Philosophy 119

Fall 2012

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
119 Feminism & Philosophy Madva TuTh 9:30-11 201 Wheeler

Is there an essential difference between women and men? If so, what is the nature of this difference and what are its moral, social, and political implications? If not, what explains the apparent differences? How do considerations of race, class, religion, and nationality speak to these questions? Can a psychological account of how we tend to sort people into distinct social categories illuminate how we understand these categories? Can assumptions about gender compromise the science of gender and sex, or scientific objectivity in general? This course introduces philosophy students to these and related questions in feminist thought, concluding with analyses of a few specific debates in contemporary feminist epistemology, ethics, and metaphysics.

Required Readings:

  • Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity
  • Thomas Laqueur, Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud
  • Michael Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Volume I: An Introduction
  • Jennifer Saul, Feminism: Issues and Arguments

All other readings and assigned material will be available on bSpace.

Course Grading and Requirements: Participation (20%); Papers (80%)

Attendance & Participation (20%): This includes attendance, participation, and pop quizzes. Attendance is mandatory, as is arriving on time. Excused absences require signed documentation from a doctor or dean. Participation and preparation are crucial. There are a variety of ways to participate, including: actively contributing to discussions, demonstrating reflection on the readings, listening carefully to others’ contributions (which includes not dominating discussion), showing respect toward classmates, and talking with me during office hours. There will also be a number of pop quizzes to make sure students are keeping up with the assignments.

3 Papers: 1st: 3 pages (15%); 2nd: 5-7 pages (30%); 3rd: 5-7 pages (35%)