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Is Feminist Philosophy Philosophy?

Edited by Emanuela Bianchi

Publication Year: 1999

Drawing attention to the vexed relationship between feminist theory and philosophy, Is Feminist Philosophy Philosophy? 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.

Published by: Northwestern University Press

Contents

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pp. ix-x

Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

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Introduction

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pp. xiii-xxvii

This collection of essays arose out of a conference, held at the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science, New School for Social Research, in the fall of 1993, entitled "Is Feminist Philosophy Philosophy?" The conference was organized by a group of graduate students, Graduate Faculty Women in Philosophy, as a way of raising, in an audible and far...

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Part 1: Opening Plenary: Is Feminist Philosophy Philosophy?

What follows is a lightly edited transcript of the conference's opening plenary.
Prior to the conference, the participants, Drucilla Cornell, Jacques Derrida, and Teresa Brennan, had been provided with a number of questions that they were each asked to consider in turn ...

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1. Opening Remarks

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pp. 3-9

Thank you very much. I am honored to be part of this conference, particularly because it has been organized by graduate students. For me, personally, there is an implicit legacy in the title of the conference, and it is cheering to us older girls who have been around for a while to know that when we pass on there will be daughters who are relentlessly struggling for the recognition of the philosophical significance...

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2. Opening Remarks

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pp. 10-16

As I was listening to Drucilla and thinking about her wonderful daughter, I thought about the fact that I have no daughter. I used to dream sometimes of having a daughter. . . . I could have adopted one. ...

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3. Opening Remarks: Timing Is All

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pp. 17-25

BIANCH!: Professor Brennan, would you like me to repeat the questions before you start?
BRENNAN: No, please don't, Emma. Emma, our noble chair, rang me a couple of nights ago before I flew across to tell me what the questions were. I felt filled with a kind of preexamination dread, the sort I have not had for many years. ...

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4. Discussion

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pp. 26-31

BIANCHI: Would any of you like to respond to one another?
DERRIDA: Just two brief points [to Teresa Brennan]: Thank you for what you said. By the end of your remarks, I understood that you felt you had given too much of yourself to a reading of Lacan. And you regretted having done so. ...

Part 2: Essence, Identity, and Feminist Philosophy

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5. Women, Identity, and Philosophy

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pp. 35-49

A widely debated and provocative issue in feminist theory concerns questions of identity and difference: Given differences between and among women, given historically and culturally located differences in the meaning of the category "women," and given that the differentiating characteristics which have historically...

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6. The Personal Is Philosophical, or Teaching a Life and Living the Truth: Philosophical Pedagogy at the Boundaries of Self

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pp. 50-58

One of the difficulties of so-called cultural feminism is that it comes dangerously close to associating women with nature and men with culture. Of course this association is not new; it is as old as the European Enlightenment. ...

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7. Musing as a Feminist and as a Philosopher on a Postfeminist Era

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pp. 59-72

I originally planned to call my first book A Micro-Politics for the Twenty-First Century. My press said that it was inadvisable to put numbers in the title, explaining that to do so was to date it, to limit its ultimate relevance. ...

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8. Essence against Identity

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pp. 73-85

If the analysis of identity as a construction is the strongest contemporary argument against essentialism (so well developed in Butler),1 the best arguments for reconsidering essentialism stress the importance of a sense of identity, or subjective power, in political agency.2 ...

Part 3: Engendering the Sociopolitical Body

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9. Feminist Interpretations of Social and Political Thought

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pp. 89-98

Obviously, traditional social and political thought needs to be examined for gender bias and needs to be revised. But it was not until feminists demanded that it be examined and revised that its gender bias became apparent to us, because, sadly, established thought throughout the Academy had succeeded in causing earlier feminist thinking to become invisible and forgotten. ...

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10. Mothers, Citizenship, and Independence: A Critique of Pure Family Values

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pp. 99-121

In recent years in the United States, many liberals have joined conservatives in espousing "family values" as the moral foundation of peace and prosperity. This philosophy says that the "intact," two-parent, heterosexual family is the preferred family form. Although this is not good news for gay men and lesbians, it also devalues all single mothers, and by implication all mothers. ...

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11. Domestic Abuse and Locke's Liberal (Mis)Treatment of Family

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pp. 122-131

There are at least two ways of accounting for the peculiar inconsistencies of Locke's comments on family relations in the Second Treatise of Government. I shall argue that the liberal, charitable reading, though it would perhaps have appealed to Locke himself, fails to explain crucial features of his account of human nature, politics, and family relations. ...

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12. Marx, Irigaray, and the Politics of Reproduction

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pp. 132-163

In the United States it has become commonplace in recent feminist discussions of reproductive politics to express alarm and then outrage resulted from the ascendance of paid surrogate labor. For more than a decade it has simultaneously become a staple of feminist pro-abortion arguments to emphasize a conception of the mother and fetus as involved in a relationship in which they are inextricably intertwined. ...

Part 4: Analytic Approaches and Feminist Theory

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13. The Very Idea of Feminist Epistemology

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pp. 167-189

This essay attempts to redirect, among feminists representing a variety of philosophical traditions, a discussion of feminist epistemology and feminist philosophy of science.1 I pursue two lines of argument. The first is that critiques of feminist epistemology offered by feminist theorists and mainstream epistemologists have relied on questionable views of both ...

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14. Can There Be a Feminist Logic?

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pp. 190-201

Can there be a feminist logic? By most accounts the answer would be no. What I find remarkable is the great difference in the justifications provided for this conclusion. The impossibility of feminist logic is defended, on the one hand, on the grounds that logic itself is most fundamentally a form of domination and so is inimical to feminist aims. ...

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15. Feminism and Mental Representation: Analytic Philosophy, Cultural Studies, and Narrow Content

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pp. 202-211

In 1983, Naomi Scheman published an essay which neither she, nor, as far as I know, any other philosopher or feminist theorist has built upon in detaiI.1 That essay, "Individualism and the Objects of Psychology," was included in the seminal volume of feminist philosophy edited by Sandra Harding and Merrill Hintikka called Discovering Reality, which appeared the same year. ...

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16. Replies to Hass and Golumbia

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pp. 212-218

Professor Hass's paper has opened up a number of useful new topics for me. I applaud her clarifications of the idea of alternative logic—an idea that has often proved as murky as it is enticing—and her effort to find a profitable middle ground between the veneration of classical logic and the call for its abolition. ...

Part 5: Feminism beyond Metaphysics?

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17. Leaping Ahead: Feminist Theory without Metaphysics

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pp. 221-233

Is feminist theory philosophy? Ought feminists to engage in philosophical discourse? These questions reflect a concern that philosophy is inherently dominating. One might consequently argue that philosophical discourse is not only inappropriate for feminists to adopt but that it is also insufficient for articulating the oppression which women experience. ...

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18. Philosophy Abandons Woman: Gender, Orality, and Some Literate Pre-Socratics

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pp. 234-263

It is not easy to speak in gender in English because in English things are not always spoken in their gender. There are no feminine, masculine, or neuter nouns as there are, for instance, in my native language, Greek. In Greek, being feminine, masculine, or neuter is part of what something is. Of course, one is not aware of this modality as one speaks or writes, except in a grammatical sense. But it is there, in the words, ...

Notes on Contributors

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pp. 265-266


E-ISBN-13: 9780810166004
Print-ISBN-13: 9780810115958

Page Count: 266
Publication Year: 1999

Edition: 1
Series Title: Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy
Series Editor Byline: Anthony Steinbock