Is Philosophy Androcentric? by Iddo Landau

By Iddo Landau

Some of the most famed figures of Western philosophy have held perspectives approximately girls which are disparaging or worse. Aristotle, for instance, held girls to be much less rational than males and other halves to be inferior to their husbands; Locke idea that males, as ''the abler and the stronger'' of the sexes, must have the final word in disagreements among husbands and other halves. Kant felt that girls can't be electorate and Hegel believed that they need to now not be taken with political opinions. Schopenhauer and Nietzsche have been infamous for his or her misogynistic rantings. along with those specific statements approximately women's secondary prestige and shortcomings, philosophical texts utilize a variety of dualisms (reason/emotion, mind/body, public/private, objective/subjective, etc) which have been claimed to categorize girls in disadvantageous methods. those are between many beneficial properties of Western mainstream philosophy that feminist critics (some dubbing it ''malestream'') have emphasised as proof of its thoroughgoing androcentricity.

How a lot fact is there to this declare? And is philosophy so thoroughly contaminated by way of androcentricity that it should be rejected altogether or notably reformed? those are the demanding situations that Iddo Landau confronts in this publication. His is the main entire research of those accusations. through isolating out forms of the argument charging philosophy with androcentricity, he seeks to figure out what validity they've got and no matter if they justify seeing philosophy as both pervasively or nonpervasively androcentric.

He concludes that not one of the arguments for viewing philosophy as pervasively androcentric finally withstand rational scrutiny, whereas those that express it to be nonpervasively androcentric don't undermine it within the manner that many critics have meant: ''philosophy emerges, in nearly all of its components, as human instead of male, and such a lot elements and points of it needn't be rejected or rewritten.''

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Moreover, he attempts to show that in certain texts where a preference does not appear to exist, it in fact does. Third, Derrida claims that the traditionally disfavored term has frequently been conceived as the imperfect, ‘‘castrated’’ version of the favored one. The disfavored term is assumed to have the characteristics of 11. See Cixous, ‘‘Sorties,’’ 63–64, and Le Doeuff, ‘‘Women and Philosophy,’’ 193–96. 12. This following short description of Derrida’s thought does not of course aim to represent all its aspects, but only those most relevant to the arguments for the androcentricity of philosophy.

What distortions, oversights, omissions have resulted from the limitation on points of view? It is difficult to answer these questions, but impossible to push them aside. ’’ (14). Tuana’s, Hekman’s, Willshire’s, and Gaten’s discussions, however, are clear on taking these identifications as grounds for seeing philosophy as androcentric. 38 Is Philosophy Androcentric? is associated with or is more accessible to those of less power. But this, of course, is not a good reason for those with less power to accept these associations and social practices, or to reject what may be of worth, thus continuing and even enhancing the discriminatory condition.

If they are read in this way I have no disagreement with them. My critique, as it was presented earlier, applies only to the reading that takes these arguments to suggest that the philosophies in question are androcentric (as, I believe, these arguments are often read). 42 Is Philosophy Androcentric? 11 However, in Derrida’s influential and celebrated work these arguments are supported by a wider postmodernist theory that, as such, requires a presentation and discussion of its own. 12 There are many dichotomies, but the most important ones are essential and accidental, central and marginal, typical and atypical, being and nonbeing, presence and absence, pure and impure, stable and changing, certain and doubtful, general and limited, clear and vague, simple and complicated, atomistic and compound, immediate and mediate, original and secondary, conscious and unconscious, real and apparent, serious and playful, internal and external, signified and signifier, literal and metaphorical, spoken and written, voiced and silent, soul and body, meaning and form, intuition and expression, and culture and nature.

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