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Feminist philosophy is a "philosophy approached from a "feminist perspective and also the employment of philosophical methods to feminist topics and questions.[1] Feminist philosophy involves both reinterpreting philosophical texts and methods in order to supplement the feminist movement and attempts to criticise or re-evaluate the ideas of traditional philosophy from within a feminist framework.[2]


Main features[edit]

Feminist philosophy is united by a central concern with "gender. It also typically involves some form of commitment to justice for women, whatever form that may take.[3] Aside from these uniting features, feminist philosophy is a diverse field covering a wide range of topics from a variety of approaches. Feminist philosophers, as philosophers, are found in both the "analytic and "continental traditions, and a myriad of different viewpoints are taken on philosophical issues within those traditions. Feminist philosophers, as feminists, can also belong to many different "varieties of feminism.[2]

Feminist philosophy can be understood to have three main functions:

  1. Drawing on philosophical methodologies and theories to articulate and theorize about feminist concerns and perspectives. This can include providing a philosophical analysis of concepts regarding identity (such as race, socio-economic status, gender, sexuality, ability, and religion) and concepts that are very widely used and theorised within feminist theory more broadly. Feminist philosophy has also been an important source for arguments for "gender equality.
  2. Investigating "sexism and "androcentrism within the philosophical tradition. This can involve critiquing texts and theories that are typically classified as part of the philosophical canon, especially by focusing on their presentation of women and women's experience or the exclusion of women from the philosophical tradition. Another significant trend is the rediscovery of the work of many "female philosophers whose contributions have not been recognised.
  3. Contributing to philosophy with new approaches to existing questions as well as new questions and fields of research in light of their critical inquiries into the philosophical tradition and reflecting their concern with gender.[3]

Feminist philosophy existed before the twentieth century but became labelled as such in relation to the discourse of "second-wave feminists of the 1960s and 1970s. An important aspect of feminist philosophy is whether it can capture the experiences of women around the globe and from different social classes.


Feminist philosophy covers a broad range of topics, including:

Major figures[edit]

Influential feminist philosophers include:["citation needed]


Critics of feminist philosophy are not generally "critics of feminism as a political or cultural movement but of the philosophical positions put forth under the title "feminist philosophy".["citation needed]

Writers and thinkers who have criticised aspects of feminist philosophy include:

A phenomenological approach to the question of gender, which treats masculinity and femininity as not pertaining ascriptively to males and females, but as alternative ways, open to both women and men, of human beings presenting themselves as who they are, is taken by the Australian philosopher, Michael Eldred. 'Feminine' being is then thought as an 'interstitial' mode of encounter between you-and-me rather than showing off who one is in self-presentation.[4][5][6] This approach is indebted to both the German tradition of dialogical philosophy and to Heidegger's questioning return to Greek ontology in search of as yet latent, alternative historical modes of (human) being apart from the established Western modes of 'substantial' standing presence..

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Gatens, M., Feminism and Philosophy: Perspectives on Difference and Equality (Indiana University Press, 1991)
  3. ^ a b c Kittay, Eva Feder & Linda Martín Alcoff, "Introduction: Defining Feminist Philosophy" in The Blackwell Guide to Feminist Philosophy, Blackwell Publishing, 2007. "ISBN "0470695382
  4. ^ Eldred, Michael, 2005, 'Barely encountering you'
  5. ^ Eldred, Michael, 2008, 'Metaphysics of Feminism: A Critical Note on Judith Butler's Gender Trouble'
  6. ^ Eldred, Michael, 1999, Phänomenologie der Männlichkeit Roell, Dettelbach, 266 pp. "ISBN "3-89754-137-8

External links[edit]

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