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Nye, Andrea. Words of Power: A Feminist Reading of the History of Logic
1990, New York: Routledge
Added by: Franci Mangraviti
Publisher’s Note:

Is logic masculine? Is women's lack of interest in the "hard core" philosophical disciplines of formal logic and semantics symptomatic of an inadequacy linked to sex? Is the failure of women to excel in pure mathematics and mathematical science a function of their inability to think rationally? Andrea Nye undermines the assumptions that inform these questions, assumptions such as: logic is unitary, logic is independenet of concrete human relations, and logic transcends historical circumstances as well as gender. In a series of studies of the logics of historical figures--Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, Zeno, Abelard, Ockham, and Frege--she traces the changing interrelationships between logical innovation and oppressive speech strategies, showing that logic is not transcendent truth but abstract forms of language spoken by men, whether Greek ruling citizens, or scientists.

Comment: The book, and in particular its conclusion, has for decades been a central point of reference in the literature on feminist logic. It is a natural starting point for a course focused on feminist logic, and an appropriate further reading when discussing particular texts which present themselves as an answer to it. The conclusion can be read independently; a chapter or two from the rest of the book could also be assigned to exemplify Nye's style of "reading". A typical response to pair is Ayim's "Passing through the needle's eye".

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