Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Feminist philosopher Susan Brison in Harper’s September 15, 2014

Filed under: feminist philosophy,feminist scholars,rape,Uncategorized — Lady Day @ 7:51 pm

[Trigger warning: violence, sexual assault]

In “Cassandra Among the Creeps,” the cover essay of the latest Harper’s magazine, Rebecca Solnit considers the various ways in which women are silenced. She draws a line from the titular mythical figure to Dylan Farrow, both of whose testimony was doubted, if to differing degrees. But, as Solnit observes, the mechanisms of silencing can be external or internal: “First come the internal inhibitions, self-doubts, repressions, confusions, and shame that make it difficult to impossible to speak, along with the fear of being punished or ostracized for doing so.” In illustration of internal silencing, Solnit cites Aftermathfeminist philosopher Susan Brison’s account of her 1990 rape, and of her trauma and recovery. The article is behind a paywall, but here’s a snippet:

Susan Brison, now chair of the philosophy department at Dartmouth, was raped in 1990 by a man, a stranger, who called her a whore and told her to shut up before choking her repeatedly, bashing her head with a stone, and leaving her for dead. Afterward she found various problems in talking about the experience: “It was one thing to have decided to speak and write about my rape, but another to find the voice with which to do it. Even after my fractured trachea had healed, I frequently had trouble speaking. I was never entirely mute, but I often had bouts of what a friend labeled ‘fractured speech,’ during which I stuttered and stammered, unable to string together a simple sentence without the words scattering like a broken necklace.”

 

NeuroGenderings III September 1, 2014

Below is a list of podcasts from Neurogenderings III, a conference on the brain and gender, held this year in May. The podcasts are available here.

I heard Jordan-Young at a conference in honor of Anne Fasto-Sterling a week before the conference; I do recommend listening to her. And if you think that sex is purely biological then you will find Anne F-S’s keynote very interesting, I hope. The other speakers are very distinguished scholars.

Dr Cynthia KRAUS, Senior lecturer at the Institute of social sciences of the University of Lausanne. Opening words to NeuroGenderings III: the first international Dissensus** Conference, 8 May 2014, University of Lausanne.

Prof. Franciska KRINGS, Vice-Rector of the University of Lausanne. Welcome words to NeuroGenderings III: the first international Dissensus Conference, 8 May 2014, University of Lausanne.

KEYNOTES

Rebecca JORDAN-YOUNG, Tow Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Barnard College. Sex as Chimera: Tools for (Un)Thinking Difference.

Gillian EINSTEIN, Visiting Professor of Neuroscience and Gender Medicine, Linköping University, Associate Professor of Psychology, Dalla Landa School of Public Health, University of Toronto. When Does a Difference Make a Difference? Exemples from Situated Neuroscience.

Georgina RIPPON, Professor of Cognitive NeuroImaging, Aston University. Functional Neuroimaging (FNI) and Sex/Gender Research: of Differences, Dichotomies and Entanglement.

Anne FAUSTO-STERLING, Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Biology and Gender Studies, Brown University. How Your Generic Baby Aquires Gender.

**from your dictionary.com: When a large group of people is very unhappy with a certain policy or event, this collective unhappiness is an example of dissensus.

 

Feminist Philosophy of Science at Ghent. June 25, 2014

Filed under: CFP,feminist philosophy,science — axiothea @ 8:50 am

Ghent 24-25 November, 2014

The Department of Philosophy & Moral Sciences of Ghent University welcomes abstracts for an international workshop on Feminist Philosophy of Science.

Invited keynote speaker is Stéphanie Ruphy (Université Pierre Mendès Greboble, France).

We welcome paper proposals on a variety of topics related to the conference theme, including (but not limited to) contributions to:

  • feminist philosophy of science
  • feminist science(s)
  • the role of science(s) in feminism(s)
  • the status of feminist philosophy of science in philosophy (of science)
  • the history of feminist philosophy of science
  • etc

Please send abstracts (max. 500 words) prepared for anonymous review to Eric Schliesser  by July 1, 2014.  Please include identifying information in separate page or accompanying email.

See here for more details.

 

Great minds and ignoble deeds May 21, 2014

It is appalling to read about philosophers sexually harassing/assaulting vulnerable people, but is it surprising? An article in yesterday’s New York Times argues that we should not expect better.

The life of an intellectual, Mr. Ignatieff [Michael Ignatieff, the Canadian academic-cum-politician] claims, provides a petri dish for the universal human experiment of thinking, being and doing. It’s a lovely idea. The trouble is that intellectuals seem no better at it than anyone else. They often think great thoughts, while being ignoble characters. Maybe Mill and Berlin and John Dewey were noble characters. But Marx was a serial adulterer, Karl Popper was a pompous narcissist, and Heidegger was a fascist. Elite thinkers, maybe: but as amateurish humans as the rest of us.

I’m not so sure, but there are a lot of issues that need clarification before we’re in a good position to accept or reject the article. Still, there are some points we can make. Great achievements typically require concentration and caring. The idea of caring that extends to what one says and not at all to what one does is puzzling. One expects a great scientist to care very much about the truth of his words. But then what does that care look like if it allows lying in letters of reference to reward sexual compliance?

And isn’t philosophy, at least when it is about human life, different? On the other hand, maybe moral behavior requires more than morally apt thinking. For example, perhaps a capacity for empathy. And a love of truth in one area may co-exist with a capacity for self-deception that enables a lot of borrowing from others. E.g., plagarism.

Perhaps, then, we need to recognize that there are many character flaws that can disconnect behavior from thought. I myself would still, at least at this point in time, like to think that at least for some areas really vicious behavior will mean one does not have the capacity for some great intellectual tasks. But is that really true?

What do you think?

A remarkable example of disconnect was explained recently by Bob Dylan. I thought of him as the voice (or a voice) of a generation of protestors. But, as he has said, that’s not at all what he was doing. He was just a musician. So where did those wonderfully apposite lyrics come from? It was, he says, simply magic.

In fact, many people report a similar experience (I think). As Feymann put it, suddenly boom, boom, the answer is there. Ownership may seem tenuous, and connection with character very problematic.

 

Syllabi on Underrepresented Areas of Philosophy May 8, 2014

Filed under: feminist philosophy,internet — Stacey Goguen @ 2:57 pm

You can download sample syllabi from the areas of philosophy listed below. I think this is a great resource that a lot of people (myself included) have wished existed. Now it does!

(Link to the whole list of syllabi.)

African/Africana and African-American Philosophy; American Philosophy; Asian and Asian-American Philosophy; Bioethics; Feminist Philosophy; Indigenous Philosophy; Introduction to Philosophy; Islamic Philosophy; Latin American Philosophy; LGBTQ Philosophy; Multicultural/World Philosophies; Philosophy and Disability; Philosophy of Action; Philosophy of Art; Philosophy of Biology; Philosophy of Economics; Philosophy of Gender; Philosophy of Race; Philosophy of Religion;  Philosophy of Sport;  Philosophy of Science;  Social and Political Philosophy

 

TransAdvocate Interview with Judith Butler on Gender Identity May 3, 2014

The TransAdvocate recently posted an interview with Judith Butler on gender and gender identity, specifically surrounding trans* issues. There are a lot of quotable gems in there, so I encourage you to check it out!

 

“We [all] form ourselves within the vocabularies that we did not choose”

 

“No matter whether one feels one’s gendered and sexed reality to be firmly fixed or less so, every person should have the right to determine the legal and linguistic terms of their embodied lives.”

 

“My sense is that we may not need the language of innateness or genetics to understand that we are all ethically bound to recognize another person’s declared or enacted sense of sex and/or gender. We do not have to agree upon the “origins” of that sense of self to agree that it is ethically obligatory to support and recognize sexed and gendered modes of being that are crucial to a person’s well-being.”

 

“Sometimes there are ways to minimize the importance of gender in life, or to confuse gender categories so that they no longer have descriptive power. But other times gender can be very important to us, and some people really love the gender that they have claimed for themselves. If gender is eradicated, so too is an important domain of pleasure for many people. And others have a strong sense of self bound up with their genders, so to get rid of gender would be to shatter their self-hood. I think we have to accept a wide variety of positions on gender. Some want to be gender-free, but others want to be free really to be a gender that is crucial to who they are.”

 

Schliesser on de Gournay: sexism is “serious blasphemy” April 26, 2014

Yesterday, at his Digressions & Impressions blog, Eric Schliesser posted a (second) lovely discussion of 17th century philosopher Marie de Gournay and her account of the Church’s role in the subordination of women. Strikingly, de Gournay argues that, in having played this role, Christianity also oppresses men, by encouraging them to make idols of themselves.

For, men have chosen to let themselves be ruled by “superiority of…strength” (73) and not their rational faculty. In fact, she argues that in so doing men have committed “serious blasphemy” because men have elevated themselves above women. For, women are “worthy of being made in the image of the Creator, of benefiting from the most holy Eucharist and the mysteries of redemption and of paradise, and of the vision–indeed, the possession–of God.” (73) Man’s political decision to deny women “the advantages or privileges of man” is, thus, a way to make an idol of himself. 

De Gournay’s argument is a powerful reply to the Pauline-Augustinian argument that woman only expresses God’s image when she is united to man (de Trinitate, Book 12, Ch. 7). I know what I’ll be adding to the syllabus the next time I teach philosophy of gender. Thanks, Eric!

 

Free access to a special issue of Hypatia! March 26, 2014

Filed under: feminist philosophy — magicalersatz @ 6:01 pm

You can get free access to Hypatia’s special issue Interstices: Inheriting Women of Color Feminist Philosophy edited by Kristie Dotson.

 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/hypa.12077/abstract

 

Sally Haslanger on Philosop-her January 31, 2014

Filed under: feminist philosophy,race — Jender @ 8:51 pm

UPDATE: This has been reposted due to the request of commenters to have a record of the discussion. In addition, comments have now been reopened to allow the posting of an apology. I ask commenters to be especially careful to respect the “Be Nice” rule. Comments will be closed again if the discussion turns nasty.

Recently I’ve been arguing that there has been insufficient attention in the analytic philosophical literature to the domain of social practices. On the one hand, mainstream analytic political philosophers spend a lot of time thinking about the State and institutions that form the “basic structure” of society, but (perhaps due to the influence of political liberalism) do not consider the micro-politics embedded in the practices of everyday life. Ethicists, on the other hand, tend to focus on individual action (character, will) and often don’t even consider that an agent, in acting, is engaged in a social practice.

More here!

 

Gender-Inclusive Conferences Session January 1, 2014

Update: Now with John Protevi’s talk: 2013 APA Eastern session final draft

Another bit of the APA I was sad to miss was the session on Gender-Inclusive Conferences, which featured Kate Norlock, John Protevi and Jason Stanley.  (It was organised by Nancy Bauer.)  It sounds awesome– standing room only and really great papers and discussion.  I’m very pleased, though, to be able to post Kate’s powerpoints, the draft talks that Jason and John presented.

Here’s Kate’s talk: Why and How to Organize a Gender-balanced Conference

Here’s Jason’s talk: apacomments

Enjoy!!

 

 
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