Drawing on recent advances in analytic epistemology, feminist scholarship, and philosophy of science, Jane Duran's Toward a Feminist Epistemology is the first book that spells out in the detail required by a supportable epistemology what a feminist theory of knowledge would entail.
The work of Spinoza, Descartes and Leibniz is cited in an attempt to develop, both expositorily and critically, the philosophy of Anne Viscountess Conway. Broadly, it is contended that Conway's metaphysics, epistemology and account of the passions not only bear intriguing comparison with the work of the other well-known rationalists, but supersede them in some ways, particularly insofar as the notions of substance and ontological hierarchy are concerned. Citing the commentary of Loptson and Carolyn Merchant, and alluding to other commentary (...) on the Cambridge Platonists whose work was done in tandem with Conway's, it is contended that Conway's conception of the "monad" preceded and influenced Leibniz's, and that her monistic vitalism was in many respects a superior metaphysics to the Cartesian system. It is concluded that we owe Conway more attention and celebration than she has thus far received. (shrink)
Two major lines of argument support the notion that Hildegard of Bingen’s metaphysics is peculiarly gynocentric. Contra the standard commentary on her work, the focus is not on the notion of viriditas; rather, the first line of argument presents a specific delineation of her ontology, demonstrating that it is a graded hierarchy of beings, many of which present feminine aspects of the divine, and all of which establish the metaphysical notion of interpenetrability. The second line of argument specifically contrasts her (...) thought to that of Aquinas and Meister Eckhart, noting areas of similarity and difference. It is concluded that the visionary origins of Hildegard’s work may have to some extent precluded our understanding of it, and that her work merits consideration not only philosophically and theologically but from the standpoint of its early presentation of a gynocentric worldview. (shrink)
This article examines the work of the seventeenth-century thinker Catharine Trotter Cockburn with an eye toward explication of her trenchant empiricism, and the foundations upon which it rested. It is argued that part of the originality of Cockburn's work has to do with her consistent line of thought with regard to evidence from the senses and the process of abstract conceptualization; in this she differed strongly from some of her contemporaries. The work of Martha Brandt Bolton and Fidelis Morgan is (...) cited, and there is an auxiliary argument to the effect that Cockburn is probably better known as a playwright than she is as a philosophical thinker. (shrink)
I cite areas of pragmatism and feminism that have an intersection with or an appeal to the other, including the notions of the universal and/or normative, and foundationalist lines in general. I deal with three areas from each perspective and develop the notion of their intersection. Finally, the paper discusses the importance of a pragmatic view for women's lives and the importance of psychoanalytic theory for finding another area where pragmatism and feminism mesh.
This book presents the current feminist critique of science and the philosophy of science in such a way that students of philosophy of science, philosophers, feminist theorists, and scientists will find the material accessible and intellectually rigorous.Contemporary feminist debate, as well as the debate brought on by the radical critics of science, assumes—incorrectly—that certain movements in philosophy of science and science-driven theory are understood in their dynamics as well as in their details. All too often, labels such as “Kuhnian” or (...) “positivistic” are taken for granted, and much of the contemporary postmodern or post-structuralist feminist theory that sets out to criticize science does little to alleviate the reader’s lack of knowledge with regard to such movements.Unlike other texts, Philosophies of Science: Feminist Theories provides a student-oriented framework so that, for example, positivism is given a thorough grounding before the feminist critique of such epistemological theory is given. Other movements discussed include the Kuhnian turn, sociology of science, and the radical critique of science. Feminist theory and critique are interwoven throughout, with one chapter devoted to feminist thought, which includes the work of such thinkers as Longino, Hararway, Hubbard, Nelson, Harding, and Keller. (shrink)
Susan Stebbing's Thinking to Some Purpose is analysed along the lines of contemporary efforts in critical thinking, and some of the problematized media material of her time. It is concluded that what Stebbing recommends is difficult to achieve, but worth the effort.Export citation.
This article argues that Maria Stewart is an underappreciated abolitionist, and a worthy exponent of the Black views of the 1830s. Her work is compared with that of David Walker, Charlotte Forten, and Anna Julia Cooper. A focal point of much of her work is her exhortation to the high moral ground—she remains concerned, throughout her career, about the temptations faced by many during the nineteenth century that might lead them to a non-Christian path. As is the case with Charlotte (...) Forten, who frequently moved for more formal education, Stewart worked ceaselessly to impel Black Americans to a worthy and virtuous life. (shrink)
Spanning over nine hundred years, Eight Women Philosophers is the first singly-authored work to trace the themes of standard philosophical theorizing and feminist thought across women philosophers in the Western tradition. Jane Duran has crafted a comprehensive overview of eight women philosophers--Hildegard of Bingen, Anne Conway, Mary Astell, Mary Wollstonecraft, Harriet Taylor Mill, Edith Stein, Simone Weil, and Simone de Beauvoir--that underscores the profound and continuing significance of these thinkers for contemporary scholars. Duran devotes one chapter to each philosopher and (...) provides a sustained critical analysis of her work, utilizing aspects of Continental theory, poststructuralist theory, and literary theory. (shrink)
Jane Duran's Worlds of Knowing begins to fill an enormous gap in the literature of feminist epistemology: a wide-ranging, cross-cultural primer on worldviews and epistemologies of various cultures and their appropriations by indigenous feminist movements in those cultures. It is the much needed epistemological counterpart to work on cross-cultural feminist social and political philosophy. This project is absolutely breath-taking in scope, yet a manageable read for anyone with some background in feminist theory, history, or anthropology. Duran draws many comparisons and (...) connections to Western philosophical and feminist ideas, yet avoids facile or imperialistic over-universalization. Her book is powerful, comprehensive, and brave. It will prove an enormously useful resource for scholars in women's studies, philosophy, anthropology, religious studies, and history. (shrink)
An analysis of the specific yogurt and phone microcredit schemes in Bangladesh is made along three lines of argument. It is important to note that these schemes are pulled together by NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) to assist women and children in developing areas to attain financial independence—the first line employs leftist criticism of the corporate constructs, and an additional line of inquiry compares some of the programs to those in other nations. A final line of argument analyzes the specific cultural views (...) of Bengali Islam and the long tradition of Bengali literacy. It is concluded that, despite areas of difficulty, the programs are in general beneficial. (shrink)
This is a unique, groundbreaking study in the history of philosophy, combining leading men and women philosophers across 2600 years of Western philosophy, covering key foundational topics, including epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics. Introductory essays, primary source readings, and commentaries comprise each chapter to offer a rich and accessible introduction to and evaluation of these vital philosophical contributions. A helpful appendix canvasses an extraordinary number of women philosophers throughout history for further discovery and study.
Jane Duran's Worlds of Knowing begins to fill an enormous gap in the literature of feminist epistemology: a wide-ranging, cross-cultural primer on worldviews and epistemologies of various cultures and their appropriations by indigenous feminist movements in those cultures. It is the much needed epistemological counterpart to work on cross-cultural feminist social and political philosophy. This project is absolutely breath-taking in scope, yet a manageable read for anyone with some background in feminist theory, history, or anthropology. Duran draws many comparisons and (...) connections to Western philosophical and feminist ideas, yet avoids facile or imperialistic over-universalization. Her book is powerful, comprehensive, Pnd brave. It will prove an enormously useful resource for scholars in women's studies, philosophy, anthropology, religious studies and history. (shrink)
Several lines of argument are presented to support the notion that hooved animal rescue is justified, however expensive and controversial. The work of Singer and McNamee is discussed. The article concludes that various breeds have distinct arguments in their favour when it comes to rescue.
The questions surrounding the reintroduction of species, both avian and mammal, to areas in which they were originally found are examined with citation to the literature involving actual attempts at reintroduction, and lines of argument brought to bear on the discussion by ethicists and ecologists. It is concluded that the dangers surrounding most reintroductions are, if anything, understated, but that deep ecology or preservationist views still support such efforts, if undertaken in sound ways.
This article analyzes Elizabeth Anscombe's short piece “Hume and Julius Caesar” from the standpoint of traditional foundationalist epistemic criteria, and concludes that while Anscombe may be right about finding a mistake in Hume, she has also failed to fill in her own arguments in the way that her overall aim requires. Special allusion is made to the work of J. L. Austin, especially insofar as that work has to do with reformulating sentences so that they appear to meet foundationalist criteria.
The work of Cox, Bales, Dingwaney, and others is cited in an effort to construct an argument about the special rights violations of contemporary slavery. It is contended that two forms, debt bondage and sexual slavery, are related and bear close examination.
Much work has recently been done on Jane Addams, her writings, and the general atmosphere and thought associated with Hull House and other settlement places in American cities.1 But although we might think of Addams and her work as the center of the Hull House effort, many other women (and a few men) were involved in the efforts, and the strengths that they brought to bear on the activities in Chicago in the early part of the twentieth century need to (...) be delineated and, to some extent, given pride of place. Two women whose work was applauded by Addams at the time, but whose thought remains somewhat under investigated are Ellen Gates Starr and Julia Lathrop. Indeed, Addams wrote a book about her partnership with .. (shrink)
Margaret Fuller's name today often appears when the Transcendentalists in general are mentioned-we may hear of her in the course of writing on Emerson, or Bronson Alcott-but not nearly enough work about Margaret herself, her thought, and her remarkable childhood has been done in recent times.1 Interestingly enough, her name surfaces in connection with some theorizing done about same-sex relationships, but the great import of Fuller's editing of "The Dial," a periodical of the time, her authoring of Woman in the (...) Nineteenth Century, and her life of adventure and rebellion has seldom been articulated.2A virtual child prodigy, Margaret Fuller was educated at home in a way reminiscent of the sort of education given to .. (shrink)
The work of Quilligan, Kelley, Gardner and others is alluded to in an effort to argue that Christine de Pisan’s Book of the City of Ladies is an early example of a philosophically feminist view. The importance of allegory as a literary construct is discussed, and it is concluded that Christine stands midway between the preceding medievals and the women thinkers of the seventeenth century. In addition, it is concluded that the importance of de Pisan’s work as a bridge between (...) the two eras cannot be overlooked, and that only recently has substantive scholarship on her begun to emerge that would point a clear way to her standing. (shrink)
The current project of "naturalizing" epistemology has left epistemologists with a plethora of theories alleged to fall under that rubric. Recent epistemic justification theorists have seemed to want to focus on theories of epistemic justification that are more contextualized (naturalized) and less normatively global than those of the past. This paper has two central arguments: (i) that if justification is seen from a naturalized standpoint, more attention to the actual process of epistemic justification might be in order (and, hence, that (...) the justificatory set might come to be seen more descriptively and less normatively), and (ii) that if any theory of epistemic justification were to be normatively accurate, regardless of the size of its justificatory set, then one of the requirements upon it might well be that key terms in the set would refer, in the spirit of the new scientific realism. The central thesis of the paper relies on the normative/descriptive distinction as applicable to epistemic justification theory and also relies on an intuitively plausible account of the process of epistemic justification as engaged in by an epistemic agent and skeptical challenger. (shrink)
Lines of argument to support the notion that global bioethics can use work from feminist epistemology are set out, and much of the support for such contentions comes from specific cases of ethical issues in indigenous cultures. Theorists such as Kuhse, Arizpe, Egnor and Bumiller are cited, and it is concluded that local feminist epistemologies often conflict with standard ethical views, but that the failure to incorporate feminist thought undercuts hopes to establish a viable bioethics on an international scale.
The status of polygamy as a cultural artifact is investigated across a number of societies, and it is concluded that polygamy is extremely violative of the rights of a number of individuals in the societies in which it occurs, and not simply women. Extensive citation is made to the work of Elissa Wall on American polygamous groups in the Southwest.
In this paper, a number of lines of argument buttress and support the contention that Dirty Hands is a comparatively undervalued part of the Sartrean oeuvre. Using commentary from Bell and Pellauer, and employing categories relevant also to the work of Beauvoir and Camus, the paper comes to the conclusion that Hugo, as the central character of the play, is an exemplary Sartrean protagonist, and that the play is worthy of more attention than it has received. An important part of (...) the central assertion is that the play is as critical a part of the Sartrean dramatic canon as The Flies and No Exit. (shrink)
Drawing on core concepts in feminist philosophy, this book investigates five major issues from a feminist point of view: immigration, environmental preservation, intervention in medical areas, the peace movement, and matters of citizenship.
Much recent work has been done on Plato’s notion of the female Guardian, but examples are limited. Jane Duran argues that aristocratic women of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are indeed exemplary and embody the concept of Guardianship.
In this paper I describe a shift in Russell’s views on names from the time of “The Philosophy of Logical Atomism” to An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth. It is the burden of the paper that the shift arose because Russell saw an ontological and epistemological problem created by his previous account of names, and because he then tried to correct it, while simultaneously endeavoring to establish an account consistent with science. Two lines of argument are employed to support this (...) conclusion. In the first I cite the “Occam’s Razor” ontology of “Logical Atomism” and contrast it with the more fully developed ontology of the later work, incidentally citing the remarks of commentators such as Ayer. In the second line of argument I specifically adduce material designed to show the metaphysical and epistemic import of the change in view on the status of names, noting that the significance of the change goes far beyond mere usage of terms. Finally, in a subsidiary line of argument, I sketch Russell’s generally foundationalist approach to epistemology. (shrink)
The first volume to explore comprehensively the intersection of feminism, politics and philosophy, Women in Political Theory sheds light on the contributions of women philosophers and theorists to contemporary political thought. With close attention to the work of five central thinkers, including Sarah Grimké, Anna Julia Cooper, Jane Addams, Rosa Luxemburg and Hannah Arendt, this book not only offers sustained analyses of the thought of these leading figures, but also examines their relationship with established political theorists of the past, demonstrating (...) that each of the figures covered was indeed a political theorist of her time. (shrink)
New work on women thinkers often makes the point that philosophical conceptual thought is where we find it, examples such as Simone de Beauvoir and the nineteenth century Black American writer Anna Julia Cooper assure us that there is ample room for the development of philosophy in literary works but as yet there has been no single unifying attempt to trace such projects among a variety of women novelists. This book articulates philosophical concerns in the work of five well known (...) twentieth century women writers, including writers of color. Duran traces the development of philosophical themes - ontological, ethical and feminist - in the writings of Margaret Drabble, Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, Toni Cade Bambara and Elena Poniatowska presenting both a general overview of the author's work with an emphasis on traditional philosophical questions and a detailed feminist reading of the work. (shrink)
In its comprehensive overview of Alain Locke's pragmatist philosophy this book captures the radical implications of Locke's approach within pragmatism, the critical temper embedded in Locke's works, the central role of power and empowerment of the oppressed and the concept of broad democracy Locke employed.
A contrast is developed between the educational views of van Schurman and Astell, revolving around their sense of Christian piety and their stance on women’s place in the social and political sphere. The work of Irwin, Hill, and others is cited, and it is concluded that important differences between the views of the two thinkers can be delineated, and that doing so helps us to understand the intellectual and philosophical milieu of the seventeenth century. In addition, the debate sheds light (...) on today’s gender-essentialism controversies in education, and the extent to which intellectual rationality is a general human virtue. (shrink)