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Haddock-Seigfried, Charlene. Pragmatism and Feminism: Reweaving the Social Fabric
1996, University of Chicago Press
, Contributed by: Quentin Pharr
Publisher’s Note:
Though many pioneering feminists were deeply influenced by American pragmatism, their contemporary followers have generally ignored that tradition because of its marginalization by a philosophical mainstream intent on neutral analyses devoid of subjectivity. In this revealing work, Charlene Haddock Seigfried effectively reunites two major social and philosophical movements, arguing that pragmatism, because of its focus on the emancipatory potential of everyday experiences, offers feminism its most viable and powerful philosophical foundation. With careful attention to their interwoven histories and contemporary concerns, Pragmatism and Feminism effectively invigorates both traditions, opening them to new interpretations and appropriations and asserting their timely philosophical relevance. This foundational work in feminist theory simultaneously invites and guides future scholarship in an area of rapidly emerging significance.

Comment: This text is the perfect introduction to the history of how feminism influenced pragmatism, and vice versa, and how pragmatism can still offer a viable philosophical foundation for feminism. So, for students who are interested in both topics, they would do well to read this text. It offers a number of great quotations from early female and African-American proponents of pragmatism, and it also outlines a rich feminist perspective, grounded in a pragmatic outlook, on how to do philosophy and think about society in general.

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