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Eckert, Maureen. De-centering and Genderqueering Val Plumwood’s Feminist Logic
2024, In R. Cook and A. Yap (eds.), Feminist Philosophy and Formal Logic. University of Minnesota Press
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Added by: Franci Mangraviti and Viviane Fairbank
Abstract: The strongest and, until recently, least-explored approach to feminist logic holds that some formal logics have structural features that perpetuate sexism and oppression, whereas other logics are helpful for resisting and opposing these social phenomena. Our choice of logics may not be purely formal on this view: for example, some logics are preferrable to others on the grounds of feminist commitments. This strong account of feminist logic was first articulated by Val Plumwood. We will critically engage salient features of her view, especially her critique of classical logic and the centering and dominating functions she believes classical negation has. We will see that her understanding of classical negation captures neither the development of Intersectional Feminism, nor the position the concept of centering holds in transformative justice. However, Plumwood's critique of classical negation does lead us to a deeper insight regarding which logics to apply in social justice contexts. Robin Dembroff's analysis of genderqueer as a critical gender kind helps us delineate a non-classical context in which a four-valued logic, such as FDE, can structurally account for the critical feature of this gender kind in a way classical logic cannot. We will also observe how four-valued logics precisely capture the destabilization of, and resistance to, the exclusive and exhaustive gender binary categories Dembroff describes.

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