Hypatia

Hypatia
Volume 21, Number 2, Spring 2006

CONTENTS

    Evans, Nancy.
  • Diotima and Demeter as Mystagogues in Platoís Symposium
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    Subject Headings:
    • Plato. Symposium.
    • Diotima (Legendary character)
    • Demeter (Greek deity)
    • Eleusinian mysteries.
    Abstract:
      Like the goddess Demeter, Diotima from Mantineia, the prophetess who teaches Socrates about eros and the "rites of love" in Plato's Symposium, was a mystagogue who initiated individuals into her mysteries, mediating to humans esoteric knowledge of the divine. The dialogue, including Diotima's speech, contains religious and mystical language, some of which specifically evokes the female-centered yearly celebrations of Demeter at Eleusis. In this essay, I contextualize the worship of Demeter within the larger system of classical Athenian practices, and propose that Plato borrowed Eleusinian language because it criticized conventional notions of the divine, thereby allowing him to reimagine the possibilities for the philosophical process among humans.
    O'Dwyer, Shaun.
  • The Unacknowledged Socrates in the Works of Luce Irigaray
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    Subject Headings:
    • Irigaray, Luce.
    • Plato. Symposium.
    • Socrates.
    • Methodology.
    Abstract:
      In Luce Irigaray's thought, Socrates is a marginal figure compared to Plato or Hegel. However, she does identify the Socratic dialectical position as that of a 'phallocrat' and she does conflate Socratic and Platonic philosophy in her psychoanalytic reading of Plato in Speculum of the Other Woman. In this essay, I critically interpret both Irigaray's own texts and the Platonic dialogues in order to argue that: (1) the Socratic dialectical position is not 'phallocratic' by Irigaray's own understanding of the term; (2) that Socratic (early Platonic) philosophy should not be conflated with the mature Platonic metaphysics Irigaray criticizes; and (3) that Socratic dialectical method is similar in some respects with the dialectical method of Diotima, Socrates' instructress in love and the subject of Irigaray's "Sorcerer Love" essay in An Ethics of Sexual Difference.
    Saul, Jennifer Mather, 1968-
  • On Treating Things as People: Objectification, Pornography, and the History of the Vibrator
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    Subject Headings:
    • Pornography.
    Abstract:
      This article discusses recent feminist arguments for the possible existence of an interesting link between treating things as people (in the case of pornography) and treating people (especially women) as things. It argues, by way of a historical case study, that the connection is more complicated than these arguments have supposed. In addition, the essay suggests some possible general links between treatment of things and treatment of people.
    Wellman, Christopher Heath.
  • A Defense of Stiffer Penalties for Hate Crimes
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hate crimes.
    • Punishment.
    Abstract:
      After defining a hate crime as an offense in which the criminal selects the victim at least in part because of an animus toward members of the group to which the victim belongs, this essay surveys the standard justifications for state punishment en route to defending the permissibility of imposing stiffer penalties for hate crimes. It also argues that many standard instances of rape and domestic battery are hate crimes and may be punished as such.
    Magnus, Kathleen Dow, 1967-
  • The Unaccountable Subject: Judith Butler and the Social Conditions of Intersubjective Agency
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    Subject Headings:
    • Butler, Judith.
    • Agent (Philosophy)
    Abstract:
      Judith Butler's Kritik der ethischen Gewalt represents a significant refinement of her position on the relationship between the construction of the subject and her social subjection. While Butler's earlier texts reflect a somewhat restricted notion of agency, her Adorno Lectures formulate a notion of agency that extends beyond mere resistance. This essay traces the development of Butler's account of agency and evaluates it in light of feminist projects of social transformation.
    Freedman, Karyn L.
  • The Epistemological Significance of Psychic Trauma
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    Subject Headings:
    • Psychic trauma.
    • Knowledge, Theory of.
    Abstract:
      This essay explores the epistemological significance of the kinds of beliefs that grow out of traumatic experiences, such as the rape survivor's belief that she is never safe. On current theories of justification, beliefs like this one are generally dismissed due to either insufficient evidence or insufficient propositional content. Here, Freedman distinguishes two discrete sides of the aftermath of psychic trauma, the shattered self and the shattered worldview. This move enables us to see these beliefs as beliefs; in other words, as having cognitive content. Freedman argues that what we then need is a theory of justification that allows us to handpick reliable sources of information on sexual violence, and give credibility where deemed appropriate. She advances a mix of reliabilism and coherentism that privileges feminism. On this account, the evidence for the class of beliefs in question will depend on an act of sexual violence (or testimony, or statistics) to the extent that the act is a reliable indication of the prevalence of sexual violence against women.
    Heyes, Cressida J.
  • Foucault Goes to Weight Watchers
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    Subject Headings:
    • Weight loss.
    • Self-control.
    Abstract:
      This article argues that commercial weight-loss organizations appropriate and debase the askeses—practices of care of the self—that Michel Foucault theorized, increasing members' capacities at the same time as they encourage participation in ever-tightening webs of power. Weight Watchers, for example, claims to promote self-knowledge, cultivate new capacities and pleasures, foster self-care in face of gendered exploitation, and encourage wisdom and flexibility. The hupomnemata of these organizations thus use asketic language to conceal their implication in normalization.
    Gunther-Canada, Wendy.
  • Catharine Macaulay on the Paradox of Paternal Authority in Hobbesian Politics
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    Subject Headings:
    • Macaulay, Catharine, 1731-1791. Loose remarks on certain positions to be found in Mr. Hobbes' Philosophical rudiments of government and society.
    • Hobbes, Thomas, 1588-1679. De cive.
    • Patriarchy -- Political aspects.
    • Political science -- Philosophy.
    Abstract:
      Catharine Macaulay's first political pamphlet, "Loose remarks on certain positions to be found in Mr. Hobbes's philosophical rudiments of government and society with a short sketch for a democratical form of government in a letter to Signor Paoli," published in London in 1769, has received no significant scholarly attention in over two hundred years. It is of primary interest because of the light it sheds on Macaulay's critique of patriarchal politics, which helps to establish a new line of thinking about the historian as an early feminist writer. It appears she was working from an unauthorized edition of the Thomas Hobbes's De Cive (1647) entitled Philosophicall Rudiments of Government and Society, printed by a royalist bookseller in London 1651. Some errors in this translation may explain Macaulay's skewed understanding of Hobbes's argument in support of the premises of monarchy. Her intriguing analysis of paternal authority in "Loose Remarks" anticipates recent feminist explorations of Hobbesian political thought.

Symposium:
The Spectacle of Violence: Homophobia, Gender, and Knowledge

    Mason, Gail.
  • The Book at a Glance
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    Subject Headings:
    • Mason, Gail. Spectacle of violence: homophobia, gender, and knowledge.
    • Violence.
    • Homophobia.
    Abstract:
      Violence is a spectacle. Not because it is simply something that we observe but, more fundamentally, because it is a mechanism through which we observe and define other things. Violence has the capacity to shape the ways that we see, and thereby come to know, these things. In other words, violence is more than a practice that acts upon the bodies of individual subjects to inflict harm and injury. It is, metaphorically speaking, also a way of looking at these subjects.
    Hartsock, Nancy C. M.
  • Experience, Embodiment, and Epistemologies
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    Subject Headings:
    • Mason, Gail. Spectacle of violence: homophobia, gender, and knowledge.
    • Violence.
    • Knowledge, Theory of.
    Abstract:
      Gail Mason's Spectacle of Violence undertakes an important project in confronting a number of serious questions about definitions of violence and power, and about the nature of experience, subjectivity, and mind/body dualisms. Hartsock's comments on the book focus on issues of experience, embodiment, and standpoint theories.
    Houle, Karen.
  • The Manifolds of Violences
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    Subject Headings:
    • Mason, Gail. Spectacle of violence: homophobia, gender, and knowledge.
    • Violence.
    • Self.
    Abstract:
      In this essay, Houle focuses in on the ways in which a Foucauldian-framed account of violence, such as the one Gail Mason offers in Spectacles of Violence, rattles liberal (theoretical and 'common-sensical') understandings of culpability and lawfulness. Mason's analysis dares to suggest that violence is constitutive, not simply destructive of selves, of lives. Asking after the ways in which that constitution is asymmetrical in events of violence, Houle reintroduce some cautions and concerns about drawing from a poststructuralist perspective. This, in turn, raises the question as to which ontology of the self such a rebalancing requires. The essays ends by making use of Mason's own distinction between our selves as 'who' and 'what,' to give a modified reading of the ways these aspects of selfhood are constituted or made possible in events of violence, which does not fall back upon the liberal conception of the self.
    Mason, Gail.
  • Fear and Hope: Authorís Response
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hartsock, Nancy C. M. Experience, embodiment, and epistemologies.
    • Houle, Karen. Manifolds of violences.
    • Violence.
    Abstract:
      This response seeks to pick up on the key questions and concerns raised by Nancy C. M. Hartsock and Karen Houle in their critiques of The Spectacle of Violence. I mold my response around two emotions that are never far from the question of violence: fear and hope. Is it fear of ambiguity that stops us from delicately blending the experiential with the discursive, the nodal with the circular, the corporeal with the epistemic, or the oppressive with the constitutive? If so, we can only hope that the power of such ambivalence lies in its ability to unsettle these treasured lines of force.

Review Essay

    Ruddick, Sara, 1935-
  • Singing in the Fire: Stories of Women in Philosophy (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Alcoff, Linda, ed. Singing in the fire: stories of women in philosophy.
    • Women philosophers.
  • Book Notes
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    Subject Headings:
    • McCann, Carole R. (Carole Ruth), 1955-, ed. Feminist theory reader: local and global perspectives.
    • Kim, Seung-Kyung, 1954-, ed.
    • Groenhout, Ruth E., 1962-, ed. Philosophy, feminism, and faith.
    • Bower, Marya, 1959-, ed.
    • Anderson, Pamela Sue, ed. Feminist philosophy of religion.
    • Clack, Beverley, ed.
    • Calhoun, Cheshire, ed. Setting the moral compass: essays by women philosophers.

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