By Morwenna Griffiths, Margaret Whitford
"... excellent... specifically insightful are articles on ethics and gender, autonomy and pornography, emotions, and a dependable and democratic epistemology." —Choice
The essays during this booklet introduce to American readers the paintings of a bunch of British feminist philosophers, representing either the Continental and the analytic traditions, who argue that philosophy is in pressing want of a feminist perspective.
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Additional info for Feminist Perspectives in Philosophy
She argues against the Kantian tradition of seeking a pure, clear objectivity in knowledge which will leave personal experience behind. A concept of knowing well which rejects stereotyping cannot move very far from the experience which generates the knowledge. She defines the area of feminist epistemology as that of developing theoretical accounts of knowledge which retain continuity with women's experiences. In a critical discussion of Carol Gilligan's work in moral development (Gilligan, 1982), she notes that Gilligan's methodological principles, in particular the aim of listening responsively with receptiveness and humility, supply an example of the kind of approach that might fulfil this aim.
But to see what limitations this brings, we absolutely need to have a more lively sense of its differences from at least the groups which neighbour it. A gradient of dissimilarity leads away from each of us. Yet in spite of this, we all need to communicate and to get some general understanding of each other and of the world we live in. Total scepticism about this project is not an option for us. We therefore continually try to correct one philosophical perspective about it against another. Among these corrections, feminist ones have by now resoundingly made good their place.
Well documented by Susan Moller Okin (1980), in Women in Western Political Thought. 2. This clash of ideals is a central theme in Women's Choices: Philosophical Problems Facing Feminism (Midgley and Hughes, 1983). 3. For those who want the factual arguments, the anthropologist Melvin Konner has an admirable, and extremely sympathetic, summary of them in his book, The Tangled Wing (1982), ch. 6. His conclusion - drawn with real reluctance - is that the case for innately caused behavioural differences is overwhelming.