Undergraduate Module Descriptor
PHL3041: Feminist Philosophy
This module descriptor refers to the 2017/8 academic year.
|Term(s) and duration|
This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks)
Dr Christine Hauskeller (Lecturer)
|Available via distance learning|
Feminist philosophy introduces you to philosophical theories of justice, equality and epistemology in feminist theory. We start with an introduction to the beginnings of feminist theory in the 18 th Century suffrage movement and the sex-difference theories of Enlightenment philosophers, reading some works by the most famous feminist authors, and will then concentrate on 20th Century feminism in the 1970s and 1980s.
The approaches developed in feminist philosophy have shaped the reflection and judgment in other social debates including racial and ethnic diversity and local and global economic diversity and ecology. We discuss theories including constructivism, stand point theory, care ethics, and theories of difference. While developed philosophically in the context of the feminist movement these theories are fundamental for reflecting more widely on justice, equality and the perception of truth. The identity of the modern individual as it is defined and re-configured in social relations and theories and how features such as sex or race are becoming crucial and defining aspects of the self and social roles are inherent themes in the history of feminist philosophy.
This course in philosophy engages with present day moral and societal questions, including the new feminist and anti-discrimination movement present in the new media. It also discusses issues of cultural diversity, economic and legal equality, and the gap between formal rights and the ability to demand their enactment in everyday life.
Main requirements are an interest in the themes addressed in the course and that you are prepared to do the readings and contribute actively in the seminars. The course is open as an option module in philosophy to students in social sciences and other disciplines. As introductions to the topic you might want to read Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine Mystique and watch the recent 3-part BBC 2 documentary Suffragettes Forever! by Amanda Vickery.