Down Girl is a broad, original, and far ranging analysis of what misogyny really is, how it works, its purpose, and how to fight it. The philosopher Kate Manne argues that modern society's failure to recognize women's full humanity and autonomy is not actually the problem. She argues instead that it is women's manifestations of human capacities -- autonomy, agency, political engagement -- is what engenders misogynist hostility.
Internalists about reasons following Bernard Williams claim that an agent’s normative reasons for action are constrained in some interesting way by her desires or motivations. In this paper, I offer a new argument for such a position—although one that resonates, I believe, with certain key elements of Williams’ original view. I initially draw on P.F. Strawson’s famous distinction between the interpersonal and the objective stances that we can take to other people, from the second-person point of view. I suggest that (...) we should accept Strawson’s contention that the activity of reasoning with someone about what she ought to do naturally belongs to the interpersonal mode of interaction. I also suggest that reasons for an agent to perform some action are considerations which would be apt to be cited in favor of that action, within an idealized version of this advisory social practice. I then go on to argue that one would take leave of the interpersonal stance towards someone—thus crossing the line, so to speak—in suggesting that she do something one knows she wouldn’t want to do, even following an exhaustive attempt to hash it out with her. An internalist necessity constraint on reasons is defended on this basis. (shrink)
Philosophers have turned their attention to gaslighting only recently, and have made considerable progress in analysing its characteristic aims and harms. I am less convinced, however, that we have fully understood its nature. I will argue in this paper that philosophers and others interested in the phenomenon have largely overlooked a phenomenon I call moral gaslighting, in which someone is made to feel morally defective—for example, cruelly unforgiving or overly suspicious—for harbouring some mental state to which she is entitled. If (...) I am right about this possibility, and that it deserves to be called gaslighting, then gaslighting is a far more prevalent and everyday phenomenon than has previously been credited. And it can also be a purely structural phenomenon, as well as an interpersonal one, which remains a controversial possibility in the current literature. (shrink)
This paper considers the moral psychology of interpersonal conduct that is cruel, brutal, humiliating, or degrading. On the view I call “humanism,” such behavior often stems from the perpetrators’ dehumanizing view of their targets. The former may instead see the latter as subhuman creatures, nonhuman animals, supernatural beings, or even mindless objects. If people recognized their common humanity, they would have a hard time mistreating other human beings. This paper criticizes humanism so understood, arguing that its explanatory power is often (...) overstated, and that there are alternative, “socially situated” explanations that are better in many cases. (shrink)
This chapter explores the possibility of identifying core moral claims with the states of mind which are called bodily imperatives—e.g. the ‘make it stop’ state of mind which is plausibly an aspect of, if not identical with, severe pain states and states such as severe thirst, hunger, sleeplessness, humiliation, terror, and torment. The chapter combines this idea with another, that the desire-like, conative, or ‘world-guiding’ states of mind which make normative claims on agents need not belong to the agent on (...) whom the claim is made, on a broadly Humean or desire-based view in metaethics. On the view defended, any subject’s bodily imperatives can make moral claims on any moral agent. The case is made that bodily imperatives are a good candidate for constituting the core moral claims or basic imperatives of morality, which all others are either built from, or at least constrained by. (shrink)
David Enoch, in Taking Morality Seriously, argues for a broad normative asymmetry between how we should behave when disagreeing about facts and how we should behave when disagreeing due to differing preferences. Enoch claims that moral disputes have the earmarks of a factual dispute rather than a preference dispute and that this makes more plausible a realist understanding of morality. We try to clarify what such claims would have to look like to be compelling and we resist his main conclusions.
Kate A. Manne is an associate professor at the Sage School of Philosophy at Cornell University, where she has been teaching since 2013. Before that, she was a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, did her graduate work at MIT, and was an undergraduate at the University of Melbourne, where she studied philosophy, logic, and computer science. Her current research is primarily in moral, feminist, and social philosophy. She is the author of two books, including her first book (...) Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny and her latest book Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women. Manne has also published a number of scholarly papers about the foundations of morality, and she regularly writes opinion pieces, essays, and reviews in venues—including The New York Times, The Boston Review, the Huffington Post, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. (shrink)