The chapters are organized by traditional fields of philosophy, and include introductions which contrast the ideas of feminist thinkers with traditional philosophers. The collected essays illustrate both the depth and breadth of feminist critiques and the range of contemporary feminist theoretical perspectives.
‘Indisputably required reading ... Lively, sophisticated, and challenging discussions at the crucial intersection of feminist, psychoanalytic, and political ideas. Jane Flax allows her own multiple and conflicting identities into open dialogue, and the result is a promontory on the postmodern landscape.’ – Kenneth J. Gergen
‘Jane Flax is one of the most challenging women writing today ... It is the well-informed voice of sanity, balance and courage.’ – Phyllis Grosskurth
‘Jane Flax’s bold new book challenges orthodoxies in feminism, psychoanalysis, and postmodernism. By questioning the questions that have been taken to define these fields, she demonstrates once again the originality of her thinking.’ – Alison M. Jaggar
Moving between theoretical and autobiographical modes, Biddy Martin brings different kinds of writing to bear upon one another. At a theoretical level, her work takes issue with postmodern theory, defending instead the role of psychoanalytic criticism. She argues for the continued validity of critical modes that do not abandon the unconscious in seeking to understand the relation of subjectivity to language. In so doing, she addresses the work of writers, thinkers and activists as varied as Mary Daly, Michel Foucault, Adrienne Rich, Gayle Rubin, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Sigmund Freud, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Audre Lorde, Judith Butler, and Joan Copjec.
Who would be a feminist now? Contemporary 'political realism' suggests that the essentials of the battle have already been won, and the current generation of women entering University is used to seeing feminism presented as 'old fashioned', 'extreme' and 'unrealistic'.
Challenging such assumptions, this important new book argues for the value of empirical investigations of gendered life, and brings together the theoretical, political and practical aspects of feminist methodology.
- demonstrates how feminist approaches to methodology engage with debates in western philosophy to raise critical questions about knowledge production
- shows that feminist methodology has a distinctive place in social research
- guides the reader through the terrain of feminist methodology and clarifies how feminists can claim knowledge of gendered social existence
- connects abstract issues of theory with issues in fieldwork practice.
This timely and accessible book will be an essential resource for students in women's studies, gender studies, sociology, cultural studies, social anthropology and feminist psychology.
Wittgenstein and feminist theorists are alike, however, in being unwilling or unable to "make sense" in the terms of the traditions from which they come, needing to rely on other means—including telling stories about everyday life—to change our ideas of what sense is and of what it is to make it. For both, appeal to grounding is problematic, but the presumed groundedness of particular judgments remains an unavoidable feature of discourse and, as such, in need of understanding. For feminist theory, Wittgenstein suggests responses to the immobilizing tugs between modernist modes of theorizing and postmodern challenges to them. For Wittgenstein, feminist theory suggests responses to those who would turn him into the "normal" philosopher he dreaded becoming, one who offers perhaps unorthodox solutions to recognizable philosophical problems.
In addition to an introductory essay by Naomi Scheman, the volume’s twenty chapters are grouped in sections titled "The Subject of Philosophy and the Philosophical Subject," "Wittgensteinian Feminist Philosophy: Contrasting Visions," "Drawing Boundaries: Categories and Kinds," "Being Human: Agents and Subjects," and "Feminism’s Allies: New Players, New Games." These essays give us ways of understanding Wittgenstein and feminist theory that make the alliance a mutually fruitful one, even as they bring to their readings of Wittgenstein an explicitly historical and political perspective that is, at best, implicit in his work. The recent salutary turn in (analytic) philosophy toward taking history seriously has shown how the apparently timeless problems of supposedly generic subjects arose out of historically specific circumstances. These essays shed light on the task of feminist theorists—along with postcolonial, queer, and critical race theorists—to (in Wittgenstein’s words) "rotate the axis of our examination" around whatever "real need[s]" might emerge through the struggles of modernity’s Others.
Contributors (besides the editors) are Nancy E. Baker, Nalini Bhushan, Jane Braaten, Judith Bradford, Sandra W. Churchill, Daniel Cohen, Tim Craker, Alice Crary, Susan Hekman, Cressida J. Heyes, Sarah Lucia Hoagland, Christine M. Koggel, Bruce Krajewski, Wendy Lynne Lee, Hilda Lindemann Nelson, Deborah Orr, Rupert Read, Phyllis Rooney, and Janet Farrell Smith.