to feminism has become fashionable. Against this current trend, this article argues for the relevance of nation-states and nationalism for transnational feminism and the urgency of reclaiming Third World feminism. (shrink)
"The location of the author’s investigations, the body itself rather than the sphere of subjective representations of self and of function in cultures, is wholly new.... I believe this work will be a landmark in future feminist thinking." —Alphonso Lingis "This is a text of rare erudition and intellectual force. It will not only introduce feminists to an enriching set of theoretical perspectives but sets a high critical standard for feminist dialogues on the status of the body." —Judith Butler Volatile (...) Bodies demonstrates that the sexually specific body is socially constructed: biology or nature is not opposed to or in conflict with culture. Human biology is inherently social and has no pure or natural "origin" outside of culture. Being the raw material of social and cultural organization, it is "incomplete" and thus subject to the endless rewriting and social inscription that constitute all sign systems. Examining the theories of Freud, Lacan, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Deleuze, Derrida, etc. on the subject of the body, Elizabeth Grosz concludes that the body they theorize is male. These thinkers are not providing an account of "human" corporeality but of male corporeality. Grosz then turns to corporeal experiences unique to women—menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, menopause. Her examination of female experience lays the groundwork for developing theories of sexed corporeality rather than merely rectifying flawed models of male theorists. (shrink)
Is there a ‘common element’ in Buddhist ethical thought from which one might rationally reconstruct a Buddhist normative ethical theory? While many agree that there is such an element, there is disagreement about whether it is best reconstructed in terms that approximate consequentialism or virtue ethics. This paper will argue that two distinct evaluative relations underlie these distinct positions; an instrumental and constitutive analysis. It will raise some difficulties for linking these distinct analyses to particular normative ethical theories (...) but will give reasons to think that both analyses may be justified. It will close with some reflections on the complexity involved in trying to establish a single and homogeneous position on the nature of Buddhist ethics. (shrink)
After distinguishing between a metaphysical and a contemplative strategy interpretation of the no-self doctrine, I argue that the latter allows for the illumination of significant and under-discussed Kantian affinities with Buddhist views of the self and moral psychology. Unlike its metaphysical counterpart, the contemplative strategy interpretation, understands the doctrine of no-self as a technique of perception, undertaken from the practical standpoint of action. I argue that if we think of the contemplative strategy version of the no-self doctrine as a (...) process engaged in, in order to free oneself from delusion and to see things more objectively in order to promote right action, then we find a clear parallel in Kant’s duty of self-knowledge which demands that we rid ourselves of deluded moral self-descriptions. While in Buddhism the aim is a selflessness that liberates one from suffering, for Kant the aim is an agency free of the conceit that interferes with clear moral vision, sound judgement, and dutiful action. I conclude by responding to objections advanced by Charles Goodman which aim to show that the Kantian position is deeply at odds with Buddhist thinking, arguing that neither Kantian agency nor Kantian self-legislation is undermined by the doctrine of no-self. (shrink)