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Empowerment and Interconnectivity

Toward a Feminist History of Utilitarian Philosophy

Catherine Villanueva Gardner

Publication Year: 2012

Feminist history of philosophy has successfully focused thus far on canon revision, canon critique, and the recovery of neglected or forgotten women philosophers. However, the methodology remains underexplored, and it seems timely to ask larger questions about how the history of philosophy is to be done and whether there is, or needs to be, a specifically feminist approach to the history of philosophy. In Empowerment and Interconnectivity, Catherine Gardner examines the philosophy of three neglected women philosophers, Catharine Beecher, Frances Wright, and Anna Doyle Wheeler, all of whom were British or American utilitarian philosophers of one stripe or another. Gardner’s focus in this book is less on accounting for the neglect or disappearance of these women philosophers and more on those methodological (or epistemological) questions we need to ask in order to recover their philosophy and categorize it as feminist.

Published by: Penn State University Press


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7

Table of Contents

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pp. 8-9

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Introduction: Empowerment and Interconnectivity: Toward a Feminist History of Utilitarian Philosophy

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pp. 1-32

The central figures in this book are all nineteenth-century utilitarians of one stripe or another. They also have in common the fact that they have been seen as feminist, although they do not all share the same type of feminist ...

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Chapter 1: Wheeler and Thompson: The Appeal and the Problem of Empowerment

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pp. 33-74

Anna Doyle Wheeler and William Thompson’s 1825 work, Appeal of One Half the Human Race, Women, Against the Pretensions of the Other Half, Men, to Retain Them in Political, and thence in Civil and Domestic Slavery, is a radical ...

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Chapter 2: Catharine Beecher and Writing Philosophy for Women

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pp. 75-116

The next philosopher I wish to examine, Catharine Beecher, is an interesting case. Despite the fact that she was one of the most productive female philosophers of the nineteenth century, and it could be reasonably claimed that she was the ...

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Chapter 3: Frances Wright: Interconnectivity and Synthesis

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pp. 117-153

Ernestine Rose, speaking at the tenth National Woman’s Rights Convention in 1859, said, ‘‘Frances Wright was the first woman in this country [the United States] who spoke on the equality of the sexes. She had indeed a hard task ...

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Chapter 4: Tea and Sympathy with John Stuart Mill

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pp. 154-190

I now want to use the interpretive lens of the empowerment question, which is admittedly still in its embryonic stage, to examine the works of Western canonical philosophers who have been claimed as feminist rather than ...

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Conclusion and Next Steps

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pp. 191-202

This work was initiated by my interest in recapturing, evaluating, and interpreting forgotten or neglected historical works of feminist philosophy. In other areas of philosophy, such as ethics or epistemology, feminist philosophers have ...


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pp. 203-207


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pp. 209-215

Back Cover

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pp. 225-225

E-ISBN-13: 9780271061238
E-ISBN-10: 0271061235
Print-ISBN-13: 9780271058146

Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 841810812
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Empowerment and Interconnectivity

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  • Mural painting and decoration, Renaissance -- Italy -- Rome.
  • Mural painting and decoration -- Political aspects -- Italy -- Rome.
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  • Popes -- Art patronage.
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