Feminist Philosophy – Open Access resources

by Ingrid Robeyns on March 8, 2016

Happy International Women’s Day, everybody!

This year my small contribution will be to try to be a broker in (semi-) Open Access feminist philosophy. I’ll post a few links to a few good sources in feminist philosophy, and you add yours in the comments section (including your own, don’t be shy!) – deal?

First, before anything else, let’s be grateful for the philosophers at Feminist Philosophers who have, over the years, created a superb source of information on gender (and other diversity) issues in academic philosophy, but also on topics in feminist philosophy.

Then, under ‘my favorite readings’, I want to list Harry’s brilliant experiment that can be used whenever young people believe that gender justice within the family is an issue of the past, no longer of the present. Harry, did you do any recent replications, or do all students of yours already know what you’re after and hence you can no longer conduct the experiment?

And I want to list Anca Gheaus’s article giving a theoretical account of gender justice in the Open Access Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy. Also excellent is the work on the gendered division of labour by Gina Schouten, but it seems you need to be signed up to Academia.edu if you want to read her papers on Gina’s Academia website.

The indispensable Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a wide range of entries on feminist philosophy. And, there’s now also a fully Open Access journal, Feminist Philosophy Quarterly, run by some great feminist philosophers.

What would you like to add to this list of (semi-) open access feminist philosophy resources?



Placeholder 03.08.16 at 9:24 pm

After the Haymarket massacre in Chicago the Second International called for an International Workers’ Day on May 1 in 1889. Today Labour Day is removed a safe distance into the autumn and the 1st May may be be, with the variations of the calendar “Law Day”, “Loyalty Day” and “National Day of Prayer”. In 1910 Clara Zetkin called for an International Working Women’s Day in March (the current stylization is a UN gloss). The Triangle Shirtwaist fire on March 25th 1911 made for a grim first anniversary. Clara Zetkin would go on a remarkable journey in the course of her life, from the SPD to the opening the final session of the Weimar Reichstag:

“THE MOST important immediate task is the formation of a United Front of all workers in order to turn back fascism (Communist shouts of “very true”) in order to preserve for the enslaved and exploited, the force and power of their organization as well as to maintain their own physical existence.

Before this compelling historical necessity, all inhibiting and dividing political, trade union, religious and ideological opinions must take a back seat. All those who feel themselves threatened, all those who suffer and all those who long for liberation must belong to the United Front against fascism and its representatives in government.

The self-assertion of the workers vis-à-vis fascism is the next indispensable prerequisite for the United Front in the battle against crises and imperialist wars and their cause, the capitalist means of production. The revolt of millions of laboring men and women in Germany against hunger, slavery, fascist murder and imperialist wars is an expression of the indestructible destiny of the workers of the entire world.

This international community of fate must become an iron fighting community which connect them to the vanguard of their brothers and sisters in the Soviet Union. The strikes and revolts in various countries are flaming signs which tell the fighters in Germany that they do not stand alone. Everywhere the disinherited and oppressed people are beginning to move towards a seizure of power.

The United Front of workers, which is also constituting itself in Germany, must not lack the millions of women, who still bear the chains of sex slavery (Communist shouts of “very good”), and are therefore exposed to the most oppressive class slavery. The youths that want to blossom and mature must fight in the very front ranks.

Today they face no other prospects but blind obedience and exploitation in the ranks of the obligatory Labor Service. All those who work with their minds and augment the prosperity and culture by their knowledge and diligence, but who in today’s bourgeois society have become superfluous, also belong in this United Front.

Those who, as salary and wage slaves, are tribute-paying dependents of capitalism and simultaneously constitute preservers and victims of capitalism, also belong in the United Front.

I am opening this Congress in the fulfillment of my duties as honorary president and in the hope that despite my current infirmities, I may yet have the fortune to open as honorary president of the first Soviet Congress of a Soviet Germany.”

Please consider Clara Zetkin thought: https://www.marxists.org/archive/zetkin/index.htm


RNB 03.08.16 at 11:03 pm

I mentioned on another thread the work of Christina Bicchieri on norms.


RNB 03.08.16 at 11:06 pm

For some reason not going through Gillian Barker against biofatalism


RNB 03.08.16 at 11:10 pm

In the message that did not go through I said that I wanted to read Gillian Barker, but have not yet. Taught Bicchieri whom I found challenging and brilliant. Penelope Deutscher I always find worth reading; she writes from a continental perspective. I also find Amartya Sen’s analysis of positional objectivity in terms of women’s morbidity very important. It’s in Idea of Justice. Judith Butler’s work always unsettles me.


Matt 03.09.16 at 12:39 am

No resources to add, but looking over that old post from Harry, I’m struck by two things: 1) the commenters on this blog have really changed over the years. Many of the most common ones now were not there then, and many of the common ones then are not hear now.

2) Harry said, in a reply to Russell Fox, in my own liberal/feminist/non-religious environment I am amazed by the extent to which people treat boys and girls differently in many respects including this one (boys are rarely expected to look after siblings, girls frequently so, and this is true even of boys whom I would trust to look after my own kids).
I find this interesting because I’m pretty sure it’s mostly a class thing. In my neighborhood (a fairly working-class one, and really very conservative, certainly not one with progressive gender roles) older boys watched their siblings because they were older. The same reasons applied to older girls. They did this so that parents didn’t have to spend money on baby-sitters. The idea that a boy who was old enough (and not a complete space case) would not watch his siblings, and that a (female) baby-sitter would be hired, would have been seen as really very extravagant. But, this in turn didn’t seem to lead to more gender neutral views among most people. I’m not sure what to say about that except that it’s hard to make true generalizations out of limited experience.


Val 03.11.16 at 11:03 pm

Ingrid, sorry this is a bit late, I don’t have anything to add but I wanted to say thank you. I follow feminist philosophers but some of these were new to me and very interesting.

My background (MA) is in social history, I’m now doing my PhD in a public health department (ie ‘science’). I would really like to talk about epistemology in my thesis but feel a bit restricted by the lack of a philosophical background (my non history major was psychology in my undergraduate degree).

We do regular reviews during our PhDs and one of the more ‘science-y’ people once asked me how I could guarantee objectivity (my research is mainly qualitative). I was actually at a bit of a loss, though I managed to respond reasonably. I’ve read quite a lot about this, both theoretical-methodological stuff about qualitative research in health and also some feminist philosophy especially where there is a cross over with feminist history. I’ve read Carol Gilligan, Sandra Harding and Donna Haraway, for example, but it still seems difficult to put these ideas into words when you come up against people who don’t seem familiar with the whole subjectivity/positionality vs objectivity ‘view from nowhere’ discussion that has been going on particularly in feminist scholarship.

I once read an article that said unquestioning acceptance of ‘scientific objectivity’ was a thing of the past in academic research, and I thought ‘that’s a bit optimistic’. Anyway I guess I’m interested in any resources that would explain some of these ideas in plain language, that would be accessible to people who weren’t familiar with the debates, and that would be relevant in explaining why, for example, random controlled trials are not always the ‘gold standard’ of research, as they are sometimes described by public health people.

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