One of the most fundamental premises of feminist philosophy is the assumption of an invidious asymmetry between the genders that has to be overcome. Parallel to this negative account of asymmetry we also find a positive account, developed in particular within the context of so-called feminist philosophies of difference. I explore both notions of gender asymmetry. The goal is a clarification of the notion of asymmetry as it can presently be found in feminist philosophy. Drawing upon phenomenology (Merleau-Ponty, Levinas) as well as feminist difference theory (Irigaray), I argue that a gender asymmetry does exist that cannot—as in the first assumption—be transformed into symmetry.
This work argues from a social-theoretical perspective for the view that every concept of 'gender' remains bound to reproduction. As every culture is interested in its continuity, it distinguishes individuals according to their assumed possible contribution to reproduction and so develops a fundamental dual classification. Subsequent gender categories are necessarily derived from this one. The conceptual and empirical arguments for this thesis are illustrated through an imagined dystopia. There I envision under what conditions a complete dissociation of the concepts 'sex' and 'gender' from the old dual distinction would be possible and in what way a multiplicity of genders would be accomplished.
The author investigates the notion of linguistic meaning in gender research. She approaches this basic problem by drawing upon two very different conceptions of language and meaning: (1) that of the logician Gottlob Frege and (2) that of the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. Motivated by the controversial response the Anglo-American sex/gender debate received within the German context, the author focuses on the connection between this epistemological controversy among feminists and two discursive traditions of linguistic meaning (analytic philosophy and poststructuralism), to show how philosophy of language can contribute to current feminist debates.
Kristeva, Julia, 1941- Révolution du langage poétique.
Lacan, Jacques, 1901-
Language and languages -- Philosophy.
How much violence can a society expect its members to accept? A comparison between the language theories of Julia Kristeva and Jacques Lacan is the starting point for answering this question. A look at the early stages of language acquisition exposes the sacrificial logic of patriarchal society. Are those forces that restrict the individual to be conceived in a martial imagery of castration or is it possible that an existing society critically questions those points of socialization that leave their members in a state of homelessness? The following considerations should help to distinguish between unavoidable and avoidable forms of violence.
The Political and the Social
Marti, Irene M.
Saner, Senem, tr.
Luxemburg, Rosa, 1871-1919 -- Political and social views.
Arendt, Hannah -- Political and social views.
Political science -- Philosophy.
Freedom, understood as active participation in public life, connects the thinking of Rosa Luxemburg with that of Hannah Arendt. Biographically separated through the rise and victory of the totalitarian movements, they both developed a concept of the political that is oriented toward freedom and that demonstrates—in spite of their different historical experiences—essential common features: both authors emphasize the recognition of difference as a presupposition for a critical discussion of norms, traditions, and authorities, for the capacity to make unconstrained judgments, and for the ability to take personal responsibility.
Using the notion of a transfiguration of sexed bodies, this text deals with the stratifications of the gender-specific imaginary. Starting from the figurative—thus creative—force of the psyche-soma, its interaction with the configurations of a collective body will be developed from the perspectives of social philosophy and philosophy of history. At the center of my discussion is the interdependence between the individual psyche-soma, the socialized individual, and a collective bodily imaginary, on the one hand, and the strata of a gender imaginary on the other. The ontological metaphor (meaning the metaphor that brings about social modes of being) as well as the dimension of political action will be highlighted as playing a crucial role for these processes.
My contribution intends to show that the traditional philosophical concept of work (Marx, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Marcuse, Arendt, Habermas, and the rest) leaves out a crucial dimension. Work is reduced, for example, to the interaction with nature, the problem of recognition, or economic self-preservation. But work also establishes an ethical relation having to do with the needs of others and to the common good—a view of work that should be of particular interest for feminist and gender philosophy. This dimension makes visible, as socially necessary work, the so-called reproductive sphere pertaining to giving birth and raising children, but it also generalizes the aspect of care, which plays a significant role in traditional woman's work. The ethical relation to the other is a characteristic feature of human work and in this sense, the possibility of working is a part of a good life.
This paper relates Arendt's critique of a labor society to her thoughts on the "good life." I begin with the claim that in the post–mass production era, Western societies, traditionally centered around gainful employment, encounter a decrease in the relevance of labor and can thus no longer rely on it as a resource for individual or social meaning. From Arendt's perspective, however, the current situation allows for the possibility of a transition from a society based on labor to a society centered around activities. I explore Arendt's different types of activities—labor, work, action—with respect to the question of justice between the genders.
The processes associated with globalization have reinforced and even increased prevailing conditions of inequality among human beings with respect to their political, economic, cultural, and social opportunities. Yet—or perhaps precisely because of this trend—there has been, within political philosophy, an observable tendency to question whether equality in fact should be treated a as central value within a theory of justice. In response, I examine a number of nonegalitarian positions to try to show that the concept of equality cannot be dispensed with in any adequate consideration of justice.
This text reconstructs the Kohlberg/Gilligan controversy between a male ethics of justice and a female ethics of care. Using Karl-Otto Apel's transcendental pragmatics, the author argues for a mediation between both models in terms of a reciprocal co-responsibility. Against this backdrop, she defends the circular procedure of an exclusively argumentative-reflexive justification of a normative ethics. From this it follows for feminist ethics that it cannot do without either of the two types of ethics. The goal is to assure the evaluative variety of different types of an ethics of the good without endangering the normative boundaries of a deontological discourse ethics.