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Nussbaum, Martha. Twelve Feminists and Philosophy
2012, In Philosophical Interventions: Reviews 1986-2011. New York
Added by: Franci Mangraviti and Viviane Fairbank
This chapter reviews the book A Mind of One's Own: Feminist Essays on Reason and Objectivity (1993), by Louise B. Antony and Charlotte Witt. The appeal to reason and objectivity amounts to a request that the observer refuses to be intimidated by habit, and look for cogent arguments based on evidence that has been carefully sifted for bias. In our own society the arguments of feminists make such appeals to reason and objectivity all the time, and in a manner that closely resembles Platonic arguments. And yet today reason and objectivity are on the defensive in some feminist circles. We are frequently told that reason and objectivity are norms created by "patriarchy," and that to appeal to them is to succumb to the blandishments of the oppressor. We are told that systems of reasoning are systems of domination, and that to adopt the traditional one is thus to be co-opted. A Mind of One's Own is a collection of essays by women who are prominent in philosophy today and who wish to confront recent feminist criticisms of philosophy. Most of the contributors are under fifty and widely respected; most grew up with strong political ties to feminism.

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