Undergraduate Module Descriptor
PHL2041: Feminist Philosophy: Gender, Race and Class
This module descriptor refers to the 2022/3 academic year.
|Term(s) and duration|
This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks)
Dr Astrid Schrader (Convenor)
|Available via distance learning|
Feminist philosophy introduces you to theories about equality and justice in relation to the discrimination of women. We will focus on feminist literature from the past 50 years. Reading works by the most famous feminist philosophers, such as Angela Davis, Nancy Fraser, and Judith Butler among others.
Feminist philosophy is a theory as well as a practice with direct political goals. Similar to other critical philosophies of society, such a postcolonial theory or critical race theory, it has a normative and political motivation and aim. Approaches developed in feminist philosophy have shaped reflection and judgment in other social debates (e.g. racial and ethnic diversity, local and global economic diversity). We will discuss theories including constructivism, standpoint theory, care ethics, and theories of recognition. While developed in the context of the feminist movement, they are now widely applied in reflections on justice, equality and the perception of truth. The modern individual as defined in social relations is being challenged, and philosophers ask how features such as sex or race work as classifiers of who we are as individuals. At the same time, binaries of male and female, hetero- or homosexual are being challenged, both in theory and in society.
This module brings together problems of social and political philosophy, but also of epistemology. How do we know what man or woman is and what does it mean, why does it matter for your identity and self in the social order we live in. It engages with present day moral and societal questions, including the new feminist and anti-discrimination movement and the intersectional approach developed to address overlapping forms of discrimination. We will discuss the gap between formal rights and their everyday realization as well as problems of cultural diversity, economic and legal in/equality, institutional and systemic discrimination/bias.
Requirements are: an interest in the themes above; preparedness to reading the weekly texts; willingness to present on one of them in the seminar; active contribution in the seminars. The module is open as an optional module in philosophy to students in social sciences and other disciplines.