This article explores the debate on the equality of men and women in early modern Europe. It suggests that both scepticism and Cartesianism provided new arguments to establish the equal capabilities and entitlements of women and men. In this debate, traditional metaphysics was seen once again to support prejudices rather than evidence-based arguments. This article describes some of the most prominent feminist works during this period, including those of Anne Thérèse de Lambert, Gabrielle Suchon, François Poullain De La Barre, and Marie De Gournay.
In order to capture some of what is interesting and influential in contemporary North American feminist philosophy, this article pursues two strategies. The first half of the article offers a very brief historical sketch and characterization of a few fields of feminist philosophy. The second half focuses in more detail on a cluster of feminist issues in metaphysics concerning ‘essentialism’ and ‘intersectionality’.
The relation between analytic philosophy of religion and feminist thought has to date been a strained one. To the extent that most analytic philosophers of religion have attended to feminist theory or feminist theology at all, their acknowledgment has generally gone no further than a belated concession to the use of gender-inclusive language. More substantial issues raised by feminist philosophy or theology have in large part been ignored in the standard literature. Although there have been certain notable exceptions to this “rule,” it is undeniable that analytic philosophy of religion remains predominantly “gender blind” in its thinking, and thus, no doubt unsurprisingly, when feminist thinkers have troubled to comment on the discipline, their criticisms have tended to be severe. This article primarily aims to probe the reasons for the mutual incomprehension between the disciplines of analytic philosophy of religion and feminist thought, and to chart—and assess—the feminist criticisms leveled against analytic philosophy of religion for what is claimed to be its covert “masculinist” bias.
This article explores how feminism might illuminate philosophy, and indeed vice versa. The aim is not so much to survey the immense continent of feminist philosophical research, as to display, and occasionally instantiate, some small parts of it. In thinking about how feminism has contributed to philosophy, the article considers it worth looking at two rather general ideas: the idea of dualism, and the idea of androcentrism. In thinking about how philosophy has contributed to feminism, it is also worth looking at one rather specific idea: the idea of treating someone as an object.
This article provides a critical survey of English-language feminist work in aesthetics since the early 1970s. The aim is to focus on those areas of feminist inquiry that have most significantly affected philosophical aesthetics in the analytic tradition. Feminist aesthetics starts from the assumption that the historical domain of art and the aesthetic is itself patriarchal. At one level, it simply extends the analysis of patriarchy to the practices of art institutions, in particular to the treatment of women in and by these institutions (e.g. demotions in the status of female-authored artworks previously believed to be the work of male artists).
Amy G. Mazur
This article explores how feminist comparative policy (FCP) takes an empirical and integrative approach to feminist analysis. Gender work in American politics is perhaps the most empirical and the least integrative with other areas of feminist analysis. The Research Network on Gender Politics and the State (RNGS) case illustrates that the persistence of the glass wall is a result of a complex combination of factors: shared scholarly agendas, androcentrism, publication strategies, and timing. As the case of FCP, and more specifically the RNGS project, demonstrate, breaking down the persistent barriers between feminist and nonfeminist research is a slow process, one that takes considerable resources on the part of feminist scholars, the presence of male allies on the nonfeminist side who see the importance of gender research, and also the persistence and power of female feminist scholars to pursue the integrative agenda in nonfeminist publication and scholarly outlets.
This article examines feminist approaches to the philosophy of education. It suggests that the philosophy of education should be an ideal domain for the analysis and application of feminist philosophy. It discusses John Dewey's opinion that there is a sense in which philosophy is the philosophy of education and that our schools should be mini-societies that reflect our best conception of what our larger society should be. It highlights the efforts of feminists to upgrade first generation ideas on liberal feminism.
This article deals with certain areas of biological sciences related to social issues. It demonstrates the feminist and non-feminist philosophy of biology to get the science regarding sex, women, and gender right. The gender norms range from specific claims about men being suited to business and women to domestic labor. There are arguments to limit women's access to the public sphere. Sociobiologist investigated assumptions to show isomorphism between a particular theory and the world. It focuses on the assumptions that need to be tested in order to apply biological theories of sexual selection. A view known as “reductionism” is also discussed according to which things in the universe are arranged hierarchically and that causal interactions are limited to the lowest levels of this hierarchy. Feminist philosophy of biology functions to maximize the accuracy of biological knowledge claims and the clarity of biological concepts.
Freedom or liberty—the terms will be used interchangeably in this account—is obviously of fundamental importance to politics. The ideal of a free society is one that animates a range of political positions, and its pursuit has been a galvanizing force in both national and international politics. Ideas about freedom have varied through Western history. One of the major variations is to be found in the contrast between positive and negative liberty. A positive conception of liberty is that freedom is not just or even freedom from coercion and interference but, rather, is realized in living a particular way of life in accordance with a conception of virtue. Positive liberty in this sense is goal directed and implies that to be free involves living in accordance with certain moral values. It is frequently argued that there are two ways of grounding ideas of basic moral rights: liberty and interests. The distinction between negative and positive liberty is important here. On the negative view of rights, a right is a protection against forbidden forms of coercion.
This article explores feminist stances toward gender and rationality. These divide into three broad camps: the “classical feminist” stance, according to which what needs to be challenged are not available norms and ideals of rationality, but rather the supposition that women are unable to meet them; the “different voice” stance, which challenges available norms of rationality as either incomplete or accorded an inflated importance; and the “strong critical” stance, which finds fault with the norms and ideals themselves. This contribution focuses on assessing the various projects—some rival, some complementary—being pursued within the third, critical camp. This article offers a reconstruction of Catherine MacKinnon's critique of norms of rationality according to which they function to maintain relations of dominance by deauthorizing feminist claims to knowledge.