Closing down FP

Feminist Philosophers will soon be ceasing to have new content, but we’ll be keeping old posts up so folks can access them. There are lots of reasons for this. On the positive side, the landscape for feminist and anti-oppression philosophers has dramatically changed during the years we’ve been blogging. There’s just so much more going on on, online and off, that this blog is not nearly so needed– there are lots of places to go to find out about this stuff and engage with like-minded folks. There’s also the general cultural shift from blogs to social media. Blogs still exist, but a lot of what they used to do is now done on social media. But it would be deceptive to say these were the only reasons. You’ve probably noticed that in recent times only a few of us have been posting– we’re all more and more busy and less able to blog. But again, that’s not the whole story. Many of us, myself included, have become increasingly pessimistic about the potential for internet-based discussions of difficult issues to help us make philosophical and real-world progress. And if I don’t think blogs are a good place to discuss stuff, it becomes a little odd to keep a blog going. Not all of us agree with this, and there may be spin-off blogs by some of our more optimistic members, which we’ll link to. But this site will soon no longer be hosting blog posts. I feel OK about this, and really good about what we’ve accomplished, but I think the time for this blog is now past and we’ve all got other projects underway.

Over the next week or so, we’ll have some posts reflecting on what we’ve done. We hope you’ll enjoy them!

In Memoriam: Anita Silvers (1940-2019)

We report with sadness the death of Professor Anita Silvers of San Francisco State University on Thursday, March 14, 2019. She was known for her work in aesthetics, bioethics, feminism, philosophy of justice, philosophy of disability, philosophy of law, and social and political philosophy. Dr. Silvers was the author of dozens of articles and author and editor of several books, including Disability, Difference, Discrimination: Perspectives on Justice in Bioethics and Public Policy with David Wasserman and Mary B. Mahowald (Rowman & Littlefield, 1998); Americans with Disabilities: Exploring Implications of the Law for Individuals and Institutions, co-edited with Leslie Francis (Routledge, 2000); and Puzzles About Art co-authored with Margaret Battin, John Fisher, and Ron Moore (St. Martin’s Press, 1989).

In addition to her groundbreaking scholarship, Professor Silvers was a disability rights activist with a storied history of service to the profession. She was longstanding Secretary-Treasurer of the American Philosophical Association (APA) Pacific Division (1982 to 2008), and she chaired the APA Committee on Inclusiveness in the Profession (2010-2013). She was the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2009 APA Quinn Prize for Service to the Profession, the 2013 APA and Phi Beta Kappa Lebowitz Prize for Philosophical Achievement and Contribution, the 2017 California State University (CSU) Wang Family Excellence Award for extraordinary contributions to the CSU system, and the inaugural California Faculty Human Rights Award.

I’ve been at a loss for words since I first learned of Anita’s passing. It was unexpected; she was currently working on several projects with me and also with many others. She was first my advocate, then mentor, then colleague and friend. Feminist Philosophers has a tradition of featuring a passage from the work of the philosopher we memorialize. Anita’s work on disability justice was grounded in her experience as a disabled person and her activism on behalf of people with disabilities. She was a fierce advocate and a brilliant strategist of disability accommodations. I leave you with these words, the conclusion from her essay “Formal Justice”.

Listening to the voices of people with disabilities in their own words quoted throughout this essay, we cannot help but have observed that, foremost, they desire a public sphere that embraces their presence. For them, equality means taking their places as competent contributors to well-ordered cooperative social and cultural transactions. For them, justice must offer, first, the visibility of full participatory citizenship, not a spotlight that targets them as needing more than others do. (Disability, Difference, Discrimination; p. 145)

Information about a memorial service for Professor Silvers will be posted later.

CFP: The Future of Inclusion

Annual Conference
The Future of Inclusion
26th Annual Meeting of Society for Philosophy in the Contemporary World

July 18th-23th, 2019 at University of Central Arkansas

Conway, AR, U.S.A.

We invite submissions for the 26th-annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy in the Contemporary World (SPCW) to be held July 18th-23rd, 2019 at the University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR. While we welcome and encourage papers on any topic related to philosophy in the contemporary world (broadly construed), of particular interest are papers that engage with this year’s theme: the future of inclusion.

Given much of US and global public discourse on ideological polarization, identity politics, tribalism, and divisive political actions, it seems necessary and important for contemporary philosophers to address the question: What is the Future of Inclusion?

We welcome papers on all topics, from any and all philosophical traditions. SPCW is especially interested in, and invites contributions by those from historically underrepresented and marginalized backgrounds, as well as anyone working to expand the scope and quality of philosophical discourses beyond the conventional canon. In addition to traditional papers and presentations, SPCW welcomes diverse formats such as spoken word, script readings, performances, and other approaches that invite and broaden philosophical reflection. Hence, in addition to established philosophers, we welcome the fellowship of graduate students, nontraditional philosophers, and persons with other non-philosophical specializations. We aim to provide the atmosphere for a genuinely positive and supportive exchange of views.

Topics to be addressed could include (but are not limited to):

Altruism and Empathy
Assessing Bias and Prejudice in 2019: Failures, Successes, Future Directions
Being at Home in the World: Interpersonally, Socially, Spiritually
Democracy, Diversity, and Recognition
Entitlement: Ethical and Political Issues
Epistemology and Phenomenology of Belonging
Epistemology, Neurology, and Psychology of Generative People
Global Citizenship and/or Global Human Rights
Making People Count in Immigration Policy
Nonviolence and Resistance to Oppression
Policing (and Incarcerating) Black Men
Remaking Meanings of Manhood and Masculinity
Reviving Civic Culture and Social Capital
The Right to Have Rights
Tolerance: Moral Virtue and Political Necessity
White Fragility: Why Whites Can’t Talk about Race
Afrofuturism and the Philosophy of Science
Can we have a responsible Ethics of Hope?
Moral Guilt or Responsibility: How Should We Respond to Ethical Failure
Inclusive Feminism and the Critique of White Feminism
The Future of Sexual Politics
Accountability, Reparations, and the Philosophy of Healing
Posthumanism and Radical Inclusivity
Becoming Ecologically Inclusive: Interdependency, the Environment, and the Future of Climate Change
Becoming Technologically Inclusive: Does the Future of Inclusion Lead Us to Cyborg Ethics?
Agonistic Politics and the Future of Democracy
Inclusion in the Public Sphere
The Revolution Will Be Accessible: Inclusivity and Disability
Neurodiversity, Neuroplasticity, and the Future of Philosophy of Mind
Liberation, Resistance, and Forerunners of Social Justice
HIV, AIDS, and Sero-Positivity in Philosophical Perspectives
Social Philosophy and the Limits of the Ideal, Nonideal, Possible, and Feasible
Racial Justice, Anti-racism, and Liberatory Intersections

Standard submissions: papers with a maximum length of 3,500 words, and an abstract of 100 words or less. Alternative presentation and creative proposals will be given consideration. All submissions circulated for double-anonymous peer-review.

Submissions are due April 1, 2019
Authors will be notified by May 6, 2019

The Journal: Philosophy in the Contemporary World welcomes submissions from conference participants. There are two ways to submit your conference work to the journal. First, once you’ve edited and expanded your presentation, submit directly to the journal via our email at We will use your successful conference acceptance as one of two blind reviews in our review process. The second way to submit your conference work includes submitting to a special volume. In the past, we’ve enjoyed publishing some excellent special issues reflective of conference highlights. In order to make this process work, we ask that conference participants work together to identify a potential guest editor for the special edition. This guest editor may then contact potential contributors, and ultimately propose a set of thematically linked articles.

Note to graduate students: SPCW considers all accepted graduate student papers for the annual Joe Frank Jones III Memorial Award for the best graduate student submission.

Send submissions prepared for anonymous review including a separate title page identifying the paper title, author name(s), institutional affiliation, and contact email using

If needed, you can also submit via email by sending the information to : Taine Duncan at or Paul Churchill at

Conference Site and Accommodations
Questions about the conference site, lodging, registration and other details should be sent to:

Taine Duncan at or Christian Matheis at

Linda Alcoff on survivor testimony

A powerful article, making really important points. (It does include several descriptions of sexual violence.)

Consistency is complex, of course. There is no real inconsistency in having contradictory feelings toward a flawed human being. In the Patrick Melrose novels, based on the life of their English author Edward St Aubyn, and their 2018 TV adaptation, the protagonist expresses tenderness and sympathy toward the father who raped him, while in another moment he delights in his death. This is what it means to be human.

We needn’t jettison consistency entirely – but we should be careful about using it as a litmus test of credibility. Otherwise, important questions about which details truly matter, and about the causes of inconsistency, will all be lost.

Read the article.


Or: carvings of naked women adorning British churches.

If you look them up on google you’ll see they’ve got a fair amount of recent attention. At the same time, no one seems to know what they mean. perhaps they are fertility goddesses, or maybe they are in effect instructions or reminder for brides.

Not all have gotten accepting reactions. Outrage has diminished their numbers.

It’s international women’s day

One could be excused for thinking there is too much grim news. Still, google has some cheery pictures linked to its google-doodle. And theere are strong thoughts from women. Some of these do catch one’s attention. Others leave one puzzled. Such as:

I am stronger than me.

I really believe in the future.

Have a look, and enjoy!

Women’s prize for fiction longlist 2019

The Guardian reports.

[Link: %5D

Lots of wonderful reading.  And a notable ‘first’:
The Women’s prize for fiction has nominated a non-binary transgender author for the first time in its 27-year history, on a 16-book longlist featuring a previous winner, seven debuts and last year’s Booker prize winne

Thirty-one-year-old Nigerian author Akwaeke Emezi is nominated for their first novel, Freshwater. Described as “remarkable” in the Guardian’s review, Freshwater is a coming-of-age story following a child, Ada, who is born filled with Igbo spirits as a challenge from a deity to Ada’s Catholic father.

Emezi, who does not identify as male or female and lives in Brooklyn, is one of seven first-time authors up for the £30,000 prize, on a longlist that spans the city streets of Lagos and remote Northumberland, the US-Mexico border and ancient Greece.

“It is a historic moment,” Professor Kate Williams, chair of judges, told the Guardian. “We’re very careful not to Google the authors while judging, so we did not know. But the book found great favour among us, it is wonderful. They are an incredibly talented author and we’re keen to celebrate them

“Host bodies”

Florida House Speaker José Oliva actually referred to pregnant women as “host bodies” during a sit-down with Jim DeFede of CBS Miami about an anti-abortion bill.

It wasn’t a simple slip of the tongue, either – Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, referred to pregnant women as “host bodies” five times throughout the interview.

Read on.

“Show them what crazy can do.”

The title above comes from a video advertisement full of images worth sharing. Is this use of the word “crazy” really permissible? I think it is being used to criticize abelist discourse. I apologize if I am wrong.

On the other hand, as one of the many, many critical comments on the video has it, ‘Its sad that so many people are unware of the political hypocrisies behind ads like this made by multi billion dollar corporations like Nike, that have no soul and prey on instant emotions by virtue signaling, sucha shame they fall for this BS … Especially in this instance where they pretend to stand up for women, yet they run a modern day slave workforce.”