Saturday, July 16, 2011

Feminist 'logic'

Nye, Andrea. Words of Power: A Feminist Reading of the History of Logic. New York: Routledge, 1990. (Thinking Gender Series)

Representing Reason: Feminist Theory and Formal Logic, edited by Rachel Joffe Falmagne and Marjorie Hass. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2002.
Here is the publisher's description:
Philosophy's traditional "man of reason"—independent, neutral, unemotional—is an illusion. That's because the "man of reason" ignores one very important thing—the woman.

As feminist philosophy grew in the 1980s and '90s, it became clear that the attributes philosophical tradition wrote off as "womanly" are in fact part of human nature. No longer can philosophy maintain the dichotomy between the rational man and the emotional woman, but must now examine a more complex human being, able to reason and feel. Yet feminist philosophy also makes it clear that men and women theorize the world in different ways, from different perspectives. Representing Reasons: Feminist Theory and Formal Logic collects new and old essays that shed light on the underexplored intersection of logic and feminism.

The papers in this collection cross over many of the traditional divides between continental and analytic philosophy, between philosophical reflection and empirical investigation, and between empirical investigations with an individual or societal grain of analysis. This is possible because Representing Reasons frames the relationship between logic and feminism in terms of issues rather than historical figures or methodologies. As such, the articles serve as a model for crossing these divides, just as they break down the traditional divide between logic and feminism.
Here is what I wrote about this nonsense on 29 August 2006 (only slightly edited):
This drivel creates rather than closes a gap between logic and feminism and demonstrates how feminist philosophy defiles every subject it touches. "Feminism" in academic terms apparently has nothing to do with the perceptible goals of the sadly now antiquated term "women's liberation" (which presumably meant something); rather it is the self-serving ideological smokescreen for a professional middle class elite, much like Afrocentrism or similar mystical nationalisms. It is ironic but telling how traditionally 'feminine' petit bourgeois feminist theory is in practice—oh, I'm just a helpless innocent emotional female and look what these awful men have done to me—i.e. resorting to the most traditionally feminine weapons—duplicity and manipulation. If 'theorizing the world differently' comes to this, then these women have disqualified themselves from any claim to reason and demonstrated the very intellectual inferiority they protest.

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