Jason Stanley on how feminist philosophy has influenced him


My first book, Knowledge and Practical Interests, was in fact squarely in epistemology, arguing for the thesis that epistemic properties and relations have a practical dimension to them. I was helped in thinking through this project by my acquaintance with debates in feminist theory by scholars such as Genevieve Lloyd, who, at least on one reading argue that properties such as rationality are gendered, and hence not “pure” or “objective.” Thinking through this work when working with Chris Sturr at Cornell exposed me to the conceptual options for a thesis of the sort I advanced in this work, that epistemic properties and relations are not “pure” (to use the vocabulary of Jeremy Fantl and Matthew McGrath).

Jason Stanley is very much a mainstream philosopher of language and epistemologist so this surprised me. It also pleased me greatly, both to see feminist philosophy having having such unexpected influences, and to see it being discussed. It seems to me that this sort of thing is especially important for fighting the impression that feminist philosophy is a fringe endeavour.

3 thoughts on “Jason Stanley on how feminist philosophy has influenced him

  1. My impression is that this sort of thing is not at all uncommon among younger philosophers (though perhaps not the majority position- I’d feel much less confident saying that.) Certainly it is not rare in political philosophy and philosophy of science, at least among younger philosophers.

  2. At the risk of being off-topic and without wanting to clutter the inbox of the FP bloggers: Does anyone have the bibliographical list, compiled by Cressida Heyes of the University of Alberta, of the most influential feminist philosophy texts (voted on by the FEAST and SWIP listservs) in January 2010? It’s no longer on her website and I thought I’d ask if anyone here still has it before bugging her about it. Thanks in advance! :)

Comments are closed.