Chapter

GENDER AND RATIONALITY

Karen Jones

in The Oxford Handbook of Rationality

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780195145397
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199752393 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195145399.003.0016
 GENDER AND RATIONALITY

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Jones explores feminist stances toward gender and rationality. These divide into three broad camps: the “classical feminist” stance, according to which what needs to be challenged are not available norms and ideals of rationality, but rather the supposition that women are unable to meet them; the “different voice” stance, which challenges available norms of rationality as either incomplete or accorded an inflated importance; and the “strong critical” stance, which finds fault with the norms and ideals themselves. This contribution focuses on assessing the various projects—some rival, some complementary—being pursued within the third, critical camp. Jones offers a reconstruction of Catherine MacKinnon’s critique of norms of rationality according to which they function to maintain relations of dominance by deauthorizing feminist claims to knowledge. Norms of rationality are thus linked to norms of credibility, and feminist rationality-critique is viewed as contributing to the naturalist project of defending norms of rationality that are appropriate for the kind of finite, embodied, socially located beings that we are.

Keywords: classical feminist; deauthorization; different voice; dominance; embodiment; gender; knowledge; naturalism; norm; strong critical stance

Chapter.  8406 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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