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5 Lec - November 22.docx

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Political Science
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Simone Chambers

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Thursday, November 22, 2012 Feminism and the Canon Canon: big philosophers of western philosophy 1. The canon as misogynist - Explicit misogyny - Explicit statements which modern people find problematic about women - Highlight the places where there are problematic view of women - How are these things important for the whole work - What do they say about women explicitly - Gendered concepts - How are concepts gendered? - Burke and his aesthetics - Gen cons are common, people tend to think in contrasts, the sublime and the beautiful in Burke - Overlaid/imposed on the philosophical concepts - Gendered package - Most radical - Western political phil has been shaped by the contingent fact that it has been written by men and not women, if women wrote it – would looked differently, how? Don’t know - There were women writing back then - Can we identify in the his of western phil that is shaped by the fact that it was written by half of the population, different social experiences from the other half - Identify the hard core rationalism at the heart of west phil with men and them doing the philosophy - The stress on control and agency - Control, impose our will - Sci and tech - Associated with a certain gendered perspective of the world - How the fact that it was written by men influenced it 2. Revision of the canon - Retrieval of women voices - Difficult thing to do, easier in modernity - Women were not being education, not in the position to articulate phil - Even the ones that are available are not very influential - Not influential because the field dominated by men 3. Appropriation of the canon - Reread the canon for feminist agenda - Rather than going back to highlight the misogynist aspect - Re-appropriate it for fem or equality agendas - For example, many things in Aristotle is problematic - Challenges the central rationalism of the western tradition - There are recourses in him where fem have used - For rationalism you need connection, certain notions of feeling Mary Wollstonecraft 1759 – 1797 - Struggling for $$$ independence most of her life - Intellectual aspirations, self taught - Wrote well - Good friends with Dr. Price - Part of intense intellectual community in England who were fans of French revolution - Complicated personal life - How the social prejudices make people narrow minded and prevents them from seeing the principles of equality, this was the central theme - ironic - This would never have happened to a male philosopher “The desire to be always women, is the very consciousness which degrades the sex” - The overall message is that soc has created an ideal of what it is to be a woman - Women aspire and are educated and shaped to be that - That image is something that is degraded and problematic - The work is not about rights in the sense that we have read - About character and education - How soc shapes the character of women Critiques Rousseau - Was big on education, how women were being education was like Rousseau wrote, please givers, exposes this for the evil plot that it was - The man and women must be edu by the manners and … by the soc they live in - How opinions and manners of soc educate people and share them and who they want to be Feminism, equality, emancipation - Constitutions v characters o The idea that limited govt would equality and justice o Not about inst, but about manners and opinions of the soc o Equality between m and f req soc and moral revolution, not political one o 332 “the most perfect education…” o Frame: manners, target: soc and moral rev & attitudes toward women - Woman in 18 cent Europe: not a flattering view o Does not have a high opinion of women of the 18 cent th o “Useless, weak, cunning, etc” o Thinks women of her time are pathetic creatures who are complacent
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