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Professor Claims Feminism Helps Philosophy

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Grace Carr Reporter
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Philosophical feminism is gaining traction and offers a powerful beacon of light for both women and the profession, Notre Dame philosophy professor Dr. Gary Gutting wrote in a Monday New York Times op-ed.

“Feminist philosophy should be an essential resource for all philosophers, whatever their views about its political agenda,” Gutting wrote. “To see why, it will help to reflect on an earlier disruption to the philosophical establishment: the ‘pluralist revolt’ against the dominant analytic philosophy of the 1970s and ’80s.”

The professor wrote that philosophical feminism has not only decisively furthered feminism as a political cause, but has also “broadened and deepened analytic philosophy.”

Gutting invoked feminist philosopher Sally Haslanger’s comments about anger, saying that the moral energy spurring the feminist movement is in the process of shaking the foundations of American philosophical thought.

“There is a deep well of rage inside of me. Rage about how I as an individual have been treated in philosophy; rage about how others I know have been treated; and rage about the conditions that I’m sure affect many women and minorities in philosophy, and have caused many others to leave,” Haslanger wrote less than a decade ago.

Gutting added that feminism itself seems devoted to gender equality, even if those within the philosophical movement don’t agree on its definition or how best to achieve it.

“But looking at the significant achievements of feminist philosophers, feminism promises to improve not only the climate for women but also philosophical thinking itself,” Gutting concluded.

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