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Sexual SolipsismPhilosophical Essays on Pornography and Objectification$
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Rae Langton

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199247066

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199247066.001.0001

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Feminism in Epistemology: Exclusion and Objectification

Feminism in Epistemology: Exclusion and Objectification

(p.267) 12 Feminism in Epistemology: Exclusion and Objectification
Sexual Solipsism

Rae Langton (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Feminism's questioning of prejudice is continuous with philosophical method (Descartes, Astell, le Doeuff). Feminism contributes to epistemology by identifying sins of omission: women get left out, as objects and subjects of knowledge. Women fail to be known, to be knowers, to count as knowers (Frye, Code, Gilligan, Alcoff, Fricker). Feminism identifies sins of commission: women get hurt, ‘objectivity objectifies’ (MacKinnon). Epistemological assumptions of objectivity suppose an objective direction of fit (Anscombe): belief about women has come to fit the world. This helps objectify women, masking a constructive direction of fit (Haslanger): the world has come to fit belief. The real culprit is the lazy assumption, not the hope, of objectivity.

Keywords:   knowledge, objectivity, objectification, direction of fit, Descartes, Astell, le Doeuff, Frye, Code, Gilligan

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