BDSM is no longer treated as a manifestation of the darkest twists of the human soul but rather as a sexual activity like many others. Moreover, the philosophy of sex and much of popular culture has come to embrace BDSM for its models of consent, exploration, and freedom. Yet celebrating BDSM without deeper reflection can obscure some serious moral issues. In this chapter, I present an overview of the moral issues raised by BDSM, and I argue that it is reductive (...) to see BDSM as a simple or straightforward model for how to practice egalitarian sex. Yet, BDSM communities grapple with issues of consent, autonomy, and power in important ways, which can help us think through broader issues in sexual ethics. Either way, BDSM must be understood in its full complexity. (shrink)
The gray area of sexual violations generally refers to ambiguous sexual experiences that are not readily distinguishable from rape or sex. Such experiences are describable as ambiguous or complex in a way that, to some, seems to defy existent categories of sexual experiences. This leads some feminists to approach the gray area as a puzzle that must be resolved either by understanding it as a new category, or by upholding existing rape categorization. Rather than dispelling the gray-area ambiguity by resolving (...) conceptual puzzles, I assign the gray-area ambiguity a positive analytical role by attending to it in a historical and dialectical light. By tracing histories of feminist antirape discourse, I elaborate a way of understanding the “gray area” of sexual violations, articulating it as a historical condition affecting the interpretive possibilities of our sexual experiences. Such an approach underscores the potential of the gray area to inaugurate feminist critique in virtue of its status as a historically specific yet ambiguous horizon where our experiences can contradictorily seem not-like rape, but not-like sex. (shrink)
In Women and Work: Feminism, Labour, and Social Reproduction, Susan Ferguson carefully maps a history of feminist thinking about work and makes a compelling case for the present need to grapple with the way compulsory work under capitalism affects women. She develops an integrated theory capable of addressing and explaining the ways in which anti-racist feminism is necessarily anti-capitalist, rather than holding patriarchy, racism and capitalism as separate systems. Ferguson draws upon multiple trajectories of feminist thought to situate and develop (...) a contemporary iteration of social reproduction theory (SRT) rooted in anti-oppressive politics. Carefully weaving together insights from anti-racist feminism and Marxism, Ferguson pushes SRT into new directions by complicating the traditional idea that unpaid housework is the shared condition of women under capitalism; rather, Ferguson elucidates how social reproductive work consists in activities involved in reproducing life, whether those activities are service work or child-rearing, paid or unpaid, or occurring within institutions, the workplace or within the home. -/- In the first section of the book, Ferguson traces a historical lineage of feminist thinking about work consisting in three trajectories: socialist feminism – including what she calls critical equality feminism – and liberal, rational-humanist forms of feminism. The second half of the book analyzes social reproduction theory.... (see more). (shrink)
During the past two decades or so, the emergence and ever-accelerating development of digital media have sparked scholarly interest, debates, and complex challenges across many disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities. Within this diverse scholarship, the research on digitality, gender, sexuality, and embodiment has contributed substantially to many academic fields, such as media studies, sociology, religion, philosophy, and education studies. As a part of the special issue “Gender, Sexuality, and Embodiment in Digital Spheres: Connecting Intersectionality and Digitality,” this (...) roundtable consists of a conversation between five researchers from different (inter)disciplinary locations, all addressing matters of methodology, intersectionality, positionality, and theory in relation to the topics of gender, sexuality, and embodiment in digital spheres. Said roundtable begins with a critical self-positioning of the participants’ (inter)disciplinary and embodied locations using examples from their own research. The conversation then progresses to how these researchers have employed contemporary theories, conceptual vocabularies, methods, and analyses of gender, sexuality, and embodiment in digital spheres to then conclude with some ethico-political notes about collaborations between scholars and (digital) activists. (shrink)
This exciting new Handbook offers a comprehensive overview of the contemporary state of the field in feminist philosophy. The editors' introduction and forty-five essays cover feminist critical engagements with philosophy and adjacent scholarly fields, as well as feminist approaches to current debates and crises across the world. Authors cover topics ranging from the ways in which feminist philosophy attends to other systems of oppression, and the gendered, racialized, and classed assumptions embedded in philosophical concepts, to feminist perspectives on prominent subfields (...) of philosophy. The first section contains chapters that explore feminist philosophical engagement with mainstream and marginalized histories and traditions, while the second section parses feminist philosophy's contributions to numerous philosophical subfields, for example metaphysics and bioethics. A third section explores what feminist philosophy can illuminate about crucial moral and political issues of identity, gender, the body, autonomy, prisons, among numerous others. The Handbook concludes with the field's engagement with other theories and movements, including trans studies, queer theory, critical race, theory, postcolonial theory, and decolonial theory. The volume provides a rigorous but accessible resource for students and scholars who are interested in feminist philosophy, and how feminist philosophers situate their work in relation to the philosophical mainstream and other disciplines. Above all it aims to showcase the rich diversity of subject matter, approach, and method among feminist philosophers. (shrink)
Analytic philosophy has transgender trouble. In this paper, I explore potential explanations for this trouble, focusing on the notion of 'cisgender commonsense' and its place in philosophical methodology.
An original interpretation of Impressionism and nineteenth-century art and culture by a noted feminist art historian. This book is a pioneering reading of Impressionism from a feminist perspective by a noted art historian. Norma Broude analyzes the philosophical underpinnings of landscape painting in the late nineteenth century discussing the crit.
What’s important about ‘coming out’? Why do we wear business suits or Star Trek pins? Part of the answer, we think, has to do with what we call agential identity. Social metaphysics has given us tools for understanding what it is to be socially positioned as a member of a particular group and what it means to self-identify with a group. But there is little exploration of the general relationship between self-identity and social position. We take up this exploration, developing (...) an account of agential identity—the self-identities we make available to others. Agential identities are the bridge between what we take ourselves to be and what others take us to be. Understanding agential identity not only fills an important gap in the literature, but also helps us explain politically important phenomena concerning discrimination, malicious identities, passing, and code-switching. These phenomena, we argue, cannot be understood solely in terms of self-identity or social position. (shrink)
My analysis on the category of signs of times (SoT) shows how it can help to explain a few aspects of synodality. I will explain how synodality and SoT support each other and why Synods should teach a correct judgment of SoT. It is a way to educate God's people to their theology. We may also wonder if in the anti-gender campaign the church was unable to implenaent the theological vision implied in the SoT. This campaign has highlighted the Church (...) weakness in accepting the world-church relations implied in SoT theology. This weakness due to a lack in education must be corrected re-launching the Synods' tasks and processes. (shrink)
This paper presents new data on the representation of women who publish in 25 top philosophy journals as ranked by the Philosophical Gourmet Report for the years 2004, 2014, and 2015. It also provides a new analysis of Schwitzgebel’s 1955–2015 journal data. The paper makes four points while providing an overview of the current state of women authors in philosophy. In all years and for all journals, the percentage of female authors was extremely low, in the range of 14–16%. The (...) percentage of women authors is less than the percentage of women faculty in different ranks and at different kinds of institutions. In addition, there is great variation across individual journals, and the discrepancy between women authors and women faculty appears to be different in different subfields. Interestingly, journals which do not practice anonymous review seem to have a higher percentage of women authors than journals which practice double anonymous or triple anonymous review. This paper also argues that we need more data on academic publishing to better understand whether this can explain why there are so few full-time female faculty in philosophy, since full-time hiring and tenuring practices presumably depend on a candidate’s academic publishing. (shrink)
The discipline of academic philosophy suffers from serious problems of diversity and inclusion whose acknowledgement and amelioration are often resisted by members of our profession. In this paper, I distinguish four main modes of resistance—naiveté, conservatism, pride, and hostility—and describe how and why they manifest by using them as the basis for a typology of types of ‘resister’. This typology can hopefully be useful to those of us trying to counteract such resistance in ways sensitive to the different motives and (...) strategies that these resisters tend to employ. (shrink)
Not a few feminist writers, such as Kristeva, Irigaray, and Chodorow, have dealt with Freud’s psychoanalysis so far, but it is not clear to what degree the Freudian theory grounds their arguments, because Freud himself developed his psychoanalysis mainly for the male mental world (Seelenleben). In this paper, we shall follow Freud’s train of thought exclusively from this angle. After the geneses of Pcpt.-Cs., id, ego, and super-ego (W-Bw, Es, Ich, and Über-Ich, respectively) are treated (§§7-10), we shed light on (...) how these factors relate to the female spirituality (§§11-24) and why feminists could still rely on Freud’s thought (§25). On the other hand, the present research will also provide an easy introduction to Freud’s psychoanalysis, by reference to which each thinker could overview the Freudian theory (Fig. (5) and Fig. (8) will help). In this respect, we shall also take account of the masculine side of his discussion, that is to say, how a man usually develops his male personality, while we constantly put it in stark contrast to the female spirituality. Although, in this modern world, not a few thinkers criticize the Freudian theory as non-scientific like Popper did (§2), we should remember that there remain supporters of his theory, such as Grümbaum (§3). We shall touch on this kind of argument relating to philosophy of science in the first half of this paper, which will also provide some useful knowledge for the readers who still get doubtful of the Freudian theory and its usage in feminist arguments. (shrink)
In this paper I look at the philosophical struggles of one eighteenth-century woman writer to reconcile a desire and obvious capacity to participate in the creation of republican ideals and their applications on the one hand, and on the other a deeply held belief that women's role in a republic is confined to the domestic realm. I argue that Marie-Jeanne Phlipon Roland's philosophical writings—three unpublished essays, published and unpublished letters, as well as parts of her memoirs—suggest that even though she (...) adopted a Rousseau-style rural republicanism that relies on complementarity of men and women's virtues, she somehow succeeds in proposing a less sexist picture of the republican family, one that makes it possible for men and women to take an equal part in family business and politics. (shrink)
Social scientists report difficulties in drawing out testable predictions from the literature on intersectionality theory. We alleviate that difficulty by showing that some characteristic claims of the intersectionality literature can be interpreted causally. The formalism of graphical causal modeling allows claims about the causal effects of occupying intersecting identity categories to be clearly represented and submitted to empirical testing. After outlining this causal interpretation of intersectional theory, we address some concerns that have been expressed in the literature claiming that membership (...) in demographic categories can have causal effects. (shrink)
Shulamith Firestone's Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution was, upon its original publication, both radicacmen would be freed from the burden of childbirth, in which the nuclear family, gender roles, typical constructions of marriage and parenting are all a thing of the past, still for many seems radical, even forty-five years after its debut in 1970. With Firestone's recent passing, it is a particularly suitable time to reconsider her work in light of the medical, technological, and social changes (...) of the past few decades. Specifically, I wish to argue that the kind of future society that Firestone envisioned, which would be possible only through the use of certain medical technologies, has begun to be actualized within many trans-affirming communities. The greater the recognition of trans identities, trans lives, and trans relationships, the more we will approach the realization of the post-revolutionary society that she describes. In this essay, I consider Firestone's ideas on the issues of biological sex, gender, relationships, and parenthood, after which I will identify how present trans-affirming practices serve to support these Firestonian ideals. (shrink)
This book examines contemporary structural social injustices from a feminist perspective. It asks: what makes oppression, discrimination, and domination wrongful? Is there a single wrongness-making feature of various social injustices that are due to social kind membership? Why is sexist oppression of women wrongful? What does the wrongfulness of patriarchal damage done to women consist in? In thinking about what normatively grounds social injustice, the book puts forward two related views. First, it argues for a paradigm shift in focus away (...) from feminist philosophy that is organized around the gender concept woman, and towards feminist philosophy that is humanist. This is against the following theoretical backdrop: Politically effective feminism requires ways to elucidate how and why patriarchy damages women, and to articulate and defend feminism's critical claims. In order to meet these normative demands an influential theoretical outlook has emerged: for emancipatory purposes feminist philosophers should articulate a thick conception of the gender concept woman around which feminist philosophical work is organized. However, Part I of the book argues that we should resist this move, and that feminist philosophers should reframe their analyses of injustice in humanist terms. Second, the book spells out a humanist alternative to the more prevalent gender-focus in feminist philosophy. This hinges on a notion of dehumanization, which Part II of the book develops. The argued for understanding of dehumanization is used to explicate the wrongness-making feature of social injustices, both in general and of those due to patriarchy. Dehumanization is not another form of injustice-rather, it is that which makes forms of social injustice unjust. The book's second part then provides a regimentation of social injustice from a feminist perspective in order to spell out the specifics of the proposed humanist feminism, and to demonstrate how it improves some non-feminist analyses of injustice too. (shrink)
Although recent research suggests that women are underrepresented in philosophy after initial philosophy courses, there have been relatively few empirical investigations into the factors that lead to this early drop-off in women’s representation. In this paper, we present the results of empirical investigations at a large American public university that explore various factors contributing to women’s underrepresentation in philosophy at the undergraduate level. We administered climate surveys to hundreds of students completing their Introduction to Philosophy course and examined differences in (...) women’s and men’s feelings of belonging, comfort, and confidence in the philosophy classroom. We present findings suggesting various factors that contribute to women’s lower willingness to continue in philosophy compared to men’s, including perceptions about intuition-based methods in philosophy, the usefulness of the philosophy major, philosophy as a male discipline, and philosophical abilities as innate talents. We conclude by providing some suggestions for improving undergraduate philosophy courses in ways that would increase women’s willingness to continue in philosophy and may improve the courses for all students. (shrink)
In this note, my aim is to point out a phenomenon that has not received much attention; a phenomenon that, in my opinion, should not be overlooked in the professional practice of philosophy, especially within feminist efforts for social justice. I am referring to the way in which being a non-native speaker of English interacts with the practice of philosophy.1 There is evidence that non-native speakers are often perceived in prejudiced ways. Such prejudiced perception causes harm and, more importantly, constitutes (...) wrongdoing. As in other cases of prejudiced perception and biased behavior, it would be pretentious and misguided to expect philosophers and the philosophy profession to be free from this vice. There are good reasons to think that this prejudiced perception is bad not only for the persons who are perceived in such a way, but also for the profession, for it might make us miss important things that could improve philosophy in general. I claim we should be more sensitive to this phenomenon, both out of concern for justice, and for the sake of doing better philosophy. (shrink)
If someone says, “Asians are good at math” or “women are empathetic,” I might interject, “you're stereotyping” in order to convey my disapproval of their utterance. But why is stereotyping wrong? Before we can answer this question, we must better understand what stereotypes are and what stereotyping is. In this essay, I develop what I call the descriptive view of stereotypes and stereotyping. This view is assumed in much of the psychological and philosophical literature on implicit bias and stereotyping, yet (...) it has not been sufficiently defended. The main objection to the descriptive view is that it fails to include the common-sense idea that stereotyping is always objectionable. I argue that this is actually a benefit of the view. In the essay's final part, I put forward two hypotheses that would validate the claim that stereotyping is always morally or epistemically wrong. If these hypotheses are false—which is very likely—we have little reason to build moral or epistemic defect into the very idea of a stereotype. Moreover, we must abandon the seemingly attractive claim that judging individuals based on group membership is intrinsically wrong. (shrink)
Although G. A. Cohen's work on Marx was flawed by a lack of gender-awareness, his work on Rawls owes much of its success to feminist inspiration. Cohen appeals effectively to feminism to rebut the basic structure objection to his egalitarian ethos, and could now appeal to feminism in response to Andrew Williams's publicity objection to this ethos. The article argues that Williams's objection is insufficient to rebut Cohen's ethos, inapplicable to variants of this ethos, and in conflict with plausible gender-egalitarian (...) ethoses. The article also advocates an understanding of basic structuralism and publicity consistent with feminism, and argues that Rawlsians need not reject plausible domestic egalitarian ethoses on either publicity or liberty grounds. To Michèle, G. A. Cohen's Harriet Taylor. (shrink)
Argues for a transactionally situated approach to science and medicine in order to meet the needs of marginalized groups. -/- The Limits of Knowledge provides an understanding of what pragmatist feminist theories look like in practice, combining insights from the work of American pragmatist John Dewey concerning experimental inquiry and transaction with arguments for situated knowledge rooted in contemporary feminism. Using case studies to demonstrate some of the particular ways that dominant scientific and medical practices fail to meet the health (...) needs of marginalized groups and communities, Nancy Arden McHugh shows how transactionally situated approaches are better able to meet the needs of these communities. Examples include a community action group fighting environmental injustice in Bayview Hunters Point, California, one of the most toxic communities in the US; gender, race, age, and class biases in the study and diagnosis of endometriosis; a critique of Evidence-Based Medicine; the current effects of Agent Orange on Vietnamese women and children; and pediatric treatment of Amish and Mennonite children. (shrink)
Contemporary Western societies are obsessed with the “obesity epidemic,” dieting, and fitness. Fat people violate the Western conscience by violating a thinness norm. In virtue of violating the thinness norm, fat people suffer many varied consequences. Is their suffering morally permissible, or even obligatory? In this paper, I argue that the answer is no. I examine contemporary philosophical accounts of oppression and draw largely on the work of Sally Haslanger to generate a set of conditions sufficient for some phenomena to (...) count as oppression, and I illustrate the account’s value using the example of gender oppression. I then apply the account to fat people, examine empirical evidence, and argue that the suffering of fat people counts as oppression. (shrink)
This brief essay – based partially on remarks made as a member of a "diversity panel" at a recent Florida Philosophical Association meeting and partially on the reception of those remarks – concerns the rhetorical spaces from which one is allowed to speak as a woman in philosophy. I identify two gendered locations from which women are allowed to speak about the diversity problem in philosophy: 1) the happy woman of reason and 2) the unhappy feminist philosopher. Drawing on Marilyn (...) Frye's analysis of the double-bind as a symptom of oppression and Sara Ahmed's reflections on the figure of "the feminist killjoy", I argue that both gendered locales undermine one’s ability to bring about transformative change in the discipline. (shrink)
In her paper ‘An Awkward Relationship: the Case of Feminism and Anthropology’, Marilyn Strathern argues that feminist research cannot produce a paradigm shift in social anthropology. I reconstruct her arguments and evaluate them, revealing that they are insufficient for ruling out this possibility.
Similarities between pragmatist models of democracy and deliberative models have been explored over recent years, most notably in this journal ( Talisse 2004). However, the work of Iris Marion Young has, thus far, not figured in such comparative analyses and historical weighing of pragmatist antecedents in deliberativist work. In what follows, I wish to redress this oversight by placing Young in conversation with John Dewey and Jane Addams. Young's particular brand of deliberative theorizing focuses on the inclusion of women and (...) all those deemed Other in our democracies. She identifies a significant shortcoming in standard expositions of deliberative thought, pointing out that communicative style, structured by oppressive norms of gender, race, and class, to name but a few, may serve to undermine our full participation in political decision making. While this forms a valuable insight for those seeking to redress the exclusion of Others in democracies, it also draws attention to the centrality of differences of communication in deliberative settings. In what follows, I will highlight the integral role played by communication in Young's and Dewey's expositions of democracy while showing that Addams foreshadows Young's principal insight through an appreciation of communicative difference and its attendant political implications. (shrink)
Sister Species: Women, Animals, and Social Justice addresses interconnections between speciesism, sexism, racism, and homophobia, clarifying why social justice activists in the twenty-first century must challenge intersecting forms of oppression. This anthology presents bold and gripping--sometimes horrifying--personal narratives from fourteen activists who have personally explored links of oppression between humans and animals, including such exploitative enterprises as cockfighting, factory farming, vivisection, and the bushmeat trade. Sister Species asks readers to rethink how they view "others," how they affect animals with their (...) daily choices, and how they might bring change for all who are abused. These essays remind readers that women have always been important to social justice and animal advocacy, and they urge each of us to recognize the links that continue to bind all oppressed individuals. The astonishing honesty of these contributors demonstrates with painful clarity why every woman should be an animal activist and why every animal activist should be a feminist. Contributors are Carol J. Adams, Tara Sophia Bahna-James, Karen Davis, Elizabeth Jane Farians, Hope Ferdowsian, Linda Fisher, Twyla François, Christine Garcia, A. Breeze Harper, Sangamithra Iyer, Pattrice Jones, Lisa Kemmerer, Allison Lance, Ingrid Newkirk, Lauren Ornelas, and Miyun Park. (shrink)
"Draws on philosophers, political theorists, activists, and poets to explain how unspoken and unspeakable knowledge is important to racial and gender formation; offers a usable conception of implicit understanding"--Provided by publishers.
Deconstructive and poststructuralist theories are commonly accused of rejecting all principles of justice and therefore “collaborating with evil.” A canonical example is Martha Nussbaum’s “The Professor of Parody” on the work of Judith Butler. The merits of Nussbaum’s argument and of the “common critique” turn on choosing between two alternative interpretations of Butler’s corpus and of poststructuralism in general. First, assumed in Nussbaum’s critique, is “universal poststructuralism.” Second is “contextual poststructuralism,” which is not susceptible to the common critique. According to (...) the latter and better reading of Butler, subversion and deconstruction take place within a background comprising relatively stable sets of norms, structures of meaning, practices and values. A background that is a necessary enabling condition of deconstructing and performing subversion or parody, and which may include moral norms and principles. Moreover, Nussbaum’s critique may be incommensurable with Butler’s project. Finally, ascribing Butler’s theory the general proposition of rejecting all norms and moral principles ignores the temporal and particularistic nature of Butler’s deconstructive agenda. (shrink)
"Understanding Feminism" provides an accessible guide to one of the most important and contested movements in progressive modern thought. Presenting feminism as a dynamic, multi-faceted and adaptive movement that has evolved in response to the changing practical and theoretical problems faced by women, the authors take a problem-oriented approach that maps the complex strands of feminist thinking in relation to women's struggles for equal recognition and rights, and freedom from oppressive constraints of sex, self-expression and autonomy. Each chapter focuses on (...) a different cluster of concerns, demonstrating key moves in second-wave feminist thought, as well as some of the diversity in response-strategies that encompass both socio-economic and cultural-symbolic concerns. This approach not only shows how central feminist insights, theories and strategies emerge and re-emerge across different contexts, but makes clear that far from being 'over', feminism remains a vital response to the diverse issues that women find pressing and socially important. (shrink)
This paper addresses the progressive, feminist critique of same-sex marriage as articulated by Claudia Card. Although agreeing with Card that the institution of marriage as we know it is profoundly morally flawed in its origins and effects, Callahan disagrees with Card's suggestion that queer activists in the United States should not be working for the inclusion of same-sex couples in the institution.
Patriarchal institutions govern all aspects of women's lives: their minds, their bodies, and their souls. Additionally, they govern the ways in which women are perceived by others and the ways in which women perceive themselves. (Re) Interpretations: The Shapes of Justice in Women's Experience, is a collection of essays on language, religion, war, sex trafficking, and medicine-the patriarchal structures that form the basis of western society and, thus, are in many ways inherently unjust. The essays illustrate the multitude of ways (...) that women have found to work within and without these structures to create justice. Traditional theories of justice cast it as a cardinal virtue, unbiased and impartial. The essays in this book, however, remove justice from the abstract and return it to the specific: most of the essays use personal narratives to highlight the connections all people share. The women discussed here are challenging the authority of existing patriarchal narratives by telling their versions, and, thus, calling attention to and challenging their own political and social realities. Reflecting a focus on global connectedness and interdisciplinarity, the writers of these essays aim not only to raise questions, but also to show ways in which women are creating new pathways for themselves. Only by exploring solutions will women reclaim justice. From L.A. to Zimbwabe, women have stories to tell about their experiences of justice in the inherently patriarchal institutions of Language, Religion, War, Sex Trafficking, and Medicine. This relevant and thought-provoking collection captures the trials that women across the world face and the hope they create through their courageous actions. Through both personal narrative and factual overview, these essays emphasize that as people committed to justice, women must not simply raise the questions, but they must also explore solutions in order to reclaim justice for themselves, their daughters, their sisters, and their mothers. Contributors: Yifat Bitton, Stephany Ryan Cate, Jo Scott-Coe, Susan Dewey, Carmela Epright, Carmen Faymonville, Adam Gaynor, Pauline Greenhill, Denise Handlarski, Alison Jobe, Marc J.W. de Jong, Jodie M. Lawston, Jody Lisberger, Kristy Maher, Susan Maloney, Mickias Musiyiwa, Ruben Murillo, Annemarie Profanter, Natalie Wilson, and J. Carter Wood. (shrink)
This article considers the experiences of a group of women science students of color who reported encountering moral injustices, including misrecognition, lack of peer support, and disregard for their altruistic motives. We contend that university science departments face a moral imperative to cultivate equal relationships and the altruistic power of science.
The most comprehensive anthology of feminist philosophy available, this first edition reader brings together over 55 of the most influential and time-tested works to have been published in the field of feminist philosophy. Featuring perspectives from across the philosophical spectrum, and from an array of different cultural vantage points, it displays the incredible range, diversity, and depth of feminist writing on fundamental issues, from the early second wave to the present.
This essay argues that the ambiguities of the just war tradition, sifted through a feminist critique, provides the best framework currently available for translating the ethical entitlement to human dignity into concrete feminist political practices. It offers a gendered critique of war that pursues the just war distinction between legitimate and illegitimate targets of wartime violence and provides a gendered analysis of the peace which the just war tradition obliges us to preserve and pursue.
Hegel’s treatment of Sophocles’s Antigone exposes a tension in our own landscape between religious and civil autonomy. This tension reflects a deeper tension between unreflective, implicit norms and reflective, explicit norms that can be autonomously endorsed. The tension is, as Hegel recognizes, of particular importance to women. Hegel’s characterization of this tension in light of Antigone is, as H.S. Harris argues, both a more developed and a more fundamental moment in the Phenomenology of Spirit than the moment of Enlightenment autonomy (...) (with its powers of reflective self-critique). Indeed, George Steiner has remarked that, for the German idealists, Antigone exemplifies the very “pivot of consciousness,” so fundamental is the tension that it expresses. I argue that, while Hegel demonstrates the necessity of the modern transition to explicit norms that can be autonomously endorsed, explicit norms nevertheless depend on a background of unreflective norms for their force. Moreover, Hegel uses the conflict between Antigone and Creon to illustrate the tension and mutual dependence between these two types of norms. (shrink)
Iris Marion Young argues we cannot understand others' experiences by imagining ourselves in their place or in terms of symmetrical reciprocity (1997a). For Young, reciprocity expresses moral respect and asymmetry arises from people's greatly varying life histories and social positions. La Caze argues there are problems with Young's articulation of asymmetrical reciprocity in terms of wonder and the gift. By discussing friendship and political representation, she shows how taking self-respect into account complicates asymmetrical reciprocity.
Experiences of solidarity have figured prominently in the politics of the modern era, from the rallying cry of liberation theology for solidarity with the poor and oppressed, through feminist calls for sisterhood, to such political movements as Solidarity in Poland. Yet very little academic writing has focused on solidarity in conceptual rather than empirical terms. Sally Scholz takes on this critical task here. She lays the groundwork for a theory of political solidarity, asking what solidarity means and how it differs (...) fundamentally from other social and political concepts like camaraderie, association, or community. Scholz distinguishes a variety of types and levels of solidarity by their social ontologies, moral relations, and corresponding obligations. Political solidarity, in contrast to social solidarity and civic solidarity, aims to bring about social change by uniting individuals in their response to particular situations of injustice, oppression, or tyranny. The book explores the moral relation of political solidarity in detail, with chapters on the nature of the solidary group, obligations within solidarity, the “paradox of the privileged,” the goals of solidarity movements, and the prospects for global solidarity. . (shrink)