OverviewMany people today are reluctant to identify themselves as 'feminist': either because they see feminism as a useful political movement that has essentially served its purposes; or because they view feminism as a single-issue, militant ideology that they cannot identify with. This module is intended to give students an opportunity to reflect philosophically on what claims like this could mean: if we live in a post-feminist era, why do women earn, on average, two thirds of what their male counterparts earn? If we live in post-feminist era, why are women still under-represented in many fields (including politics, science and academic philosophy?). If feminism is a single-issue ideology, why is it that feminists have proposed such a variety of solutions to the above problems, and from such a wide range of political standpoints?
The module begins by drawing attention to the diversity of feminist thought, highlighting three theoretical strands: liberal feminism, radical feminism and Marxist feminism. We go on to apply these strands of feminist thought to the following topics: First, we look at some topics in legal and political philosophy, including justice and the family; discrimination law and freedom of speech. Second, we look at some topics in applied ethics, including reproductive ethics and sexual ethics. Third, we look at some feminist perspectives in epistemology and metaphysics. We also discuss the underlying question of whether feminism discriminates against men, and whether the notion of gender-inclusive feminism is a plausible one.
This module appears in:
1x 2hr lecture per week and 1x 1hr seminar per week for 10 teaching weeks.
Also available as PL643 (Level 6)
Method of assessment
Indicative Reading List
Saul, J. 2003. Feminism: issues and arguments, Oxford University Press
Okin, S. M. 1989. Justice, Gender and the Family, New York: Basic books
Langton, R. 2009, Sexual Solipsism, Oxford University Press,
Nussbaum, M., 1999. Sex and Social Justice, Oxford University Press,
Witt, C. 2011 The Metaphysics of Gender, Oxford University Press,
By the end of this module, I level students should be able to:
11.1 Outline and show understanding through clear expression of the following varieties of feminist thought: liberal feminism, radical feminism and Marxist feminism.
11.2 Outline show and understanding through clear expression of the application of feminist thought to the following areas of legal and political philosophy: justice and the family; freedom of speech.
11.3 Outline and show understanding through clear expression of the application of feminist thought to the following areas of ethics: reproductive ethics; sexual ethics.
11.4 Outline and show understanding through clear expression of the application of feminist thought to one of the following topics in epistemology and metaphysics: standpoint epistemology; gender essentialism.