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Butler, Judith, , . Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity
1999, Routledge.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Publisher’s note: Arguing that traditional feminism is wrong to look to a natural, ‘essential’ notion of the female, or indeed of sex or gender, Butler starts by questioning the category ‘woman’ and continues in this vein with examinations of ‘the masculine’ and ‘the feminine’. Best known however, but also most often misinterpreted, is Butler’s concept of gender as a reiterated social performance rather than the expression of a prior reality.

Comment: All of this book would be very useful for a feminist philosophy course, but chapter 1 in particular would be great to use for a unit on the metaphysics of gender, by considering Butler’s account of gender being performative, and how this links in with the social constructivist account of gender.

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Eaton, A. W., , . Feminist philosophy of art
2008, Philosophy Compass 3 (5):873-893.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir

Abstract: This article outlines the issues addressed by feminist philosophy of art, critically surveys major developments in the field, and concludes by considering directions in which the field is moving.

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Holroyd, Jules, , . Feminist Metaethics
2013, International Encyclopedia of Ethics (ed. H. LaFollette).
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Abstract: Metaethical questions concern the nature of morality: are there moral properties, and, if so, what kind of thing are they? How do they motivate us? How should we understand moral discourse, and how can we gain moral knowledge?

Comment: Great paper to use for either a metaethics or a feminist philosophy course. Would work well as a core reading, as it maps the terrain very well. It could be good to set students seminar prep work of picking one feminist meta-ethicist that Holroyd mentions, and to research some more into their view – to explain to the class briefly (a minute or so per person).

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Holroyd, Jules, Robin Scaife, Tom Stafford. What is Implicit Bias?
2017, Philosophy Compass 12(10).
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Abstract: Research programs in empirical psychology over the past few decades have led scholars to posit implicit biases. This is due to the development of innovative behavioural measures that have revealed aspects of our cognitions which may not be identified on self?report measures requiring individuals to reflect on and report their attitudes and beliefs. But what does it mean to characterise such biases as implicit? Can we satisfactorily articulate the grounds for identifying them as bias? And crucially, what sorts of cognitions are in fact being measured; what mental states or processes underpin such behavioural responses? In this paper, we outline some of the philosophical and empirical issues engaged when attempting to address these three questions. Our aim is to provide a constructive taxonomy of the issues, and how they interrelate. As we will see, any view about what implicit bias is may depend on a range of prior theoretical choices.

Comment: Perfect for the start of a unit/course on implicit bias, as this paper provides a clear overview of the phenomenon of implicit bias, the evidence for it, and ways to interpret it.

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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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Langton, Rae, , Jennifer Hornsby. Free Speech and Illocution
1998, Legal Theory 4(1): 21-37.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Abstract: We defend the view of some feminist writers that the notion of silencing has to be taken seriously in discussions of free speech. We assume that what ought to be meant by ‘speech’, in the context ‘free speech’, is whatever it is that a correct justification of the right to free speech justifies one in protecting. And we argue that what one ought to mean includes illocution, in the sense of J.L. Austin.

Comment: Very useful for an ethics course element on free speech, or for a feminist philosophy course, or indeed a philosophy of language (trap with the latter is that essays might become too ‘ethics’-y). Would definitely be suitable as a core text, with set questions focusing on different elements of the paper to draw out the key arguments. Students could be asked whether they agree with this definition of free speech, and to apply it in different contexts that have recently been in the news.

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Langton, Rae, , . Sexual Solipsism: Philosophical Essays on Pornography and Objectification
2009, Oxford Uuniversity Press.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Publisher’s note: Rae Langton here draws together her ground-breaking and contentious work on pornography and objectification. She shows how women come to be objectified — made subordinate and treated as things — and she argues for the controversial feminist conclusions that pornography subordinates and silences women, and women have rights against pornography.

Comment: Any of these chapters would be really useful for a feminist philosophy or ethics course, and can be studied in a ‘stand alone’ sense. In particular, the ‘sexual solipsism’ chapter itself contains numerous discussion points. It could be good for different groups of students to each be assigned a different chapter, and then to present to the class as a whole.

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Langton, Rae, , . Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts
1993, Philosophy and Public Affairs 22(4): 293-330.
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Summary: Considers the idea of construing Pornography as a speech act – what this would mean, and the implications that follow from this. Examines arguments that pornography can i) subordinate and ii) silence women.

Comment: Great paper for a feminist philosophy course – in particular, for a unit on Pornography. It could be good to set seminar questions asking (for example) how, according to Langton, pornography silences women. It could also be good to get students to be clear on Langton’s three different types of speech act, and to give their own examples of these. (The 3 being illocutionary, perlocutionary and locutionary).

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Le Doeuff, Michele, , . Hipparchia’s Choice: An Essay Concerning Women, Philosophy, Etc
2007, Columbia University Press.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by:

Abstract: A work of rare insight and irreverence, Hipparchia’s Choice boldly recasts the history of philosophy from the pre-Socratics to the post-Derrideans as one of masculine texts and male problems. The position of women, therefore, is less the result of a hypothetical “femininity” and more the fault of exclusion by men. Nevertheless, women have been and continue to be drawn to “the exercise of thought.” So how does a female philosopher become a conceptually adventurous woman? Focusing on the work of Sartre and Beauvoir (specifically, his sexism and her relation to it), Michele Le Doeuff shows how women philosophers can reclaim a place for feminist concerns. Is The Second Sex a work of philosophy, and, if so, what can it teach us about the relation of philosophy to experience? Now with a new epilogue, Hipparchia’s Choice points the way toward a discipline that is accountable to history, feminism, and society.

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Lovibond, Sabina, , Scheman, Naomi. Engenderings: Constructions of Knowledge, Authority and Privilege
1993, Routledge
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Abstract: Naomi Scheman argues that the concerns of philosophy emerge not from the universal human condition but from conditions of privilege. Her books represents a powerful challenge to the notion that gender makes no difference in the construction of philosophical reasoning. At the same time, it criticizes the narrow focus of most feminist theorizing and calls for a more inclusive form of inquiry.

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Lovibond, Sabina, , . Feminism and pragmatism: a reply to Richard Rorty
2010, In Marianne Janack (ed.), Feminist Interpretations of Richard Rorty. Pennsylvania State University Press.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by:

Abstract: This essay responds to a (1991) Tanner Lecture by Rorty in which he criticizes ‘universalist-realist’ views in ethics, as exemplified by the work of Lovibond up to ‘Feminism and Postmodernism’ (where he is discussed, along with Alasdair MacIntyre and Jean-Francois Lyotard, as a specimen postmodern thinker), and promotes his pragmatist philosophy as a congenial intellectual basis for feminism. The essay questions the claims of pragmatism in this respect, and reflects more generally on issues of realism, essentialism, conceptual innovation, and legitimation. It argues that to acknowledge the historically situated character of human existence is not to give up on the idea of an ethically orientated politics. Likewise, it suggests that the risk of flawed or irresponsible generality in political discourse is not all located on the side of realism. Finally, some consideration is given to the notion of gendered identity as a basis for feminist consciousness.

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Lovibond, Sabina, , . Iris Murdoch, Gender, and Philosophy
2011, Routledge.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by:

Publisher’s Note: Iris Murdoch was one of the best-known philosophers and novelists of the post-war period. In this book, Sabina Lovibond explores the tangled issue of Murdoch’s stance towards gender and feminism, drawing upon the evidence of her fiction, philosophy, and other public statements. As well as analysing Murdoch’s own attitudes, Iris Murdoch, Gender and Philosophy is also a critical enquiry into the way we picture intellectual, and especially philosophical, activity. Appealing to the idea of a ‘social imaginary’ within which Murdoch’s work is located, Lovibond examines the sense of incongruity or dissonance that may still affect our image of a woman philosopher, even where egalitarian views officially hold sway. The first thorough exploration of Murdoch and gender, Iris Murdoch, Gender and Philosophy is a fresh contribution to debates in feminist philosophy and gender studies, and essential reading for anyone interested in Murdoch’s literary and philosophical writing

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McKinnon, Rachel, , Conrad, Aryn. Including Trans Women in Sport: Analyzing Principles and Policies of Fairness in Competition
2020, In: Philosophical Topics: Gendered Oppression and Its Intersections (Ed. Bianka Takaoka and Kate Manne)
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Lizzy Ventham

Abstract: In this paper, we examine the scientific, legal, and ethical foundations for inclusion of transgender women athletes in competitive sport, drawing on IOC principles and relevant Court of Arbitration for Sport decisions. We argue that the inclusion of transathletes in competition commensurate with their legal gender is the most consistent position with these principles of fair and equitable sport. Biological restrictions, such as endogenous testosterone limits, are not consistent with IOC and CAS principles. We explore the implications for recognizing that endogenous testosterone values are a natural physical trait and that excluding legally recognized women for high endogenous testosterone values constitutes discrimination on the basis of a natural physical trait. We suggest that the justificatory burden for such prima facie discrimination is unlikely to be met. Thus, in place of a limit on endogenous testosterone for women (whether cisgender, transgender, or intersex), we argue that legally recognized gender is most fully in line with IOC and CAS principles.

Comment: I would use this paper primarily as a key piece of reading in an applied ethics class. It’s detailed, topical, and can be a great way to start discussions on trans* issues, gender, sport, and fairness. It makes some good use of science and statistics, but in a way that’s accessible, and it offers original arguments. It would also be useful in classes on feminism or the philosophy of sport.

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Mcweeny, Jennifer, , . Liberating Anger, Embodying Knowledge: A Comparative Study of Maria Lugones and Zen Master Hakuin
2010, Hypatia 25 (2):295 – 315.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: This paper strengthens the theoretical ground of feminist analyses of anger by explaining how the angers of the oppressed are ways of knowing. Relying on insights created through the juxtaposition of Latina feminism and Zen Buddhism, I argue that these angers are special kinds of embodied perceptions that surface when there is a profound lack of fit between a particular bodily orientation and its framing world of sense. As openings to alternative sensibilities, these angers are transformative, liberatory, and deeply epistemological.

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Midgley, Mary, , . What is Philosophy For?
2018, London: Bloomsbury Academic
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by:

Publisher’s Note: Why should anybody take an interest in philosophy? Is it just another detailed study like metallurgy? Or is it similar to history, literature and even religion: a study meant to do some personal good and influence our lives? In her last published work, Mary Midgley addresses provocative questions, interrogating the various forms of our current intellectual anxieties and confusions and how we might deal with them. In doing so, she provides a robust, yet not uncritical, defence of philosophy and the life of the mind.
This defence is expertly placed in the context of contemporary debates about science, religion, and philosophy. It asks whether, in light of rampant scientific and technological developments, we still need philosophy to help us think about the big questions of meaning, knowledge, and value.

Comment: An accessible text that could serve well as an alternative introduction to philosophical methodology.

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