Feministphilosophy of science appears to present problems for the ideal of value-free science. These difficulties also challenge a traditional understanding of the objectivity of science. However, feminist philosophers of science have good reasons for desiring to retain some concept of objectivity. The present essay considers several recent and influential feminist approaches to the role of social and political values in science, with particular focus on feminist empiricism and feminist standpoint theory. The similarities and (...) difference, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches are explored. The essay concludes with suggestions for future research in the area of feminist epistemology and philosophy of science. (shrink)
Standpoint theory is an explicitly political as well as social epistemology. Its central insight is that epistemic advantage may accrue to those who are oppressed by structures of domination and discounted as knowers. Feminist standpoint theorists hold that gender is one dimension of social differentiation that can make such a difference. In response to two longstanding objections I argue that epistemically consequential standpoints need not be conceptualized in essentialist terms, and that they do not confer automatic or comprehensive epistemic (...) privilege on those who occupy them. Standpoint theory is best construed as conceptual framework for investigating the ways in which socially situated experience and interests make a contingent difference to what we know (well), and to the resources we have for determining which knowledge claims we can trust. I illustrate the advantages of this account in terms of two examples drawn from archaeological sources. (shrink)
Feministphilosophy of science has led to improvements in the practices and products of scientific knowledge-making, and in this way it exemplifies socially relevant philosophy of science. It has also yielded important insights and original research questions for philosophy. Feminist scholarship on science thus presents a worthy thought-model for considering how we might build a more socially relevant philosophy of science—the question posed by the editors of this special issue. In this analysis of the (...) history, contributions, and challenges faced by feministphilosophy of science, I argue that engaged case study work and interdisciplinarity have been central to the success of feministphilosophy of science in producing socially relevant scholarship, and that its future lies in the continued development of robust and dynamic philosophical frameworks for modeling social values in science. Feminist philosophers of science, however, have often encountered marginalization and persistent misunderstandings, challenges that must be addressed within the institutional and intellectual culture of American philosophy. (shrink)
Feministphilosophy of religion as a subject of study has developed in recent years because of the identification and exposure of explicit sexism in much of the traditional philosophical thinking about religion. This struggle with a discipline shaped almost exclusively by men has led feminist philosophers to redress the problematic biases of gender, race, class and sexual orientation of the subject. Anderson and Clack bring together new and key writings on the core topics and approaches to this (...) growing field. Each essay exhibits a distinctive theoretical approach and appropriate insights from the fields of literature, theology, philosophy, gender and cultural studies. Beginning with a general introduction, part one explores important approaches to the feministphilosophy of religion, including psychoanalytic, poststructualist, postmetaphysical, and epistemological frameworks. In part two the authors survey significant topics including questions of divinity, embodiment, autonomy and spirituality, and religious practice. Supported by explanatory prefaces and an extensive bibliography which is organized thematically, FeministPhilosophy of Religion is an important resource for this new area of study. (shrink)
Feministphilosophy of science has been criticized on several counts. On the one hand, it is claimed that it results in relativism of the worst sort since the political commitment to feminism is prima facie incompatible with scientific objectivity. On the other hand, when critics acknowledge that there may be some value in work that feminists have done, they comment that there is nothing particularly feminist about their accounts. I argue that both criticisms can be addressed through (...) a better understanding of the current work in feminist epistemology. I offer an examination of standpoint theory as an illustration. Harding and Wylie have suggested ways in which the objectivity question can be addressed. These two accounts, together with a third approach, ‘model-based objectivity’, indicate there is a clear sense in which we can understand how standpoint theory both contributes to a better understanding of scientific knowledge and can provide a feminist epistemology. (shrink)
This article is a feminist intervention into the ways that disability is researched and represented in philosophy at present. Nevertheless, some of the claims that I make over the course of the article are also pertinent to the marginalization in philosophy of other areas of inquiry, including philosophy of race, feministphilosophy more broadly, indigenous philosophies, and LGBTQI philosophy. Although the discipline of philosophy largely continues to operate under the guise of neutrality, (...) rationality, and objectivity, the institutionalized structure of the discipline implicitly and explicitly promotes certain ontologies, epistemologies, and methodologies as bona fide philosophy, while casting the ontologies, epistemologies, and methodologies of marginalized philosophies as mere simulacra of allegedly fundamental ways of knowing and doing philosophy and thus rendering these marginalized philosophies more or less expendable. This article is designed to show that legitimized philosophical discourses are vital mechanisms in the problematization of disability. (shrink)
Are we in a post-feminist era? Has the term, feminist, grown out of its resisted stance? What from today's standpoint is an appropriate concept of feministphilosophy? And is it not the case that all people thinking democratically must share its central concern? In FeministPhilosophy , internationally acclaimed philosopher Herta Nagl-Docekal discusses and critiques the theories of today. Her study ranges across philosophical anthropology, aesthetics, philosophy of science, the critique of reason, political (...) theory, and philosophy of law. FeministPhilosophy confronts the entire field with the problem of the hierarchical relations of the sexes. Throughout her work, Nagl-Docekal affirms the importance of feminist thought as she presses for new approaches to common problems. (shrink)
Feministphilosophy seems to conflict with traditional philosophical methodology. For example, some uses of the concept of gender by feminist philosophers seem to commit the genetic fallacy. I argue that use of the concept of gender need not commit the genetic fallacy, but that the concept of gender is problematic on other grounds.
Recent years have witnessed a focus on feeling as a topic of reinvigorated scholarly concern, described by theorists in a range of disciplines in terms of a “turn to affect.” Surprisingly little has been said about this most recent shift in critical theorizing by philosophers, including feminist philosophers, despite the fact that affect theorists situate their work within feminist and related, sometimes intersectional, political projects. In this article, I redress the seeming elision of the “turn to affect” in (...)feministphilosophy, and develop a critique of some of the claims made by affect theorists that builds upon concerns regarding the “newness” of affect and emotion in feminist theory, and the risks of erasure this may entail. To support these concerns, I present a brief genealogy of feminist philosophical work on affect and emotion. Identifying a reductive tendency within affect theory to equate affect with bodily immanence, and to preclude cognition, culture, and representation, I argue that contemporary feminist theorists would do well to follow the more holistic models espoused by the canon of feminist work on emotion. Furthermore, I propose that prominent affect theorist Brian Massumi is right to return to pragmatism as a means of redressing philosophical dualisms, such as emotion/cognition and mind/body, but suggest that such a project is better served by John Dewey's philosophy of emotion than by William James's. (shrink)
"The book’s contribution to feministphilosophy of religion is substantial and original.... It brings the continental and Anglo-American traditions into substantive and productive conversation with each other." —Ellen Armour To what extent has the emergence of the study of religion in Western culture been gendered? In this exciting book, Grace Jantzen proposes a new philosophy of religion from a feminist perspective. Hers is a vital and significant contribution which will be essential reading in the study of (...) religion. (shrink)
Much of feministphilosophy of language so far can be described as critical—critical either of language itself or of philosophy of language, and calling for change on the basis of these criticisms. Those making these criticisms suggest that the changes are needed for the sake of feminist goals — either to better allow for feminist work to be done or, more frequently, to bring an end to certain key ways that women are disadvantaged. In this (...) entry, I examine these criticisms. I also examine work by feminists that seems to suggest some of the criticisms are misplaced: that, for example, philosophy of language is better able to help in feminist projects than critics suppose. My focus in this entry will generally be on the analytic tradition. For continental approaches, see the entries on feminist approaches to the intersection of analytic and continental philosophy , feminist approaches to the intersection of pragmatism and continental philosophy. (shrink)
Discovering FeministPhilosophy provides an accessible introduction to the central issues in feministphilosophy. At the same time, it answers current objections to feminism, arguing that in today's world it is as compelling as ever to probe the impact of the dualism of the sexes. This unique book is equal parts survey, viewpoint, and scholarship—ideal for anyone seeking to understand the current and future role of feministphilosophy.
_The Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy_ is an outstanding guide and reference source to the key topics, subjects, thinkers, and debates in feministphilosophy. Fifty-six chapters, written by an international team of contributors specifically for the _Companion_, are organized into five sections: Engaging the Past Mind, Body, and World Knowledge, Language, and Science Intersections Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics. The volume provides a mutually enriching representation of the several philosophical traditions that contribute to feministphilosophy. It (...) also foregrounds issues of global concern and scope; shows how feminist theory meshes with rich theoretical approaches that start from transgender identities, race and ethnicity, sexuality, disabilities, and other axes of identity and oppression; and highlights the interdisciplinarity of feministphilosophy and the ways that it both critiques and contributes to the whole range of subfields within philosophy. (shrink)
This essay seeks to unsettle feministphilosophy through an encounter with Aboriginal artist Tracey Moffatt, whose perspectives on intergenerational relationships between white women and Indigenous women are shaped by her experiences as the Aboriginal child of a white foster mother growing up in Brisbane, Australia during the 1960s. Moffatt's short experimental film Night Cries provides an important glimpse into the violent intersections of gender, race, and power in intimate life and, in so doing, invites us to see how (...) colonial and neocolonial policies are carried out through women's domestic labor. Seeing cross-generational and cross-racial intimacy through Moffatt's lens, I suggest, helps us to unsettle both feminist theories of motherhood and feminist practices of mentoring. (shrink)
This is the first book to offer a systematic account of feministphilosophy as a distinctive field of philosophy. The book introduces key issues and debates in feministphilosophy including: the nature of sex, gender, and the body; the relation between gender, sexuality, and sexual difference; whether there is anything that all women have in common; and the nature of birth and its centrality to human existence. An Introduction to FeministPhilosophy shows how (...)feminist thinking on these and related topics has developed since the 1960s. The book also explains how feministphilosophy relates to the many forms of feminist politics. The book provides clear, succinct and readable accounts of key feminist thinkers including de Beauvoir, Butler, Gilligan, Irigaray, and MacKinnon. The book also introduces other thinkers who have influenced feministphilosophy including Arendt, Foucault, Freud, and Lacan. Accessible in approach, this book is ideal for students and researchers interested in feministphilosophy, feminist theory, womens studies, and political theory. It will also appeal to the general reader. (shrink)
: Can work be done for pay, and still be loving? While many feminists believe that marketization inevitably leads to a degradation of social connections, we suggest that markets are themselves forms of social organization, and that even relationships of unequal power can sometimes include mutual respect. We call for increased attention to specific causes of suffering, such as greed, poverty, and subordination. We conclude with a summary of contributions to this Special Issue.
Although feminist philosophers have been critical of the gendered norms contained within the history of philosophy, they have not extended this critical analysis to norms concerning disability. In the history of Western philosophy, disability has often functioned as a metaphor for something that has gone awry. This trope, according to which disability is something that has gone wrong, is amply criticized within Disability Studies, though not within the tradition of philosophy itself or even within feminist (...)philosophy. In this paper, I use one instance of this disability metaphor, contained within a passage from Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, in order to show that paying attention to disability and disability theory can enable identification of ableist assumptions within the tradition of philosophy and can also open up new interpretations of canonical texts. On my reading, whereas Hegel’s expressed views of disability are dismissive, his logic and its treatment of contingency offer up useful ways to situate and re-evaluate disability as part of the concept of humanity. Disability can in fact be useful to Hegel, especially in the context of his valorization of experiences of disruption and disorientation. Broadening our understanding of the possible ways that the philosophical tradition has conceived human beings allows us to better draw on its theoretical resources. (shrink)
Irigaray demonstrates that metaphysics depends upon the specific negation and exclusion of the female body. Readings of Irigaray's Speculum of the Other Woman tend to highlight the status of this excluded materiality: is there an essential female body which precedes negation or is the feminine only an effect of exclusion? I approach Irigaray's work by way of another question: is it possible to move beyond a feminist critique of metaphysics and towards a feministphilosophy?
Using selections from writers like Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Karen Joy Fowler, Ursula K. Le Guin, James Tiptree jr., and many others, this collection shows how the imagined worlds of science fiction create hold experiments for testing feminist hypotheses and for interpreting philosophical questions about humanity, gender, equality and more. Four main themes: Part 1, 'Human nature and reality', concentrates on whether there is an intrinsic difference between males and females. Part 2, 'Dystopias: the worst of (...) all possible worlds', portrays misogynistic societies uncomfortably familiar to the early 21st-century reader. Part 3, 'Separatist utopias: worlds of difference', assembles stories that scrutinize both the virtues and vices of separatism. In Part 4, 'Androgynous utopias: worlds of equality', the authors create worlds that anticipate the consequences, good and bad, of perfect sexual equality in education, intelligence, capability, and reproduction. (shrink)
This book demonstrates the vast range of philosophical approaches, regional issues and problems, perspectives, and historical and theoretical frameworks that together constitute feministphilosophy in Latin America and Spain. It makes available to English-Speaking readers recent feminist thought in Latin America and Spain to facilitate dialogue among Latin American, North American, and European thinkers.
The Blackwell Guide to FeministPhilosophy is a definitive introduction to the field, consisting of 15 newly-contributed essays that apply philosophical methods and approaches to feminist concerns. Offers a key view of the project of centering women’s experience. Includes topics such as feminism and pragmatism, lesbian philosophy, feminist epistemology, and women in the history of philosophy.
Can work be done for pay, and still be loving? While many feminists believe that marketization inevitably leads to a degradation of social connections, we suggest that markets are themselves forms of social organization, and that even relationships of unequal power can sometimes include mutual respect. We call for increased attention to specific causes of suffering, such as greed, poverty, and subordination. We conclude with a summary of contributions to this Special Issue.
Fact/value holism has become commonplace in philosophy of science, especially in feminist literature. However, that facts are bearers of empirical content, while values are not, remains a firmly-held distinction. I support a more thorough-going holism: both facts and values can function as empirical claims, related in a seamless, semantic web. I address a counterexample from Kourany where facts and values seem importantly discontinuous, namely, the simultaneous support by the Nazis of scientifically sound cancer research and morally unsound political (...) policies. I conclude that even by the criteria available at the time, Nazi cancer research was empirically weak, and the weaknesses in their research are continuous with their moral failures in just the ways predicted by the holism I support. (shrink)
There have been a number of developments within religious epistemology in recent years. Currently, the dominant view within mainstream philosophy of religion is, arguably, reformed epistemology. What is less well known is that feminist epistemologists have also been active recently within the philosophy of religion, advancing new perspectives from which to view the link between knowledge and religious experience. In this article I examine the claim by certain feminist religious epistemologists that women are both epistemically oppressed (...) and epistemically privileged, and I consider whether or not this justifies the specific re-conceptualisations of religious terms that such epistemologists have proposed. (shrink)
This book examines contemporary structural social injustices from a feminist perspective. It asks: what makes oppression, discrimination, and domination wrongful? Is there a single wrongness-making feature of various social injustices that are due to social kind membership? Why is sexist oppression of women wrongful? What does the wrongfulness of patriarchal damage done to women consist in? In thinking about what normatively grounds social injustice, the book puts forward two related views. First, it argues for a paradigm shift in focus (...) away from feministphilosophy that is organized around the gender concept woman, and towards feministphilosophy that is humanist. This is against the following theoretical backdrop: Politically effective feminism requires ways to elucidate how and why patriarchy damages women, and to articulate and defend feminism's critical claims. In order to meet these normative demands an influential theoretical outlook has emerged: for emancipatory purposes feminist philosophers should articulate a thick conception of the gender concept woman around which feminist philosophical work is organized. However, Part I of the book argues that we should resist this move, and that feminist philosophers should reframe their analyses of injustice in humanist terms. Second, the book spells out a humanist alternative to the more prevalent gender-focus in feministphilosophy. This hinges on a notion of dehumanization, which Part II of the book develops. The argued for understanding of dehumanization is used to explicate the wrongness-making feature of social injustices, both in general and of those due to patriarchy. Dehumanization is not another form of injustice-rather, it is that which makes forms of social injustice unjust. The book's second part then provides a regimentation of social injustice from a feminist perspective in order to spell out the specifics of the proposed humanist feminism, and to demonstrate how it improves some non-feminist analyses of injustice too. (shrink)
Feministphilosophy is now an established subdiscipline, but it began as an effort to transform the profession. Academics and activists worked together to make the new courses, and feminist theory was tested in the streets. As time passed, the "second wave" receded, but core elements of feminist theory were preserved in the academy. How can feminist philosophers today continue the early efforts of changing profession and the society, hand in hand with women outside the academy.
FeministPhilosophy: An Introduction provides a comprehensive coverage of the core elements of feministphilosophy in the analytical tradition. Part 1 examines the feminist issues and practical problems that confront us as ordinary people. Part 2 examines the recent and historical arguments surrounding the subject area, looking into the theoretical frameworks we use to discuss these issues and applying them to everyday life. -/- With contemporary and lively debates throughout, Elinor Mason provides a rigorous and (...) yet accessible overview of a rich array of topics including: -/- feminism in a global context work and care reproductive rights sex work sexual violence and harassment sexism, oppression, and misogyny intersectionality objectification consent ideology, false consciousness, and adaptive preferences. -/- An outstanding introduction which will equip the reader with a thorough knowledge of the fundamentals of feminism, FeministPhilosophy is essential reading for those approaching the subject for the first time. (shrink)
Drawing attention to the vexed relationship between feminist theory and philosophy, Is FeministPhilosophyPhilosophy? 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 — Discussion / Teresa Brennan ... et al. — Women, identity, and philosophy / Marjorie C. Miller — The personal is philosophical, or teaching a life and living the truth: philosophical pedagogy at the boundaries of self / Ruth Ginzberg — Musing as a feminist and as a philosopher on a postfeminist era / Patricia S. Mann — Essence against identity / Teresa Brennan — Feminist interpretations of social and political thought / Virginia Held — Mothers, citizenship, and independence: a critique of pure family values / Iris Marion Young — Domestic abuse and Locke's liberal (mis)treatment of family / Matthew R. Silliman — Marx, Irigaray, and the politics of reproduction / Alys Eve Weinbaum — The very idea of feminist epistemology / Lynn Hankinson Nelson — Can there be a feminist logic? / Marjorie Hass — Feminism and mental representation: analytic philosophy, cultural studies, and narrow content / David Golumbia — Replies to Hass and Columbia / Nickolas Pappas — Leaping ahead: feminist theory without metaphysics / Leslie A. MacAvoy — Philosophy abandons women: gender, orality, and some literate pre-Socratics / Cornelia A. Tsakiridou. (shrink)
Bruno Latour is not the only scholar to reflect on his earlier contributions to science studies with some regret and resolve over climate skepticism and science denialism. Given the ascendency of merchants of doubt, should those who share Latour's concerns join the scientists they study in circling the wagons, or is there a productive role still for science studies to question and critique scientists and scientific institutions? I argue for the latter, looking to postpositivist feministphilosophy as exemplified (...) by Alison Wylie and Lynn Nelson, among others, as a guide. Feminist philosophers of science who ground their analysis in a detailed understanding of scientific practice are not science's champions nor its antagonists, but they do stand in a distinct relationship to science. If not merchants of doubt, are they scientific gadflies or perhaps in scientific loyal opposition? Though these notions can underwrite useful approaches to science studies, neither captures the distinctive interdependency and interestedness of feminist philosophers and science. I suggest that we would be better served by the notion of trustworthy science criticism, building on the analyses of trust and trustworthiness by Annette Baier, among others, attendant to the dynamics of interdependency in trust relationships. (shrink)
This essay is written in two parts. The first is a commentary on the affective politics of philosophy as a discipline. The theme here is philosophy’s reverence problem, an affective bond to the teacher and the text, which is threatened or even injured by feministphilosophy. Feministphilosophy emerges as disruptive irreverence in the midst of the discipline, and injured reverence becomes a powerful prereflective motivation for resistance to feminist thought. The second part (...) of the essay is an exploration of the field of inquiry called feminist phenomenology. Is feminist phenomenology simply phenomenology from another point of view, that of the embodied female subject? Is it conducted, in other words, in a space beyond politics and power where the difference of this subject discloses values and meanings that have not yet been thematized in phenomenological inquiry, but which phenomenology is already competent to pursue? Or does feminist phenomenology disrupt or transform phenomenological practice as we traditionally understand it? In this paper, I claim that phenomenology must be critical in order to be feminist, that it must disrupt phenomenological practice rather than simply “applying” it to a new object, “woman.” In the work of Simone de Beauvoir we find a different phenomenological practice that feminists can count as a positive inheritance. The real difference of feminist phenomenology, however, only emerges in the practice itself. In order to capture something about this difference I take the phenomenon of shame as a case study, and compare three recent phenomenological accounts of shame. (shrink)
Having only emerged in the past few decades, FeministPhilosophy is rapidly developing its own thrust in areas of particular importance to feminism-and women more generally-while also reevaluating and reshaping most other fields of philosophy, from ethics to logic and Marxism to environmentalism.
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)
Feministphilosophy has recently become recognised as a self-standing philosophical sub-discipline. Still, metaphysics has remained largely dismissive of feminist insights. Here I make the case for the value of feminist insights in metaphysics: taking them seriously makes a difference to our ontological theory choice and feministphilosophy can provide helpful methodological tools to regiment ontological theories. My examination goes as follows. Contemporary ontology is not done via conceptual analysis, but via quasi-scientific means. This takes (...) different ontological positions to be competing hypotheses about reality’s fundamental structure that are then assessed with a loose battery of criteria for theory choice. Such criteria make up the constitutive values of ontology. These values are distinguished from contextual values of a practice: the political and moral values embedded in the social context of inquiry.. (shrink)