What The Philosophy Smoker Is Doing About What It’s Like

June 24, 2011 § 14 Comments

Something cool happened over at the Philosophy Smoker, when Mr. Zero did something about What It’s Like.  The comment policy was changed: “I will not approve douchey comments. I will not approve trollish or needlessly quarrelsome comments. I will not approve comments that make unfounded claims about how easy it is to be a woman in philosophy, or how hard it is to be a white man in philosophy. I will not approve comments that, in my judgement, do not meaningfully add to the discussion or move it forward.”

This is awesome, but the resulting comments turned up a new topic, which was kicked off with an observation by someone who said that his girlfriend believes “feminist philosophy is pseudophilosophy” but also seriously asked what constructive things can be done for women in philosophy. ?!?!

So here’s what I’m doing about what it’s like.  For starters, I’m not denigrating the work of all feminist philosophers.  Because that is the opposite of doing something constructive for women in philosophy.

This is an open call for others to affirm the work of those women in philosophy who write from a feminist perspective.  Who’s your favorite pseudophilosopher?  I’m going to go with Val Plumwood, whose “Feminism and the Mastery of Nature” was one of the best things I read in graduate school.

§ 14 Responses to What The Philosophy Smoker Is Doing About What It’s Like

  • […] at What We’re Doing About What It’s Like, we’ve posted the following: This is an open call for others to affirm the work of those women in philosophy who write from a […]

  • jj says:

    Aren’t there way too many excellent feminist philosophers for us to pick a best. I myself can’t think which has been most valuable to me: those who provide sharp and new insights into mainstream areas or those who have opened up philosophy to new topics. A few of the first, some of whom are among the second, are annette Baier, Genevieve Lloyd, lorraine Code, helen Longino. And so on and on.

  • profbigk says:

    About as far from pseudo as can be: Elizabeth Minnich, Claudia Card, Jean Harvey, Sylvia Burrow, Virginia Held, Susan Brison… I just have to assume that anyone who thinks they’re not doing philosophy simply has not read them.

    They SO-do-philosophy! (Get it, pseudo, SO do… well, I thought it was funny.)

  • robin says:

    This “pseudophilosophy” term also points to the fact that many feminist philosophers do their work outside “official” academic philosophy departments, in large part b/c philosophy has been so hostile to feminism. I can think of Susan Bordo, Guyatri Spivak, Angela Davis, Maria Lugones, Ewa Ziareck, Anita Allen (she has a joint appointment), Judith Butler…who else?

  • Logoskaieros says:

    Helen Longino. Shifted the course of the phil. o. sci. debate on objectivity and values for even the non-pseudophilosophers.

  • Deouglas says:

    Ayn Rand

  • Jender says:

    I think one really sees the absurdity of “feminist philosophy is pseudophilosophy” when one realises that this categorises such mainstream figures as Martha Nussbaum (or even JS Mill!), and such deeply analytic philosophers as Sally Haslanger or Rae Langton or Louise Antony or Miranda Fricker, as pseudophilosophers. Sigh.

  • eSEB says:

    While agreeing with the previous notion that there are just too many to pick a few–and I’m not a philosopher, only a fan–I would add to the list Ann E Cudd and Linda Alcoff,

  • sk says:

    robin: iris marion young. seyla benhabib (though she may have a joint appointment?). nancy fraser (ditto).

  • Paul says:

    Margaret Urban Walker

  • Bartkyfan says:

    Sandra Bartky.

  • justanotherfemalephilosopher says:

    Naomi Scheman

  • sk says:

    luce irigaray.
    julia kristeva.
    michele le doeuff.
    simone de beauvoir.
    drucilla cornell.
    la delle mcwhorter.
    patricia mills.

  • Helen DC says:

    Helen Longino
    Alison Wylie

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