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Hein, Hilde. Refining Feminist Theory: Lessons from Aesthetics
2010, In Hilde Hein and Carolyn Korsmeyer (eds.), Aesthetics in Feminist Perspective. Indiana University Press.
Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir
Abstract: Because it embraces a domain that is invincibly pluralistic and dynamic, aesthetic theory can serve as a model for feminist theory. Feminist theory, which takes gender as a constituted point of departure, pluralizes theory, thereby challenging its unicity. This anomalous approach to theory is also implicit in conventional aesthetics, which has for that reason been spurned by centrist philosophy. Whilst aesthetics therefore merits attention from feminists, there is reason to be wary of such classic aesthetic doctrines as the the thesis that art is "autonomous" and properly percevied "disinterestedly". That belief has roots in somatophobic dualism which ultimately leads to consequences as negative for art and the aesthetic as for women. Feminists rightly join with other critics of traditional dominative dualisms; yet they can learn from the expansive tendency in aesthetics toward openness and self-reflexive innovation.

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