This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Commencing with the position that knowledge is ‘situated’ and influenced by the socio-historical standings, especially those of gender, feminist philosophy is in actuality rather practical or even pragmatic (Harding 1991; Hartsock 1996). On the whole, the discipline does not place an emphasis upon ‘situated knowledge’s’ influence upon basic cognitive interpretations such as those given in the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy i.e basic arithmetic or the colour of grass, but rather to represent a position within a ‘power relation’ (Anderson, 2011). Anderson summarizes a group of key factors that perpetuate the dominant perception and position of men, including, but not exhaustive to, denigrating styles of knowledge, presenting women as inferior, deviant or subservient to men, and also by producing knowledge that is not helpful to those in subordinate positions. The ‘perspectivism’ that feminist theory presents, acknowledges the grounding and positions of others, but does not offer all viewpoints equal value, allowing it to admit its own work to be context-specific (Grosz, 1990).
Sarah Harding marks the diversity of the feminist epistemological and philosophical sphere, suggesting, “practioners [of feminist philosophy] differ both philosophically and politically in a number of significant ways (1986)”. Thus, in many ways, feminism may be understood as a polyphonic narrative. The field parallels undertakings made by theorists and writers of subordinated social positions of power, including race or colonised countries, an endeavour that Narayan suggests restores a ‘richness’ beyond the homogenised narrative of the
in both the practical and theoretical spheres (Narayan in Solomon. 2008. and chooses rather to address the issues of social power within philosophy (Alcoff.275).11). Narayan highlights that women’s involvement in an increased number of areas will not simply expand knowledge. utilizing the work of and Dorothy and W. or in the briefest of understandings. p. the ‘reformist’ and the ‘radical’ approaches (1991).276) Uma Narayan discourse upon feminist epistemology draws attention to how women’s exclusion from the social and academic spheres of activity has by consequence defined them as ‘male’ (in Solomon p.572). 1927. p. p. On the grounds that gender is performance. the issue remains. that gender and its’ attributes are defined as real.dominant. should the defined and established dualistic characteristics of the binary genders be rejected. but will involve an evolution in the approach and perception to these studies and activities. contrary to the reformists. 1995. as feminist theorist Judith Butler would suggest. or should we examine the neglected aspects of the typified ‘feminine’ attributes and actively apply them? Rosi Braidotti identifies two potential outlooks from this question. The former does not confront the mainstream interpretation of rationality. This exclusion in turn may be self-fulfilling prophecy. reiterating and reinforcing the capability of one of the ‘binary genders’.I Thomas (Thomas & Thomas. and are subsequently such in their consequences and social embodiment. that ultimate or perfect reason is . The later submits however.
p. multitudes of perspectives all quality as valid as each other with no absolute or established truth.unachievable and that masculine symbolisms and language should be substituted for pre-existing masculine ones (Braidotti. Radical feminism however does not adhere to a relativistic perspective with any absolutism. to be the object itself that is ‘known’.49).272).272). This is the basis for criticising the objective approach. . they are neither ‘objectivists nor relativists not subjectivists’ (p. They establish a middle ground of ‘perspectivism’ that rejects an equivalent value or power to each. or that which establish ‘one truth…method…logic’ so forth (Grosz in Solomon. This in itself might become synonymous with a relativistic viewpoint. feminism opens a dialogue or explorative rhetoric through ‘practice’.274). p. Radical feminists oppose any assimilation towards ‘oneness’. what should be adopted and abandoned. as the personal anecdotes and ‘lived experiences’ of feminist writers often emphasizes their understanding of what it felt like to be ‘known’. feminist philosophy is in majority anti-foundationalists. ensure that theory and practice are intertwined (Grosz in Solomon. 1991). focusing upon histories and writings. if all is perspective. or all views are equal in truths. The question arises as if we are ever to accept a perspective of relativism or idealism. To move beyond the conceptual restrains of the potentiality of linear reasoning. Due to the field’s general dismissal of universalism. in which ‘pure knowledge’ is attainable once the body is shed. The Platonic notions of the ‘disembodied rationality’. nevertheless recognizing other standings and viewpoints. 2008. places rationality on a transcendental scale (1961. p.
including emotions (Nussbaum. nevertheless maintaining the importance of situated knowledge and experience. 2008. 1994). p. even if it has become weakened and diluted over time (Alcoff.Linda Alcoff focuses upon the genealogy of this viewpoint throughout Western philosophy down through to Kant. it continues to ‘appeal’ to reason. p. However. and accepting a position of ‘disembodied rationality’ subsequently de-sexes authors into a place of neutrality. and some level of objectivity. To understand this integral constituent of the feminist philosophy one must begin with the understanding of ‘sexualized’ knowledge. which complements and parallels the understanding of knowledge being embodied and situated. nor is it an exploration through pure rhetoric. 1995. feminist philosophy on the whole is not a rejection of traditional rationality. consequently leading to the frequent utilization of the ‘lived experiences’ of women. and at what level should we accept a rationality that is natural and non-situated? (1993).9). The alternative to this somewhat deterministic resolve upon rationality is ‘embodiment’. 1995. and rather than resolving in an absolutist position. experience inseparable from the body while an active agent seeking reason (Grosz in Solomon. Judith Butler asks ‘how can one become a woman if one wasn’t a woman all along’. p273-74).8). a continued search for ‘disembodied rationality’ may further exclude women as the realm of rational mind is so typified as masculine (Alcoff. Nevertheless. When gender is the centrality of feminist discourse. the issue of equating patriarchy or typified . Martha Nussbaum emphasized however.
1995. that ‘thought has always worked through opposition. which does not suggest exclusion from attributes. 2008. but at its core. p. The traditional approach to this language. that which feminism wishes to replace. Regarding itself situated within the social rather than viewing its’ philosophy as a deterministic quest for an inevitable state or process of ‘reason’. a law organizes what is thinkable by (dual.g. appears to be entrenched in systematic foundations that are based upon the . or male/female.273). 59). 1995.8). as the softer ‘differences’. feminism is a philosophy that critiques and render’s ‘binary oppositions problematic’ (Grosz in Solomon. rationality automatically becomes negated and unusable as it as been established to be associated with the it (1994. p. that when one writes outside the framework of patriarchy. e. that the word opposition holds. reason itself as been defined in ‘opposition to the feminine’. irreconcilable.4). The crux of the issue lies within the prejudice and chauvinism that up until. To substitute this innate dualism. and perhaps continuing through modernity. p. it challenges the discourse of philosophy’s ‘self-understanding’ in its’ quests for truth (Alcoff. holding women as irrational. feminist theory coins oppositions. Through dual hierarchical oppositions…Everywhere (where) an ordering intervenes. p. or sublatable dialectical) oppositions’ (1986). This position is embodied by Hélène Cixous in her work Sorties.masculine attributes with the reasoning’s of philosophy. resides within academia. ‘subject/object’. leaving us to examine language and semiotics (Alcoff. What the feminist critique of reason submits (at least from the Reformists) is not in its entirety a revision or addition to theory.
Through this. to conclude with de Lauretis’ proposition negates the root of the physical embodiment of women. From the position of postmodern feminism. Without necessarily referring to the dual and consequently exclusive opposite of typified language. Yet. the search for language. It is here we may begin to understand why feminist philosophy seeks to dissolve or ‘displace’ false dichotomies that continue to be perpetuated. but this does not apply when defining men (1949). 1995. the continuous engagement of a self or subject in social reality” (in Klein. How then. or vessels. to which Susan Hekman writes. thus the ‘practice’ of feminist authorship must begin with some presumptions. p. as a wife or a mother. the ocean. reason or dialectic that is not ‘disembodied’ becomes vital. noting the undercurrent of defining places. also perpetuates the feminine “way of known” as substandard (1990.g.135). e. with their counterparts being exclusive’s opposite. as a woman. is there a middle-ground that . De Beauvoir suggests that women are made ‘metaphoric’. do we go about adjusting language? This may be a decision made upon a micro level. p39). proliferates the anti-foundationalist viewpoint by suggesting that “subjectivity arises from a complex of habits resulting from the semiotic interaction of “outer world” and “inner world”. There exists a history of “association between the rational and the masculine”. so the query arises. an essential part of the feminist discipline. Simone De Beauvoir utilized the dialectic of the binary oppositions of genders given stereotypically to emphasize that women are often defined by their relation to men.masculine traits when referring to rationality or reason. Teresa de Lauretis. and is situational for each feminist writer.
basing his work on the mediation of ‘tradition’ (Malaps.e. It is through Gadamer. However. p. a disembodied rationality. p. and that the relativistic concern of a multitude of observers or ‘inquirers’ examining different aspects of the same material and therefore arriving at different standings (p. or things independently exist. Gadamer goes so far as to reject both the notion of neutrality.37). 2005. when examining Gadamer’s realism. Gadamer disagrees with a social constructionist viewpoint through proposing that objects. i.recognizes the validity of the interpretation of phenomena from different standings? Feminist theorists. 2009). may find advantage in utilizing the work of Gadamer whose hermeneutics work finds a middle ground through rejecting subjectivism and relativism.40) Rather than approaching our ‘prejudices’ as an obstacle or defilement in the pursuit of reason. Gadamer proposes that we bring them ‘into play’ when working with a subject (p. that language and history are not “barriers to truth but possible vehicles of it” (Wachtekhauser. p. 150). while not necessarily defined by a singular theory. with an ‘impossible ideal’ that is in suit with a ‘divine perspective’ (Healy. Brice Wachterhauser. that the potential for truth or reason beyond a ‘disembodied’ one may be understood.38). that a homogenous method of validation of ‘knowledge claims’ in the objectivist understanding. He equates a ‘standpoint that is beyond any standpoint’.150). pertain essence and are generated through history and language (Wachterhauser. brings to light his .
p. that reality is ‘multifaceted enough’ to support the multitudes of interpretations that history and linguistics can offer (Wachterhauser. we may find it mediates its position and justification for . If then. towards a feminist philosophical ‘tradition’.150).153-55). and looking to the words of Helen Logino that by ignoring the “context of justification” and choosing to focus upon the circumstance and ‘context’ of our discovery are both problematic’ (1993. that meaning and understanding arises through a ‘process’.15). Gadamer does in many ways avoid a positivist or idealist position.deduction that while our ‘access to reality is in terms of language’. does offer some grounds for the feminist philosophy to examine rationality within (Malpas. p. No matter the direction that is taken within the study of feminist philosophy.102). 2009). p. ‘disembodiment’ or male dominated linguistics. we choose to move beyond a rationality centred upon oppositions. many feminists. p. our linguistic perceptions predominantly ‘accurately reflect…the way the world is’. While the feminist philosophy may gain from utilizing Gadamer’s notion of ‘tradition’. such as those of the post-modern persuasion may have difficulty with his view that ‘essences have an independence from a particular time and place’ (Wachterhauser. Gadamer’s conception of mediation through ‘tradition’. may not correlate Alcoff when she proposes that rationality and reasons are “embedded within history” (Alcoff. one should hold fast to the purpose of its enquiry. and while resembling the work of Alcoff who (drawing on MacIntyre) concludes that ‘reason is not timeless’. a ‘dialogue between what is familiar and what is alien’. This point remains a primary position for the feminist philosophy in its situated and pragmatic endeavour for liberation from oppositional thought and perception.
a ‘perspectivism’ in a manner that eclipses the conclusive boundaries of absolute relativism and objectivism. .
vol. L.2 . 1995. 23. in Philosophical Topics. no. ‘Is the Feminist Critique of Reason Rational?’.Bibliography: Alcoff.
). M & Fox Keller. in Feminist Knolwedge: Critique and Construct.Anderson. in Conflicts in Feminism. S. Polity Butler. P. ed. S. Routledge. 1986. The Science question in Feminism. Zalta (ed. London Klein. Cornell University Press Healy. ‘Philosophy’. ‘Chapter 2 The Feminist Critique of Rationality’. ‘Upping the Anti (sic) in Feminist Theory’. The Second Sex. Polity Press Grosz. Ashgate. 1993.stanford. "Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science". New York De Beauvoir. 1990. Meeting the Great Bliss Queen: Buddhists. 1990. Ithaca . S. E. Routledge. ‘Chapter 2 Gadamer Rationality. Feminists & the Art of Self. E. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2012 Edition). Braidotti. Elizabeth. in Towards a Viable Postfoundationalist Account of Rationality.S . T. 1991. Hirsch. URL = <http://plato. Random House De Lauretis. Dialogue and Hermeneutic Understanding’. 1949. Edward N. Press .edu/archives/fall2012/entries/feminism-epistemology/>. Gender and Knowledge. Snow Lion Publications. 2005. Bodies that Matter. Gunew. 1995. New York Harding. Routledge.C. Aldershot Hekman . ed. J. R. A. 1990.
‘Subjects. University of Chicago Press Wachterhauser. Alcoff. S.).S. Power and Knowledge: Description and Prescription’. A. in Gender/Body/Knowledge. New Jersey Thomas. 20th October. 1928. Princeton University Press. Wachterhauser. URL = <http://plato. D. A & Brodo. Jaggar. Northwestern University Press. L. 1994 ‘Gadamer's Realism The 'Belongingness' of Word and Reality’. E & Huntington. 2009. in Hermeneutics and Truth. & Thomas. H. The Child in America: Behavior Problems and introduction. ‘Hans-Georg Gadamer’. Hamilton. M. J. U. 1994. ed. B. Zalta (ed. Routledge.stanford. ed. in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2009 Edition). ‘Feminists and Philosophy’. W. Evanston . B. New York MacIntyre. Narayan. ed. 1988. ‘The Project of Feminist Epistemology Perspectives from a Non -Western Feminist’. Rutgers University Press Nussbaum.Longino. Whose Justice? Which Rationality?.I. in New York Review of Books. 1994 Plato. in Feminist Philosophies of Science in Feminist Epistemologies. The Collected Dialogues. ed. Notre Dame Malpas. Edward N. University of Notre Dame Press.edu/archives/sum2009/entries/gadamer/>. C. 1961 Phaedo. 1989. Morris Janowitz. 1993. ed.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.