Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Philosphy Born of Struggle Conference October 15, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sam B @ 5:33 pm

The program and registration information is available here for “Racism, Empire, and Sexual Violence,” a conference being held Oct. 31 – Nov. 1, 2014 at Paine College in Augusta, GA.



1000 word philosophy on feminism: The Difference Approach October 14, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sam B @ 5:41 pm

In April Annaleigh Curtis wrote the first in a three-part series on philosophical feminism over at 1000-Word Philosophy Now she’s just published her second excellent essay in the series, “The Difference Approach.” Link: http://1000wordphilosophy.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/feminism-part-2-the-difference-approach/



A different perspective on Malala October 13, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennysaul @ 7:47 pm

from philosopher Saba Fatima:

However, some Pakistanis are wary of this recognition, precisely because it fits neatly into a Western narrative of backward Muslim countries. Yet again, the West rescues and honors brown women who defy their barbaric cultures. This is not to say that Malala is a stooge of the West (as some lunatic conspiracy theorist claim.) In fact, her agency is on full display and her strength shines through her character. Indeed she ought to be a source of pride for the country.

The wariness stems from the lack of outrage at death of young girls caused by acts in which the West is complicit in, such as drone strikes, and a simultaneous embrace of those girls that highlight Pakistan’s regression on women’s rights. For people in the west, indignation comes much easier at the oppression of women/girls’ rights by the Taliban in Pakistan’s northern regions, however, there is a glaring absence of any reflection (and a definite absence of outrage) on our complicity in these very same girls’ death by drones.


Kate Manne in the NY Times

Filed under: Uncategorized — magicalersatz @ 12:35 am

Kate Manne writes this week’s The Stone column in the NY Times, focusing on humanity, humanism, and race- and gender-based oppression. Here’s an excerpt:

I used to be a humanist in this sense of the term. But I am fast losing my religion. Dehumanization increasingly seems to me to be merely a symptom of the problem. The problem being precisely that black people are being seen as people — and they are seen as being threatening, and taken down, because of it.

The humanist line on Ferguson is unduly optimistic, and rests on a psychologically dubious assumption. Namely, that when people who have historically enjoyed a dominant position in society (in this case white men) come to recognize historically subordinated people (racial minorities, women) as their moral and social equals, they will welcome the newcomers.  But seeing others as similar to ourselves can lead to hostility and resentment under certain conditions. It’s true that Orwell’s vision of a person running across the battlefield holding up his trousers during the Spanish civil war transformed an enemy combatant into a vulnerable human being in his eyes — someone who must have been undressed or indisposed moments before the gunfire started. But this humanizing vision involved no loss of status for Orwell. He felt sorry for the man. He saw him as ridiculous.

The situation is different when it comes to white men’s perception of non-whites and women. Over time, as the fight for equality has allowed some advancement and social mobility for racial minorities, as well as for women, toward what we might call the inner circle of humanity, white men have experienced a relative loss of status. And they now have more rivals for desirable positions. Add to that the fact that they may find themselves surpassed by those they tacitly expected to be in social positions beneath them, and we have a recipe for resentment and the desire to regain dominance.


The racist heritage of academia October 11, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — axiothea @ 10:53 am

Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman delves into the history of racism, and in particular in the work of Francis Galton and his links with University College London. Read his THE article, and watch his short film: Eugenics at UCL: We Inherited Galton.

These were published in commemoration of the following event:

On 10 October 1904, Francis Galton wrote to Sir Arthur Rücker (Principal of the University of London) with an offer to fund a study of National Eugenics, which he defined as: ‘the influences that are socially controllable, on which the status of the nation depends. These are of two classes: (1) those which affect the race itself and (2) those which affect its health.’

Nathaniel also asks that we support the project by commenting on the film and the article, and by sharing them widely, using the hashtag #UCLfacesRACE.


Moving forward October 10, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — magicalersatz @ 7:37 pm

Commenting on some recent news, Justin at Daily Nous reflects:

Whatever the reasons, things are now changing. Over the past couple of years, philosophers have witnessed the emergence of a new consensus—one that rejects acquiescence to abuses of power in philosophy, one that seeks to overturn rather than turn away from the profession’s problems, one that seeks to support rather than silence the vulnerable. At the same time, the consensus reinforces two very traditional pillars of philosophical practice: first, it recognizes that criticism is the currency with which philosophers pay respect to one another while insults are just cheap counterfeits, and second, that we should go wherever the arguments and inquiries take us, putting aside philosophical prejudices and erasing boundaries if need be.

This is, of course, the kind of thing Carrie Jenkins was talking about in her now-famous-sub-things-philosophers-talk-about-online blog post about being nice. It would be such a shame if the main thing people remember about that post is that Brian Leiter got really mad about it, since that’s far from the most interesting thing about it. We’ve had a lot of conversations recently about things in our profession that we don’t like, and what we don’t want our profession to include. Hopefully we can now also – following Carrie’s example – have some constructive conversations about what we do like and what we do want our profession to include.

With that in mind, I wanted to draw attention to a recent comment from David Manley on our old thread inviting people to take Carrie’s ‘Be Nice’ pledge:

Carrie, thank you for articulating these goals so incisively. I also take the pledge and would like to be held accountable. I find it far more effective to consciously commit myself to specific goals rather than relying on a vague background intention to be nice or civil. It’s too easy to allow the boundaries of the latter sort of rule to shift ‘in the moment’!

It took me too long to learn this. Back in graduate school I was one of those people who would have found this sort of thing unnecessary and likely to stifle the necessary ‘rough and tumble exchange’ of philosophical ideas. I have come to realize that I was just wrong–- the most productive philosophical exchanges I have witnessed are entirely consistent with these goals. And what I thought of as the ‘rough and tumble exchange of ideas’ was too frequently in fact a destructive clash of egos that obscured whatever real philosophy was at stake.

I’ve learned all this over the years largely due to the wonderful example of many of my friends and colleagues, as well as venues (like this one) that offer a space to discuss key issues like microaggression & stereotype threat, including first-person accounts of those who have had to deal with these things. Thanks to the folks here for this transformative service.

David Manley
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

I suspect the experience David describes so well is a common one. It’s easy to confuse tough philosophy with aggressive philosophy. (I know I’ve done it in the past, and probably still do sometimes.) But they can and do come apart. Those of us who want a kinder, more hospitable profession aren’t delicate flowers afraid of getting our precious feelings hurt by your devastating counterexample. And we aren’t that worried about your tone. Norms of respect, kindness, inclusiveness, and consideration are something else entirely, and something we can strive for without sacrificing philosophical rigor.


On Halloween Costumes That Reinforce Sex Differences

Filed under: Uncategorized — phrynefisher @ 4:54 pm

“We need to sex-mark, and get socially confused when we cannot.  As Frye puts it, our utterances and interactions become unintelligible because “Sex-marking is not optional; it is as obligatory as it is pervasive.” And it is easiest to sex mark when we separate girls and boys so widely that there is no possibility for confusion.  Frye contends that “The pressure on each of us to guess or determine the sex of everybody else both generates and is exhibited in a great pressure on each of us to inform everybody all the time of our sex.” This, however, dramatically limits the dreams and fantasies of boys and girls, especially at Halloween which is precisely a time for liminality, for occupying the space between fantasy and reality …”

Seasonal reflections from Alison Reiheld.


Must. Hate. Body. October 7, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennysaul @ 8:08 am



From here. Thanks, Mr Jender!


Play “Philosophy Spotlight” October 6, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — KateNorlock @ 7:50 pm

From Gabriele Contessa — see his blog for the details as to how to submit:

New Feature/Call for Proposals: The Philosophy Spotlight

… It will consist in a post by a philosopher, X, recommending a paper by another philosopher, Y, and explaining briefly the content of the paper and why they think the paper should be widely read.
The only necessary conditions are:

  1. X is distinct from Y (no self-nominations and no anonymous nominations, sorry!).
  2. Y does not work for a Leiterific department (I hate to have to do so but we are going to rely on the latest PGR ranking to determine whether a department is Leiterific, On this interpretation, D is not a Leiterific Department iff D does not appear on the general “international” top-50 list of the latest PGR).
  3. Y has agreed for his/her paper to appear on The Philosopher’s Spotlight.

Some further considerations you might want to keep in mind in choosing a paper to nominate (none of them amounts to a necessary condition; nor does their disjunction).

  • Y’s paper is not published in a top journal.
  • Y is a philosopher who belongs to an underrepresented group in philosophy (since this is not a necessary criterion, I’m not going to specify what I mean).
  • Y’s paper is of broad philosophical interest.
  • … (I might keep adding optional criteria here. Please feel free to suggest additional optional criteria in the comments!)

The History of Philosophy as a giant poster, but without women (again). October 3, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — axiothea @ 3:16 pm

The History of Philosophy as a giant poster, but without women (again)..

It just oughtn’t to be acceptable anymore for members of the profession to react to this depiction of the history of our discipline without protest.

Significant or interesting philosophers of the past were NOT all men, and even if women were a minority, it is not such a small minority that it couldn’t show in a pictorial representation.

I am not saying that the creator of the poster is to blame, but that we, as professional philosophers, should probably not consider using this as a teaching resource.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,673 other followers