Analyzing Oppression asks: why is oppression often sustained over many generations? The book explains how oppression coercively co-opts the oppressed to join their own oppression and argues that all persons have a moral responsibility to resist it. It finally explores the possibility of freedom in a world actively opposing oppression.
This article discusses explanatory theories of normative concepts and argues for a set of criteria of adequacy by which such theories may be evaluated. The criteria offered fall into four categories: ontological, theoretical, pragmatic, and moral. After defending the criteria and discussing their relative weighting, this article uses them to prune the set of available explanatory theories of oppression. Functionalist theories, including Hegelian recognition theory and Foucauldian social theory, are rejected, as are psychoanalytic theory and social dominance theory. Finally, the (...) article defends structural rational choice theory as the most promising methodology for explaining oppression. Key Words: oppression explanation rational choice theory. (shrink)
Property in money, means of subsistence, machines, and other means of production, does not as yet stamp a man as a capitalist if there be wanting the correlative — the wage-worker, the other man who is compelled to sell himself of his own free-will.
The essays in this volume present versions of feminism that are explicitly liberal, or versions of liberalism that are explicitly feminist. By bringing together some of the most respected and well-known scholars in mainstream political philosophy today, Amy R. Baehr challenges the reader to reconsider the dominant view that liberalism and feminism are 'incompatible.'.
Rather than focusing on political and legal debates surrounding attempts to determine if and when genocidal rape has taken place in a particular setting, this essay turns instead to a crucial, yet neglected area of inquiry: the moral significance of genocidal rape, and more specifically, the nature of the harms that constitute the culpable wrongdoing that genocidal rape represents. In contrast to standard philosophical accounts, which tend to employ an individualistic framework, this essay offers a situated understanding of harm that (...) features the importance of interdependence and relationality and that conceptualizes harms as embodied and contextual. The paper ultimately reveals what is distinctive about this particular crime of sexual violence by exploring the logic of genocidal rape: genocidal rape involves the harm of forced self-betrayal unleashed relationally, causing victims as representatives of their group to participate inadvertently in the destruction of that group. (shrink)
Political philosophy and feminist theory have rarely examined in detail how capitalism affects the lives of women. Ann Cudd and Nancy Holmstrom take up opposing sides of the issue, debating whether capitalism is valuable as an ideal and whether as an actually existing economic system it is good for women. In a discussion covering a broad range of social and economic issues, including unequal pay, industrial reforms and sweatshops, they examine how these and other issues relate to women and how (...) effectively to analyze what constitutes 'capitalism' and 'women's interests'. Each author also responds to the opposing arguments, providing a thorough debate of the topics covered. The resulting volume will interest a wide range of readers in philosophy, political theory, women's studies and global affairs. (shrink)
This paper presents Sen's theory of agency, focusing on the role of commitment in this theory as both problematic and potentially illuminating. His account of some commitments as goal-displacing gives rise to a dilemma given the standard philosophical theory of agency.Eithercommitment-motivated actions are externally motivated, in which case they are not expressions of agency,orsuch actions are internally motivated, in which case the commitment is not goal-displacing. I resolve this dilemma and accommodate his view of commitment as motivation by developing a (...) broader descriptive theory of agency, which recognizes both agent goal-directed and goal-displacing commitments. I propose a type of goal-displacing commitment, which I call ‘tacit commitment’, that can be seen to fit between the horns. Tacit commitments regulate behaviour without being made conscious and explicit. This resolution suggests a means of bridging the normative/descriptive gap in social-scientific explanation. (shrink)
This paper investigates an aspect of the question of whether capitalism can be defended as a morally legitimate economic system by asking whether capitalism serves progressive, feminist ends of freedom and gender equality. I argue that although capitalism is subject to critique for increasing economic inequality, it can be seen to decrease gender inequality, particularly in traditional societies. Capitalism brings technological and social innovations that are good for women, and disrupts traditions that subordinate women in materially beneficial and socially progressive (...) ways. Capitalism upholds the ideology of individual rights and the ideal of mutual advantage. By institutionalizing mutual advantage through the logic of voluntary exchange, progressive capitalism promotes the idea that no one is to be expected to sacrifice their interests with no expectation of benefit. Thus capitalism opposes the traditional, sexist ideal of womanly self-sacrifice. (shrink)
Contrary to the popular belief that feminism has gained a foothold in the many disciplines of the academy, the essays collected in Theorizing Backlash argue that feminism is still actively resisted in mainstream academia. Contributors to this volume consider the professional, philosophical, and personal backlashes against feminist thought, and reflect upon their ramifications. The conclusion is that the disdain and irrational resentment of feminism, even in higher education, amounts to a backlash against progress.
In international law, ‘humanitarian intervention’ refers to the use of military force by one nation or group of nations to stop genocide or other gross human rights violations in another sovereign nation. If humanitarian intervention is conceived as military in nature, it makes sense that only the most horrible, massive, and violent violations of human rights can justify intervention. Yet, that leaves many serious evils beyond the scope of legal intervention. In particular, violations of women's rights and freedoms often go (...) unchecked. To address this problem, I begin from two basic questions: When are violations of human rights sufficiently serious to require an international response of some sort? What should that response be? By re-orienting the aim and justification of international law to focus on individual autonomy rather than on peace between nations, I argue that women's rights violations other than genocide and mass rape can warrant intervention. Military intervention is often counter-productive to the aim of achieving autonomy, however. I suggest a range of responses to human rights violations that includes military intervention as one end of the spectrum, and combine this with a greater understanding of the scope of human rights violations that require international response. (shrink)
Although it may seem from its formalism that game theory must have sprung from the mind of John von Neumann as a corollary of his work on computers or theoretical physics, it should come as no real surprise to philosophers that game theory is the articulation of a historically developing philosophical conception of rationality in thought and action. The history of ideas about rationality is deeply contradictory at many turns. While there are theories of rationality that claim it is fundamentally (...) social and aims at understanding and molding all facets of human psychological life, game theory takes rationality to be essentially located in individuals and to concern only the means to achieve predetermined ends. Thus, there are some thinkers who have made important contributions to this history who do not appear in the story of game theory at all, among them, Plato, Kant, and Hegel. There is, however, a clear trail to follow linking theories of instrumental rationality from Aristotle to the nineteenth-century marginalist economists and ultimately to von Neumann and Morgenstern and contemporary game theorists, that historically grounds game theory as a model of rational interaction. (shrink)
Feminist Theory: A Philosophical Anthology addresses seven philosophically significant questions regarding feminism, its central concepts of sex and gender, and the project of centering women’s experience. Topics include the nature of sexist oppression, the sex/gender distinction, how gender-based norms influence conceptions of rationality, knowledge, and scientific objectivity, feminist ethics, feminst perspectives on self and autonomy, whether there exist distinct feminine moral perspectives, and what would comprise true liberation. Features an introductory overview illustrating the development of feminism as a philosophical movement (...) Contains both classic and contemporary sources of feminist thought, including selections by Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill, Simone de Beauvior, Kate Millett, bell hooks, Marilyn Frye, Martha Nussbaum, Louise Antony, Sally Haslanger, Helen Longino, Marilyn Friedman, Catharine MacKinnon, and Drucilla Cornell. (shrink)
This essay introduces the subject of this special issue by offering a characterization of analytic feminism in terms of its context, methods, and problem areas. I argue that analytic feminism is a legitimate subfield both of feminism and of analytic philosophy. I then summarize the problems addressed by the essays of this issue.
Margaret Crouch offers a balanced, comprehensive introduction to the philosophical, legal, and empirical issues surrounding the vexed topic of sexual harassment. The book is divided into two parts. The first discusses the competing conceptual schemes under which sexual harassment has been defined, the history of case law surrounding sexual harassment claims, and empirical measures of the extent and common beliefs about sexual harassment. The second part of the book treats philosophical and legal questions surrounding sexual harassment, and a concluding chapter (...) offers some suggestions for a political solution to the controversies. (shrink)
Chapter. 1. Philosophical. Perspectives. on. Democracy. in. the. Twenty-First. Century: Introduction. Ann E. Cudd and Sally J. Scholz Abstract Recent global movements, including the Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement, as well as polarizing ...
This work offers a timely philosophical analysis of interrelated normative questions concerning immigration and citizenship in relation to the global context of multiple nation states. In it, philosophers and scholars from the social sciences address both fundamental questions in moral and political philosophy as well as specific issues concerning policy. Topics covered in this volume include: the concept and the role of citizenship, the equal rights and representation of citizens, general moral frameworks for addressing immigration issues, the duty to obey (...) immigration law, the use of ethnic, cultural, or linguistic criteria for selective immigration, domestic violence as grounds for political asylum, and our duty to refugees in general. The urgency of the need to discuss these matters is clear. Several humanitarian crises involving human migration across national boundaries stemming from war, economic devastations, gang violence, and violence in ethnic or religious conflicts have unfolded. Political debates concerning immigration and immigrant communities are continuing in many countries, especially during election years. While there have always been migrating human beings, they raise distinctive issues in the modern era because of the political context under which the migrations take place, namely, that of a system of sovereign nation states with rights to control their borders and determine their memberships. This collection provides readers the opportunity to parse these complex issues with the help of diverse philosophical, moral, and political perspectives. (shrink)
Privacy is widely valued, especially in individualistic cultures, because people want to control access to their bodies and to information about their personal choices. Privacy can promote a variety of goods. It can protect intimacy among friends and colleagues and create trusting relations of tolerance among strangers. Privacy can promote dignity, since it can be embarrassing to disclose secret or unconsidered thoughts or opinions, or to reveal one’s naked body or other private spaces. Privacy can also contribute to our individuality, (...) self-respect, and autonomy; and privacy can protect us from a wide array of emotional or psychological harms associated with unwanted publicity. Privacy can also further important political and legal goods, including property rights, fraud prevention, and non-discrimination. (shrink)
Virginia Held argues that feminism has a distinct contribution to make to morality, one that will transform theory and society by beginning from the experiences of women and children. Her main thesis is that the mother-child relation should be taken as the primary moral relation and the model, at least initially, for all other relations in society. She spends the first four of the ten chapters of this book arguing for the distinctness of feminist moral theory; then chapters 5-7, chapter (...) 10, and the epilogue discussing the difference that taking the mother-child relationship as the paradigm for morality would make to theory and society; chapters 8 and 9 criticizing what she takes to be her major nonfeminist competitors, especially contractualist liberal theory. Regrettably, none of these projects are, I think, particularly successful or enlightening in their failure. (shrink)
Postcolonial feminist scholars have described some Western feminist activism as imperialistic, drawing a comparison to the work of Christian missionaries from the West, who aided in the project of colonization and assimilation of non-Western cultures to Western ideas and practices. This comparison challenges feminists who advocate global human rights ideals or objective appraisals of social practices, in effect charging them with neocolonialism. This essay defends work on behalf of universal human rights, while granting that activists should recognize their limitations in (...) local cultural knowledge. (shrink)
Most moral and political theories take agency to have special moral value, and to make the bearers of agency therefore worthy of particular moral concern. To be deprived of agency is to be wronged, and to be considered incapable of agency is to be denied respect. Thus, there is morally a lot at stake in how we conceptualize agency. Standard theories of agency, such as Bratman’s, focus on the individual use of practical reason through intention, planning, and goal-oriented action. On (...) this account there are many lack agency, however, such as, extremely poor persons, mentally disabled persons, and traditional, collectivist cultures. Instead of understanding the core of agency to lie in the use of goal-oriented reasoning, I argue that we should locate it in norm-guided and –guiding behavior. In this paper I sketch such an alternative account. On this picture agency is more of a collective than an individual achievement. Although not all norms and traditions are morally valuable, the ability to behave in norm-guided and –guiding ways is especially valuable because it enables higher order cognitive abilities and moral action. Goal-directed agency can be seen as a special case of basic agency, given norms of rationality and planning. (shrink)