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An Introduction to Feminist Philosophy 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0745638836
ISBN-10: 074563883X
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Editorial Reviews


"Alison Stone explains with a rare clarity the many theories of feminist philosophies which revolve around some basic concepts (sex, gender, sexual diversity, essentialism, birth, feminism) and reveals the many prejudices that these concepts carry to the detriment of both women and men."

"Moving deftly through an impressive range of literature in psychoanalysis, gender theory, equality-difference debates, and complex questions about gender essentialism, Stone offers a thoughtful, scholarly and practical introduction to a range of interpretive strategies and symbolic structures that sustain gendered oppression and subordination. The book is a fine resource for professional philosophers, and an excellent, accessible teaching text."
Lorraine Code, YorkUniversity, Toronto

"The considerable accomplishment of this comprehensive and reliable guide is the fine balance it achieves. It stands as a model of clarity and of philosophical argument, which on the one hand avoids making unexplained assumptions, and on the other hand manages to avoid being reductive. It constitutes a valuable resource for readers who want to familiarize themselves with the field, and a useful tool for those who seek clarification of central debates."
Tina Chanter, DePaul University, Chicago

From the Back Cover

This is the first book to offer a systematic account of feminist philosophy as a distinctive field of philosophy. The book introduces key issues and debates in feminist philosophy including: the nature of sex, gender, and the body; the relation between gender, sexuality, and sexual difference; whether there is anything that all women have in common; and the nature of birth and its centrality to human existence. An Introduction to Feminist Philosophy shows how feminist thinking on these and related topics has developed since the 1960s. The book also explains how feminist philosophy relates to the many forms of feminist politics.

The book provides clear, succinct and readable accounts of key feminist thinkers including de Beauvoir, Butler, Gilligan, Irigaray, and MacKinnon. The book also introduces other thinkers who have influenced feminist philosophy including Arendt, Foucault, Freud, and Lacan. Accessible in approach, this book is ideal for students and researchers interested in feminist philosophy, feminist theory, women's studies, and political theory. It will also appeal to the general reader.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Polity; 1 edition (December 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074563883X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745638836
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This is the best overview of Feminist Philosophy I have yet come across. The author does an excellent job of providing an overview of not only the field itself, but also of the questions surrounding its definition: Is Feminist Philosophy actual philosophy, if it enters the field with a political commitment — namely, that women are deserving of equality? And how do we define equality? The answers to that question are of course far more diverse than most people realize, even within Feminism itself.

I was particularly impressed with Stone's ability to cover all the different angles on various complex topics. She made it clear when she was personally arguing in favor of a certain view (which I find infinitely more helpful than the false "objectivity" that most philosophers claim to strive for), but she was just as happy to point out the problems with her own views as those of others.

Exploring a new field within philosophy can feel daunting when all of the authors being cited are unfamiliar to you. Thus, I have often heard people say they feel unprepared to explore, say, French Feminist Philosophy because they are unfamiliar with Lacan and Foucault. Or that they feel unprepared to read something on Gender Theory when they are unfamiliar with Butler. I haven't read much by any of the aforementioned authors, but this book gives an excellent picture in broad strokes. Also, her bibliography is FANTASTIC. I now feel much more confident about picking up a few new books by Feminist Philosophers. I feel like this book gave me an excellent pathway into the field, and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested, but who feels a bit daunted by the newness of the topic.
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