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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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 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)
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)
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)
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 argument that a holistic analysis of Dewey's work, drawing not only on the major portions subject to extensive commentary (such as Experience and Nature) but also on his aesthetics, provides fuel for feminist theorizing is sustained by advertence to the standard commentary and also to new work in aesthetic feminism itself. Sleeper, Rorty, Hickman and Russell are cited, and the recent resurgence of interest in developing the intersection between analytic aesthetics and feminist aesthetics is alluded to. It is concluded (...) that the enterprising feminist theorist may suffer from an embarrassment of riches in attempting to approach Dewey but that such an approach is well worth the effort. (shrink)
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.
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)
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)
ABSTRACT The work of Chester Himes, as exemplified by Real Cool Killers, is examined for its attention to social issues. It is concluded, as Polito has contended, that Himes is gifted at portraying an inner-city world and its problems. In a sense, Himes’s work also speaks to the post-World War II existential issues that drive some of the writing of Richard Wright.
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.
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)
Examining the writings of Katherine Parr both from the standpoint of metaphysical issues of her time and her status as a writer of the Tudor era, it is concluded that Queen Katherine had a developed humanist ontology, and one that coincided with a great deal of the new learning of the Henrician period, whether stridently Protestant or not. Analyses from James, Dubrow, and McConica are alluded to, and a comparison is made to some of the currents at work in English (...) intellectual life at that time. (shrink)
The work of MacKinnon, Pheterson and others is cited to examine what are commonly described as libertarian arguments for the decriminalization of sex work. Original Marxist lines of analysis are also examined, and it is concluded that the dangers of sex work outweigh the notion that there is no compelling state interest in suppressing it.
lydia maria child was one of the best-known women intellectuals of the nineteenth century on the American scene, and yet her name is not often heard today.1 Although it might seem gratuitous to attempt to label a thinker—and, in some cases, not only unnecessary, but demeaning—there is ample reason to think that Child can be called a transcendentalist, as well as an early abolitionist and feminist. In any case, the independent and very forward-looking work of this woman thinker of her (...) time, it can be argued, deserves further consideration and is not without philosophical import.Child’s name comes up now because there is renewed interest in a number of circles in the efforts of abolitionists, both black.. (shrink)
Sati as a trope for the general status of women within certain portions of the Hindu cultures of India is examined, with a view toward clarification of its history and current context. The work of Sangari and Vaid, Banerjee and Mala Sen is cited, and the notion that sati is a misappropriated concept is analyzed.
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.
It is argued that the thought of Lady Jane Grey has received too little attention, and that her name and beliefs need to be resuscitated. The work of Levin, DeLisle and others is alluded to, and it is concluded that Grey was a devoted Dissenter of her time with explicit beliefs.