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In the course of her discussion of feminists such as Catharine MacKinnon and Judith Butler, Haslanger makes many distinctions among kinds and functions of social constructions, sorts out ways in which metaphysics and politics are related, and, in general, provides an example of feminist metaphysical debate that distinguishes between male-biased facets of metaphysics from facets useful for feminists b, , A more controversial analytic feminist response that fits into c is Martha Nussbaum's defense of concepts and standards of objectivity and reason.

In the context of a laudatory review of the first edition of Antony and Witt's A Mind of One's Own, Nussbaum argues forcefully that it is in feminists' interests, both theoretically and practically, to retain fairly traditional ideals of objectivity and rationality while acknowledging their abusive use.

This position, in itself, would not have generated great controversy, even if not universally accepted. Indeed, in spite of the desire that analytic feminist philosophy be sufficiently normative, there is ongoing disagreement over issues such as the attitude to take toward concepts that have typically embodied that normativity. Lloyd a, b, Haslanger , Scheman a, Heldke Finally, we need to remember that what a feminist expects of a philosophical method — her own preferred method s or others — will influence her critique of it.

Analytic feminism: limitations and challenges As noted previously, traditional analytic philosophy seemed to many to be the least hospitable philosophical method to feminists.

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Although analytic feminists have clearly increased the method's hospitality, we need to consider limitations and challenges that remain. Because of the need to utilize as well as modify traditional philosophy, a feminist must always be alert for deeper levels of male bias that may become apparent as she continues her work.

Some of the possibilities particularly relevant to analytic feminists are below. Scheman thinks that Martha Nussbaum stops listening too soon to attacks on rationality and fails to appreciate that openness to reasonable argument advocated by Nussbaum implies that we recognize when our own conception of reasonableness is being questioned Scheman b. Alcoff, maintaining that we need some concept of reason, makes a similar argument against Nussbaum and points out the dogmatic character of claiming that some particular concept of reason is the concept that cannot be given up Alcoff 2.

Closely related is another possible objection, namely, that it may not be as easy to detach one's method from one's politics as one might think. Because analytic feminists have been sometimes rightly associated with liberalism, other analytic feminists take pains to separate their method from their politics. Louise Antony argues that her own socialist politics are compatible with an analytic method At a certain level, of course, she is right.

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But if an analytic feminist is articulating a socialist feminism, rather than an inclination toward some kind of socialism or other, then the facets of her position derived ultimately from Marx, from Quine, and from feminism need to be hammered out carefully in order to settle down together well. Clusters of separate objections focus around subjectivity and standpoints. Traditional analytic philosophy has been rightly criticized for its inability to handle subjectivity. In thinking about whether this criticism applies to analytic feminists as well, let's consider it in the context of knowledge.

There are obviously two separate questions here — asked together because they focus on whether analytic feminism has the resources to capture what is very important to other competing feminist traditions: standpoint theory and postmodernism. Consider Helen Longino as an example: she is dealing with situated knowledge in the context of the sciences. Of course, science is not all of life or knowledge, so her argument would need to be extended into areas of everyday life that Lorraine Code, among others, has discussed.

Contextual empiricism is probably better at analyzing the structural and material features that construct subjectivity than it is at illuminating individual subjectivity. It is in the latter area that postmodern and psychoanalytic approaches flourish see, for example, Butler , Butler and Salih , Irigaray , Irigaray and Whitford , Kristeva and Oliver Their focus on the opaque, fragmented, or unfinished character of human subjectivity may be a bit untidy for many analytic feminists. But given the importance of this topic for feminist philosophy, there is a need for fruitful dialogue about it.

There is another insight from feminist standpoint theory that has not been considered: community wide biases and assumptions. Sandra Harding has articulated the importance of starting research from the lives of marginalized people By doing so we are more likely to be able to uncover community-wide biases and assumptions of the privileged. Analytic feminists believe that their versions of naturalized empiricism can attend to these features as well as a standpoint theory can — especially the kinds of standpoint theories believed plausible today, e. Elizabeth Anderson even contends that because standpoint theory is based in the material world, it is compatible with feminist empiricism Anderson Obviously there will always be a horizon for any community beyond which its members, even including its marginalized critics, cannot see.

But one can't ask the impossible of a theory or a method. Related objections arise concerning naturalized epistemology.


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Rooney, Code, and Addelson all propose alternatives to the individualistic orientation of naturalized epistemology. Addelson favors sociologists and philosophers working together Code offers an ecological model that she maintains is preferable to analytically and individualistically oriented naturalism , forthcoming.

Rooney appeals to psychological studies of gender and cognition to provide evidence for her critique of assumptions of empirical studies and of the epistemology that structures and then uses the empirical results. Analytic feminist naturalized epistemologists might well agree with much of Rooney's critique Code's new ecological model would be a much longer stretch for them; see Code forthcoming. Although both feminist and nonfeminist analytic philosophers are thought to favor literal uses of language, they also rely on metaphors, analogies, images and the like in the course of making their philosophical cases think of the frequency of Neurath's ship via Quine.

Marguerite La Caze, using methodology developed by Michele LeDoeuff, argues that feminists as well as nonfeminist analytic philosophers use images, for example, mythical social contracts in political philosophy and visual and spatial metaphors in knowledge, that can unwittingly perpetuate images that exclude women La Caze , LeDoeuff ; see also Gatens Analytic feminists are being called upon to widen the rhetorical spaces in analytic philosophy as well as to recognize and scrutinize the images that they, in fact, use in the course of their allegedly literal speech.

Most analytic feminists welcome challenges to their positions from other feminists. For, after all, there is no easier way to be kept honest and to recognize one's own collusion with male-biased philosophy than to have one's feminist colleagues point it out. It is part of any reasonable feminism to want to remain open to the ongoing possibility of collusion and self-deception.

Candid, fair-minded conversation benefits all forms of feminism. Other issues and directions Obviously, it has not been possible to discuss the entire range of analytic feminism.

Naomi Scheman

Many of the examples in previous sections came from epistemology, metaphysics and their subfields. Moral, Social and Political Philosophy. For example, typical feminist controversies in moral theory have concerned whether one should favor an ethics of justice over an ethics of care or a virtue ethics, or whether one should prefer Kant over Hume or Aristotle as a starting point for moral thinking see, for example, Herman , Baier , Held , Homiak , Larrabee Interestingly, the degree to which moral philosophers analytic or not rely upon and integrate historical figures into their work seems to be greater than among analytic philosophers doing epistemology and metaphysics.

Similarly, among feminists writing in social and political philosophy the focus is more often on whether one is liberal, socialist, radical, or postmodernist than the degree to which one is analytic. Marilyn Friedman may choose to write about autonomy in a certain fashion because she works within a liberal tradition in political and moral philosophy Although both can rightly be called analytic feminists, few philosophers thinking about Nussbaum or Friedman would make method a salient feature of their work in this area or focus on whether they respond to Rawls or to Habermas.

At other times it is more important in moral and political philosophy to be writing as both a lesbian and a feminist than to be analytic or not. For example, what is most distinctive about Cheshire Calhoun's Feminism, The Family, and the Politics of the Closet is her exploration of the structure of gay and lesbian subordination and its relation to feminism What might underlie some of the differences just noted are the various roles that normativity plays in moral, social and political philosophy on the one hand and in metaphysics and epistemology on the other.

In moral, social and political philosophy normativity is much more pervasive.

Feminist Metaphysics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

What position on justice? What analysis of rape? Regardless of the points just noted, many feminists writing on topics in moral, social and political philosophy, both theoretical and practical, could well identify themselves as analytic feminists and sometimes do. On topics such as sexual harassment, abortion, or pornography there would be little in common among analytic feminists other than writing style and a tendency to make many distinctions and cite from a range of analytic figures. Of course, these are factors they would share with analytic feminists in other fields of philosophy.

See, for example, Rae Langton's work on pornography drawing on J. History of Philosophy. In the heyday of analytic philosophy, it was thought appropriate in some Anglo-American philosophy departments to write about historical figures as if they were disembodied voices entering into contemporary debates in analytic philosophy.

Given that this tendency has receded and that feminists tend not to favor the use of disembodied voices in any case, feminist historians of philosophy are not likely to identify their historical work as analytic.

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It is controversial enough to identify it as feminist! The series Re-Reading the Canon, edited by Nancy Tuana, provides more than twenty volumes of feminist interpretation of major figures. Other Areas of Analytic Philosophy. A few feminists work on logic and philosophy of language, and even an occasional logical positivist Okhrulik Analytic feminist work in philosophy of language is not as extensive as it is among French feminists or in other disciplines.

After articles in early anthologies Vetterling-Braggin et al. For example, the Hypatia special issue on Philosophy and Language Bauer and Oliver contained only one article on an analytic philosopher, Frege, and it was very critical Nye Sally Haslanger's special issue of Philosophical Topics a contains some analytic philosophy of language essays Mercier , Hornsby In addition to Langton and her colleagues' work on pornography that uses philosophy of language mentioned above, other analytic work on language can be found, for example, in Hintikka and Hintikka , Nye , Tanesini , Hornsby , and Clough Several papers take off from the only sustained feminist reading of the history of logic, Andrea Nye's Words of Power As someone cited by both analytic philosophers and postmodernists, Wittgenstein embodies the intersection of their interests, or at least that possibility.

The authors in Naomi Scheman and Peg O'Connor's Feminist Interpretations of Ludwig Wittgenstein explore and employ aspects of Wittgenstein's work that range from engendering the Tractatus to applying his Remarks on Colour to racism — though many essays center around remarks in his later work in epistemology and philosophy of language. Although Wittgenstein would surely not have imagined his work to be fruitful for feminists, the editors and authors find it very rich.

See also other Wittgenstinian-influenced works such as O'Connor and Heyes and Concluding thoughts Although methodology is the focus in this essay, it is nevertheless important to ask whether there is value in identifying one's feminist philosophy by method. In some respects, there is. Beyond this, there is a mixture of advantages and disadvantages to identifying oneself by method. It may help to make apparent a feminist philosopher's assumptions and probable toolbox if she identifies her feminism as analytic or postmodern or pragmatist.

Many, including Frye, already do so. This will not only help to sustain a feminist tradition, it will also increase the richness of feminist work and decrease the odds of feminists being held captive by male-biased philosophical methods, theories, concepts and images. Alcoff, Linda and Elizabeth Potter eds. Antony and C. Witt eds. Antony, Louise M.

Engenderings: Constructions of Knowledge, Authority, and Privilege

Page references are to the 2nd edition, Kourany ed. Witt Antony eds. Baber, Harriet E. Bauer, Dale and Kelly Oliver eds. Bianchi, Emanuela ed. Bordo, Susan ed. Butler, Judith and Sara Salih eds.

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