Rooney separates the metaphorical construction of feminine unreason from women
What does Rooney mean by gendered reasoning?
She means that reason is understood in a way that excludes the female’s characteristics.
Reason usually is understood to exclude body, nature, passion, emotion and instinct
which are usually seen as feminine. In contrast, men’s reasoning is seen as universal
and neutral, and better.
Rooney argues that certain types of metaphorical exclusions are not less worthy to get
Different views that exist with respect to sex and gender reasoning
-Traditional view: positioning maleness and reason close together since it is a tradition.
Males seen as rational and females seen as irrational. We tend to exclude terms like
emotion, imagine, private (vs public) and particular (vs universal) which tend to be
female characteristics. Sexist metaphors were fairly persistent in philosophical conceptions of
reason and knowledge in the Western tradition.Reasoning: universal, detached from
people’s emotion and objective (not influenced by emotions, biased).
- Practical view: men and women act differently due to nature. Men symbolize the mind
and women symbolize the body.
- Biological essentialism: people have unchangeable ways of being. If u r born a man u
have to be masculine. The problem is assuming that this is nature.
- More radical views: sceptical about good reasoning, stop the old reasoning and start
- More traditional feminist view: refers to socialization and historical opportunities for
men. Argue that they are differences regard to socialization and history between men
Rooney is not essentialist, radical, or practical.
Sex metaphor: metaphor using images
Metaphorical exclusion: This is the less obvious system of sexism. Rooney points out
that in the Greek philosophy reason and form are aligned with maleness and
formlessness and matter are aligned with femaleness. She also mentioned that
Aristotle says that the male imparts the form to the child while the female imparts the
passive matter. The rational part of the soul "naturally" rules the irrational part, the natural authority of free man over free women. Artsitole compares a man justice to himself as
master and as a servant for a husband and wife.
Reason: refers to the process by which we gain the proper knowledge or the truth.
Having a judgment based on logic or rationality. Having a rational judgment.
Rationality: refers to the models of reasoning. Having a knowledgeable judgment.
"Just as in man and woman there is one flesh (soft) of two, so the one nature of the mind
embraces (supports) our intellect (smartness) and action, or our council (meeting) and execution
(carrying out), or our reason and reasonable appetite (eve eating apple)."
What is meant by metaphorical exclusion?
It refers to the less obvious way of excluding women in society, sexism. One of Rooney
examples was casting women in a project as the other of the knowing subject, or in
opposition to such "proper" knowing. She also provides a passage where women are
seen as the opposite of eternal, free, and knowing.
Metaphors are being adopted to the point of their disappearance, since people get used to
them as they become a fact. The nature of mind, soul, reason has been notoriously intractable
(difficult) for philosophers, which makes theorizing about this whole area so much more
susceptible (weaker) to the dictates (say) of a dominant metaphor.
1. The basic elements of the structure are a male node (aligned with reason), a female
node (aligned with unreason), and some sort of relationship between them.
2. When reason is operating correctly the male node represents the locus of activity and
a "proper" relation with the female node has been established.
3. When there is a lapse in reason or when unreason has surfaced, the female node is
"active," with the activity taking the form of wily charms, contrary impulses, or shadowy
4. The activity of reason in (2) almost always includes some form of denigration, extrusion,
domination, or control of the female node, with related images of battle or struggle.
Reasoning transcends (go beyond) gender and sex. Rooney says that reasoning is limited
and that there are other ways of being more rational and we do not use them, thus we
How does Rooney explain the dualism of mind and body?
she refers to the feminine being pointed to historically as irrational and uses the
body/appetite to deal with situations. While the men are seen as rational. For example,
when Eve used her appetite and decided to eat the apple and then tempted Adam to it.
Also, historically Adam is not seen to have done anything wrong, since males are seen to be tempted easily by females. Thus constructing the idea that men are neutral and
women are irrational.
What do we have to know about the western canon?
Rooney separates the social construction of feminine unreason from women
irrationality. The western cannon is the cannon of litleture, art, and music that
influenced the shaping of the western culture. This cannon was made of men. This is
important because Rooney argues that the western culture is shaped around ideas that
view women as unreasoned, while the only reason they were like that is because they
did not have the proper opportunity as men. Also, this shows that women were
evaluated by men only. Thus the rationality given by the western canon is only one way
of viewing argumentation and other opinions should also be respected. This affects
rationality because we live in a world full of different genders and by constructing such
an idea we are excluding them. Therefore, the western cannon conception was wrong at
What did Rooney question?
Rooney arguers that certain types of metaphorical exclusions are not less worthy to get
serious attention. So Rooney questions why arguing by body, nature, passion, emotion
and instinct are being excluded when they can be used in reasoned arguments that can
come up to conclusions. This makes Rooney question that gendered reasoning and
sexism still exists.
What did Orr question?
Why the feminine mode of arguing is not accepted, when it is used in our daily lives and
it provides reason even though it is different from the logical way of reasoning (ethic of
In conclusion, Orr states that people should also accept the feminine mode (ethic of care), and the
integral of the two modes. The feminine mode seeks for none violence, is narrative and empathic, and is
open ended and looks for preserving (protect) differences. The feminine mode is already used in our
everyday live so we should teach it and set rules for evaluating it. writing in the masculine mode begins
with a thesis and ends with a conclusion. However, feminine mode places more trust in the audience to
draw the conclusion.
What tools does Orr suggest on top of the masculine mode?
Orr suggests that the tools for informal logic are not enough. She suggests the feminine mode
or ethic of care where the narrative empathic mode is preferred. This mode values the
audience opinion and cares about context. It seeks for nonviolence between people.
How do Groke and Tendale address context (circumstances making an event) in their book?
By supplementing, it helped us address the opposite views, the arguer’s position, and the
audience expected to here such an argument. Knowing the opposite view can help in making a
stronger argument since it allows the arguer to answer all the skeptics questions in the
argument. Also knowing who is the arguer or why they are arguing helps us know the bias of
such an argument. Knowing the audience can help in constructing the argument since the
arguer would know where to focus, also this can help the readers analyse what the arguer
exactly wants to change.
Do Groke and Tendale use tools that support the idea of ethic of justice and ethic of care?
Yes, supplementing and visuals support the idea of ethic of care, while fallacies adhere to the
ethic of justice. Supplementing considers context of an argument and the narratives. Visuals
follow the narrative indirect mode where it argues restoring differences, it also values
particular knowledge and the context of a situation. On the other hand, fallacies are
adversarial, divisive, universal, and objective and values neutral evaluators. Principles also play
a role (do u know what it is?)
Narrative mode: arguementing by telling a story, ex: writing an essay that talks about
family instead of talking about the politics system.
Indirection mode: openness mode used in arugmenting by restoring differences.
Without a recognizable plan.
Empathic approach: instead of convincing people or trying to force the information to
their minds we should be supportive and stress unity. Ex: predicting an answer before
starting the data collection, instead of stating a hypothesis and collecting data. Gilligan book In A Different Voice: comes up with the idea of people thinking in two ways
ethic of justice and care.
Orr says that there is an ethic of care mode, but value has been given to the ethic of justice
mode. What does she mean?
The ethic of justice is the mode that values equality, objectivity, and that only one answer can
be right. However, some people think in a different mode which is the ethic of care which
values non violence, context, and the narrative mode. Orr points out that the ethic of care,
which is more favoured by females, is less valued than the ethic of justice, which is more on the
male side, is more valued. This could be due to the impact of the western cannon which values
objectivity and does not care if violence is the answer. If we look at the way our essays are
structured where they have a thesis and a conclusion we can see that it is constructed in the
ethic of justice mode which is not open ended. But what about the narrative mode which is
open ended and values the ethic of care. T