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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Philosophy

Postgraduate Course: Feminism (PHIL11027)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe objective of this course is to explore the contribution of feminism to philosophy and vice versa.

Shared with UG course Feminism PHIL10022.

For courses co-taught with undergraduate students and with no remaining undergraduate spaces left, a maximum of 8 MSc students can join the course. Priority will be given to MSc students who wish to take the course for credit on a first come first served basis after matriculation.
Course description This course focuses on philosophical issues relevant to feminism. Topics will range across the standard sub-field divisions in philosophy, and will touch on philosophical debates from ethics, meta-ethics, metaphysics, political philosophy, philosophy of language, and epistemology.

The course begins with the classic political issues for feminism: women now have the right to vote in most places, and in many countries have equal rights. However, it is undeniable that women earn less than men in the workplace, and do more than half the work in the domestic sphere. Is this an injustice, or a matter of the free choices of individual women? Is this the right way to see the issue? Has this debate been dominated by white middle class women in a way that distorts the situation?

We will then move on to discuss the metaphysics of sex and gender, the relationship between feminism and multiculturalism, autonomy, epistemic injustice, pornography and objectification. The aim is for students to reach a nuanced understanding of the complex role that gender plays in various contexts.

The course schedule is as follows:
Week 1: Feminism and Philosophy of Feminism
Week 2: Work and Family
Week 3: Work and Family
Week 4: Sex and Gender
Week 5: Sex and Gender
Week 6: Feminism and Multiculturalism
Week 7: Autonomy
Week 8: Epistemic Injustice and Testimony
Week 9: Pornography and the Silencing Argument
Week 10: Objectification
Week 11: Review
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand the topics listed above, and an ability to critically asses the arguments given for and against the various positions we will be studying.
  2. appreciate the value of characteristically philosophical ways of thinking.
  3. develop further philosophical knowledge and understanding.
  4. analyse and evaluate arguments; the sorts of evidence that philosophical arguments use; the differences between philosophical and empirical ways of thinking; the analysis of concepts.
  5. express philosophical ideas and arguments both orally and in writing, with particular regard to the following qualities: clarity, precision, and concision; structure in essay organization; structure in argument (written and oral); the ability to argue effectively in a debate, including showing respect for other participants.
Reading List
The course primary reading is as follows;

Week 1:
Julia Annas, 1977, 'Mill and the Subjection of Women', Philosophy, 52: 179-194.

Week 2:
bell hooks, 2000, 'Rethinking the Nature of Work' in Feminist Theory: From Margins to Center, Southend Press.

Week 3:
Claudia Card, 1996, 'Against Marriage and Motherhood', Hypatia, 11: 1-23.

Week 4:
Mari Mikkola, 2011, 'Ontological Commitments, Sex and Gender' in C. Witt (ed.) Feminist Metaphysics, Springer.

Week 5:
Kimberlé Crenshaw, 1989, 'Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics', University of Chicago Legal Forum.

Week 6:
Susan Moller Okin, 1999, 'Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?' in Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women? Princeton University Press.

Week 7:
Natalie Stoljar, 2014, 'Autonomy and Adaptive Preference Formation', in A. Veltman and M. Piper (eds.), Autonomy, Oppression and Gender, Oxford University Press.

Week 8:
Miranda Fricker, 2007, Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing, Oxford University Press, intro and chapter 1.

Week 9:
Rae Langton, 1993, 'Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts', reprinted in Rae Langton, 2009, Sexual Solipsism: Philosophical Essays on Pornography and Objectification, Oxford University Press, 25-64.

Week 10:
Martha Nussbaum, 1995, 'Objectification', Philosophy and Public Affairs 24, 249-91.

A full list including background and advanced reading can be found on the Learn course page.
Additional Information
Course URL Please see Learn page
Graduate Attributes and Skills Generic analytical and critical thinking skills, working to deadlines, using computers for word processing, competently using library resources (including electronic resources).
Additional Class Delivery Information The course will be taught by Dr Ellie Mason.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Elinor Mason
Course secretaryMs Becky Verdon
Tel: (0131 6)51 5002
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