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Alcoff, Linda Martin, , . Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self
2006, Oxford University Press.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by:

Publisher’s Note: Visible Identities critiques the critiques of identity and of identity politics and argues that identities are real but not necessarily a political problem. Moreover, the book explores the material infrastructure of gendered identity, the experimental aspects of racial subjectivity for both whites and non-whites, and in several chapters looks specifically at Latio identity.

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Barnes, Elizabeth, , . Going Beyond the Fundamental: Feminism in Contemporary Metaphysics
2014, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (3pt3):335-351
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Alison Fernandes

Abstract: Much recent literature in metaphysics attempts to answer the question, ‘What is metaphysics?’ In this paper I argue that many of the most influential contemporary answers to this question yield the result that feminist metaphysics is not metaphysics. I further argue this result is problematic.

Comment: Useful for raising questions about the scope of metaphysics, issues to do with fundamentality, as well as the relation between feminism and metaphysics. I’m using it at the end of a survey course to raise questions about the purpose of metaphysics.

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Bordo, Susan, , . Anorexia Nervosa: Psychopathology as the Crystallization of Culture
1993, In her Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body. Berkeley: University of California Press.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by:

Diversifying Syllabi: Bordo claims that the recent increase in women with Anorexia is a symptom of the “central ills” of our culture. Bordo discusses three sources of this “cultural illness” which leads to anorexia: the dualist axis, the control axis, and the gender/power axis. She spends the bulk of the paper discussing each “axis” or problematic component of society which is reflected back to us in the increasing diagnosis of anorexia. These “psychopathogolgies” are expressions of the culture, she claims.

Comment: This text is most readily applicable in teaching feminist theory and social philosophy. However, it is also very useful in at least three other contexts: (1) as a critical approach to mind-body dualism, especially when teaching on Descartes or Plato’s Phaedo; (2) in teaching on the ethics of mental illness and the anti-psychiatry movement, as an example of socially constructed disorders; and (3) more broadly in teaching on personal and collective moral responsibility.

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Dembroff, Robin, , . What is Sexual Orientation?
2018, Philosophers’ Imprint 16.
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Added by: Andrea Blomqvist, Contributed by: Rory Wilson

Abstract: Ordinary discourse is filled with discussions about ‘sexual orientation’. This discourse might suggest a common understanding of what sexual orientation is. But even a cursory search turns up vastly differing, conflicting, and sometimes ethically troubling characterizations of sexual orientation. The conceptual jumble surrounding sexual orientation suggests that the topic is overripe for philosophical exploration. This paper lays the groundwork for such an exploration. In it, I offer an account of sexual orientation – called ‘Bidimensional Dispositionalism’ – according to which sexual orientation concerns what sex[es] and gender[s] of persons one is disposed to sexually engage, and makes no reference to one’s own sex and gender

Comment: Dembroff provides an interesting alternative to the Kinsey scale as well as Edward Stein’s dispositional account of sexual orientation. Pairs well with Stein’s piece of the same name: ‘What is Sexual Oreintation’ in “The Mismatch of Desire: the science, theory, and ethics of sexual orientation”. Can be used for debate on sexual and desire attraction.

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Haslanger, Sally, , . Gender and Race: (What) Are They? (What) Do We Want Them To Be?
2000, Nous 34(1): 31-55.
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Added by: Carl Fox, Contributed by:

Abstract: This paper proposes social constructionist accounts of gender and race. The focus of the inquiry–inquiry aiming to provide resources for feminist and antiracist projects–are the social positions of those marked for privilege or subordination by observed or imagined features assumed to be relevant to reproductive function, or geographical origins. I develop these ideas and propose that other gendered and racialized phenomena are usefully demarcated and explained by reference to these social positions. In doing so, I address the concern that attempts to define race or gender are misguided because they either assume a false commonality or marginalize some members of the group in question.

Comment: Seminal reading for modules on gender or race.
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Haslanger, Sally, , . Resisting reality: Social Construction and Social Critique
2012, OUP USA.
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Added by: Laura Jimenez, Contributed by:

Publisher’s Note: Contemporary theorists use the term “social construction” with the aim of exposing how what’s purportedly “natural” is often at least partly social and, more specifically, how this masking of the social is politically significant. In these previously published essays, Sally Haslanger draws on insights from feminist and critical race theory to explore and develop the idea that gender and race are positions within a structure of social relations. On this interpretation, the point of saying that gender and race are socially constructed is not to make a causal claim about the origins of our concepts of gender and race, or to take a stand in the nature/nurture debate, but to locate these categories within a realist social ontology. This is politically important, for by theorizing how gender and race fit within different structures of social relations we are better able to identify and combat forms of systematic injustice.
Although the central essays of the book focus on a critical social realism about gender and race, these accounts function as case studies for a broader critical social realism.

Comment: The book as a whole explores the interface between analytic philosophy and critical theory. As it is a collection of essays, particular chapters can easily be used separately, some serving as introductory, others as more advanced readings. It could be of interest for undergraduate or postgraduate courses in political philosophy, philosophy of language and philosophical methodology.

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Jaggar, Alison M., , . Love and knowledge: Emotion in feminist epistemology
1989, Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 32 (2):151 – 176.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Wayne Riggs

Abstract: This paper argues that, by construing emotion as epistemologically subversive, the Western tradition has tended to obscure the vital role of emotion in the construction of knowledge. The paper begins with an account of emotion that stresses its active, voluntary, and socially constructed aspects, and indicates how emotion is involved in evaluation and observation. It then moves on to show how the myth of dispassionate investigation has functioned historically to undermine the epistemic authority of women as well as other social groups associated culturally with emotion. Finally, the paper sketches some ways in which the emotions ofunderclass groups, especially women, may contribute to the development of a critical social theory.

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Jenkins, Katharine, , . Amelioration and Includion: Gender Identity and the Concept of Woman
2016, Ethics 126(2): 394-421.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Abstract: Feminist analyses of gender concepts must avoid the inclusion problem, the fault of marginalizing or excluding some prima facie women. Sally Haslanger’s ‘ameliorative’ analysis of gender concepts seeks to do so by defining woman by reference to subordination. I argue that Haslanger’s analysis problematically marginalizes trans women, thereby failing to avoid the inclusion problem. I propose an improved ameliorative analysis that ensures the inclusion of trans women. This analysis yields ‘twin’ target concepts of woman, one concerning gender as class and the other concerning gender as identity, both of which I hold to be equally necessary for feminist aims.

Comment: In my view this paper is a ‘must include’ in any feminist philosophy course with a unit on the metaphysics of gender – or on a social ontology course. Especially useful in conjunction with Haslanger’s ‘Gender and Race: (What) are they? (What) do we want them to be?’

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Mackenzie, Catriona (ed.), , Stoljar, Natalie (ed.). Relational Autonomy: Feminist Perspectives on Automony, Agency, and the Social Self
2000, Oxford University Press.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by:

Publisher’s Note: This collection of original essays explores the social and relational dimensions of individual autonomy. Rejecting the feminist charge that autonomy is inherently masculinist, the contributors draw on feminist critiques of autonomy to challenge and enrich contemporary philosophical debates about agency, identity, and moral responsibility. The essays analyze the complex ways in which oppression can impair an agent’s capacity for autonomy, and investigate connections, neglected by standard accounts, between autonomy and other aspects of the agent, including self-conception, self-worth, memory, and the imagination.

Comment: All but one of the papers in this volume are writtn by underrepresented authors.
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Mikkola, Mari, , . Feminist Perspectives on Sex and Gender
2016, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Introduction: Feminism is the movement to end women’s oppression. One possible way to understand ‘woman’ in this claim is to take it as a sex term: ‘woman’ picks out human females and being a human female depends on various anatomical features (like genitalia). Historically many feminists have understood ‘woman’ differently: not as a sex term, but as a gender term that depends on social and cultural factors (like social position). In so doing, they distinguished sex (being female or male) from gender (being a woman or a man), although most ordinary language users appear to treat the two interchangeably. More recently this distinction has come under sustained attack and many view it nowadays with (at least some) suspicion. This entry (around 12 000 words in length) outlines and discusses distinctly feminist debates on sex and gender.

Comment: A great first core text for any feminist philosophy, philosophy of sex and gender (or similar) module. Would also be very good to include on a social metaphysics course. Gives a clear and detailed overview of the main rival conceptions of gender, as well as of the relationship between the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’.

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Mikkola, Mari, , . Gender Concepts and Intuitions
2009, Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39(4): 559-583.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Abstract: The gender concept woman is central to feminism but has proven to be notoriously difficult to define. Some feminist philosophers, most notably Sally Haslanger, have recently argued for revisionary analyses of the concept where it is defined pragmatically for feminist political purposes. I argue against such analyses: pragmatically revising woman may not best serve feminist goals and doing so is unnecessary. Instead, focusing on certain intuitive uses of the term ‘woman’ enables feminist philosophers to make sense of it.

Comment: In my view this paper is a ‘must include’ in any feminist philosophy course with a unit on the metaphysics of gender – or on a social ontology course. Especially useful in conjunction with Haslanger’s ‘Gender and Race: (What) are they? (What) do we want them to be?’ – since it provides some really interesting and discussion-provoking responses to this paper.

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Mikkola, Mari, , . On the Apparent Antagonism Between Feminist and Mainstream Metapysics
2016, Philosophical Studies 174(10): 2435-2448.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Abstract: The relationship between feminism and metaphysics has historically been strained. Metaphysics has until recently remained dismissive of feminist insights, and many feminist philosophers have been deeply skeptical about any value that metaphysics might have when thinking about advancing gender justice. Nevertheless, feminist philosophers have in recent years increasingly taken up explicitly metaphysical investigations. Such feminist investigations have expanded the scope of metaphysics in holding that metaphysical tools can help advance debates on topics outside of traditional metaphysical inquiry (e.g. the nature of gender, sex, or sexuality). Moreover, feminist philosophers typically bring new methodological insights to bear on traditional ways of doing philosophy. Feminist metaphysicians have also recently begun interrogating the methods of metaphysics and they have raised questions about what metaphysics as a discipline is in the business of doing. In discussing such methodological issues, Elizabeth Barnes has recently argued that some prevalent conceptions of metaphysics rule out feminist metaphysics from the start and render it impossible. This is bad news for self-proclaimed feminist metaphysicians in suggesting that they are mistaken about the metaphysical status of their work. With this worry in mind, the paper asks: how does feminist metaphysics fare relative to ‘mainstream’ metaphysics? More specifically, it explores how feminist and ‘mainstream’ debates intersect, on what grounds do they come apart (if at all), and whether feminist metaphysics qualifies as metaphysics ‘proper’.

Comment: Great to include in an intermediate/advanced metaphysics course, or in a feminist metaphysics/philosophy course. Could be particularly useful at the end of the course, to encourage reflective discussion on the relationship between feminist metaphysics and metaphysics, and what gets to count as metaphysics and why.

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