Feminist Reflections on the History of Philosophy (The New Synthese Historical Library)

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Feminist work in the history of philosophy has come of age as an innovative field in the history of philosophy. This volume marks that accomplishment with original essays by leading feminist scholars who ask basic questions: What is distinctive of feminist work in the history of philosophy?

The New Synthese Historical Library | Miira Tuominen | Springer

Is there a method that is distinctive of feminist historical work? How can women philosophers be meaningfully included in the history of the discipline? Hare Buffalo, N. Schmitz, Kenneth. Rodi, Frithjof.

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This section, pp. Holland, A. Philosophy, Its History and Historiography. Dordrecht, Holland; Boston: D. Reidel Pub. Knuuttila, Simo; Niiniluoto, Ilkka; eds. Methods of Philosophy and the History of Philosophy. Jacquette, Dale, ed. Philosophical Studies Series; Kelley, Donald R. Kusch, Martin. London; New York: Routledge, Four Appendices to Psychologism Hanna, Robert. Review: Martin Kusch, Psychologism by R. See also psychologism Studies in a Dying Culture. Kusch, Martin, ed. The Sociology of Philosophical Knowledge.

Dordrecht; Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, New Synthese Historical Library; Lavine, T. History and Anti-History in Philosophy. Nijhoff International Philosophy series; v. Blackwell, Philip Weller.


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Original Italian ed. Dordrecht: Springer, Models of the History of Philosophy: Vol. Original Italian eds.

English edition incorporates chapter 1 of vol. Oizerman, Theodore. Moscow: Progress Publishers, Park, Peter K. Peperzak, Adriaan Theodoor. Piercey, Robert. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Rorty, Richard; Schneewind, J. Philosophy in History: Essays on the Historiography of Philosophy. Schneewind, J. Smith, Justin E. Princeton: Princeton University Press, Sorell, Tom; Rogers, G. Analytic Philosophy and History of Philosophy. Introduction, Tom Sorell 1. Is the History of Philosophy Good for Philosophy?

What's Philosophical About the History of Philosphy?

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Locke, Therapy, and Analysis, G. Rogers 9. Ayers The divine is to be found in the space between two human beings who encounter each other face to face in the recognition of sexual difference. Transcendence for women hinges on the possibility of this radical, and relational, immanentizing of the meaning of divinity. As new waves of historicism and anti-essentialism register among the generation of post-analytic philosophers of religion, dissatisfaction has begun to develop with the traditional topics.

This section samples several emerging directions that signal the new preoccupations of feminist philosophers of religion. Epistemological questions constitute an important part of the agenda for feminist philosophies of religion. What has the status of knowledge in various religious traditions? What gets valorized as worth knowing? What are the criteria evoked? Who has the authority to establish religious meaning? Is religious meaning something distinct from or independent of ordinary linguistic meanings of words?

Who is the presumed subject of religious belief? How does the social position of the subject affect the content of religious belief? What do we learn by examining the relations between power, on the one hand, and what counts as evidence, foundations, modes of discourse, forms of apprehension and transmission, on the other? What particular processes constitute the normative cultural subject as masculine in its philosophical and religious dimensions? The work of feminist philosopher of religion Pamela Sue Anderson offers a good example of the feminist standpoint theory approach to religion and gender, unadulterated by any loyalty to Christianity.

In the first book-length study to be entitled A Feminist Philosophy of Religion Anderson set out to revise and reform philosophy of religion by using feminist standpoint epistemology as developed by Sandra Harding in philosophy of science. Applied to philosophy of religion, feminist standpoint epistemology involves thinking from the perspective of women who have been oppressed by specific monotheistic religious beliefs. Anderson challenges both the privileged model of God as a disembodied person and the related model of reason as neutral, objective, and free of bias and desire.

Spinning new myths or devising new conceptions of a divine reality are not part of this agenda. However, adequate understanding of the religious beliefs of embodied persons, according to Anderson, requires a deeper analysis of the multiple intertwinings between reason and desire than philosophy of religion normally shows.


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  • But how are feminists to talk about the material content of female desire? At just this point feminist standpoint epistemology yields to poststructuralist insights and Anderson finds in the work of Irigaray, Kristeva, and bell hooks themes that are missing in mainstream epistemology and some feminist epistemology. As used by bell hooks , yearning is a positive act that motivates struggle in the search for personal and communal justice. It shapes a spirituality. According to Anderson, yearning is the vital reality of human life which gives rise to religious belief.

    Therefore, philosophical analysis of and feminist concern with reason combined with desire, as found in expressions of yearning for truth whether epistemological, ethical justice , or aesthetic love or beauty , need to supplement standard approaches to philosophy of religion. One must be careful, Anderson says, not to conflate yearning with only a disguised form of the philosophical aspiration to be infinite. In place of this Anderson calls for an approach that would allow instantiating the regulative ideals of truth, love, goodness, and justice as conditions for any incorrupt craving for infinitude.

    Humans can yearn for truth or crave infinitude while at the same time acknowledging self-consciously held and embodied locations Anderson Questions of the justifiability of religious belief have previously been center stage in philosophy of religion. Anderson does not consider this question per se , but instead analyzes the prior question of the rational construction of belief and the production of knowledge. At the same time she argues against any swift dismissal of justificatory questions, as well as against a strict focus on the justification of theistic beliefs.

    The myths of Mirabai, the legendary Hindu poetess-saint, and Antigone, the mythical figure of insurgence in Greek tragedy, are useful in understanding the notion of yearning as a rational passion linked to bodily experiences chap. Anderson finds the disruptive mimings of these myths helpful for challenging the narrow parameters of empirical realist forms of theism.

    Grace Jantzen issues a radical challenge to other feminist philosophers who would make epistemology, rather than psychoanalytic theory, their point of departure in studying religion and its repressed underside. Jantzen , She argues that questions about truth and the justification of religious belief can be dismissed as categories of the masculine symbolic.

    If feminist philosophy of religion is ever to transform the symbolic order which inscribes this imaginary, it is necessary to change the imaginary. For this purpose, a model of transformative change drawn from psychoanalysis and Continental philosophy of religion is more useful than a model drawn from Anglo-American adversarial modes of argumentation Jantzen To demonstrate the extent to which the Western symbolic is saturated with violence and death, epitomized in the crucified Christ, Jantzen situated her philosophy of religion in relation to the psychoanalytic theory of both Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray.

    Their account offers a theory of one of the most important features of any religion: sacrifice. There is no imperative to sacrifice the mother in order to commence formation of the self in the cultural realm. However important separation and individuation are in subject formation, they are not proportional to death and violence. If we were to attend to natality instead, Jantzen wrote, we would be better able to create a new imaginary based on birth, life, and potentiality Jantzen Feminist philosophy of religion can attend better to the symbolic impact of birth rather than death as a strategy for creating a new imaginary construct that emphasizes flourishing of life rather than sacrifice of it.

    The norms of moral or political adequacy replace those of epistemic adequacy Jantzen If one asks what the ontological status of the divine is for Jantzen, one could say that it is pantheistic see Jantzen , chap. As immanent, the divine is this world; there is no other.

    Empowerment and Interconnectivity

    What previously had been seen as a set of polarities now opens out into a play of diversities, bringing the divine to life through us. Thanatos , a death drive, far from being a universal of human nature, as Freud believed, is a gendered construction of Western modernity, according to Jantzen, with precursors in Christendom and classical antiquity. Homer, Sophocles, Plato and Aristotle provide the genealogy of violence in Western thought that Jantzen critiques here, while Plotinus stands in for all those other-worldly seekers who gesture toward release in another world. What was to be a six-volumed study on Death and the Displacement of Beauty in the western tradition can be comprehended in incipient form in Jantzen These feminist readings rely on critical appropriations of psychoanalysis and Derridean reading practices to re-assess a topic that stands at the center of much modern philosophy of religion.

    Belief and its formation, they show, is implicated in the formation of the subject and sexual difference, as well as related issues of embodiment and presence and absence.