Feminist Philosophy Research Group
The Feminist Philosophy Research Group at the University of Guelph brings together philosophers working in numerous areas of feminist research.
Our areas of research include epistemology, environmental philosophy, ethics, history of Western philosophy, social and political philosophy, and philosophy of science. They are all approached through a feminist lens.
|The FPRG's core members are:
Areas of Feminist Research: Social and Political Philosophy, Normative Ethics.
I have written on issues of multiculturalism and 'cultural justice', especially about the ways in which cultural and religious group differences are, and are not, accommodated in liberal political theory and practice. My thinking on these topics has been much influenced by deliberative democracy theory and communicative ethics; post-colonial theory; feminist social thought; critical race theory; and neo-Marxist critiques of culture and race. More recently, I have begun to write on problems of global justice: one project, 'Subjects of Global Justice,' raises meta-ethical and meta-political questions about the normative framing of problems of global justice; and another project looks at the evolving status of social and economic human rights in both theory and practice.
Areas of Feminist Research: Epistemology, Philosophy of Science.
My main research interests are epistemological. I am concerned with questions about the nature of justification and the idea of epistemic responsibility. My approach to these matters is informed by the feminist imperative that our theories about the world need to be grounded in real life experiences. Accordingly, I am currently looking at a specific population of knowers, namely survivors of sexual violence, and exploring the insights that this group of individuals brings to bear on our contemporary theories of justification and knowledge. My aim is to show that this case study sheds light on some of the central issues in epistemology, including the debate between internalism and externalism, the distinction between emotions and cognitions, and questions concerning sources of knowledge.
Areas of Feminist Research: Philosophy of Medicine, Philosophy of Science, Bioethics, Women's Health
My current research investigates epistemological and ethical considerations and concerns regarding the evidence-based movement in biomedicine. My analysis has been informed by feminist research, particularly the contributions to philosophy and epistemology of science and embodiment studies. The concept of evidence proves to be complex, not only in its (positivist) assurance of objectivity, but also in the related political ramifications in the health policy context.
Areas of feminist research: feminist ethics and social philosophy
The main thrust of my current research is in the recent rebirth of ethical naturalism in moral philosophy. While most researchers in the field do not take a feminist angle on this project, I believe that the insights into human nature achieved by feminist research over the past decades have enormous importance for the project of working out a naturalistic virtue ethics. For me, important feminist sources include Nel Noddings, Virginia Held, and Eva Kittay.
Areas of feminist research: Feminist ethics, feminist social and political philosophy.
Some of my publications in this area include:
"Victims, resistance and civilized oppression," in Symposium: Responsibility for Resisting Oppression. Journal of Social Philosophy 41(1). Spring, 2010.
"Gratitude, obligation and individualism," in Moral Psychology: Feminist Ethics and Social Theory, ed. Peggy DesAutels and Margaret Urban Walker (Lanham, Maryland: Rowan & Littlefirld, 2004).
Civilized Oppression. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999.
Areas of Feminist Research: Social and Political Philosophy (esp. French Feminist Though), Environmental Philosophy
My present research interests are in the area of political theory and post-structuralist thought. I am thinking through the ways in which our dominant conceptual heritage has framed ethical and political questions, including both how the issues are seen and how particular solutions to these issues are presented as real, viable possibilities for change and resistance. My work is primarily conceptual but has points of insertion in familiar ethical and political questions, including perennial feminist questions about oppression and domination, access to resources, health and power. I have written about abortion and surrogate motherhood. I also work on environmental issues such as just distribution of waste, ecosystem health, and animality.
Areas of Feminist Research: Early modern philosophy, Locke, early modern women philosophers, history of ethics, feminism (historical and contemporary)
My area of expertise is British philosophy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with a special emphasis on women philosophers of this period. Through my research, I hope to bring women's intellectual contributions into the philosophical canon. I have published on Anne Conway and Catherine Trotter Cockburn, and plan to continue working on these and other women (including Lady Mary Shepherd), who made significant contributions to philosophical debates of their time. I am also interested in the history ethics, and particularly the sentimentalist philosophers of the eighteenth century.
Areas of feminist research: social and political philosophy, feminist philosophy, philosophy of medicine, ethics
I'm interested in egalitarianism, broadly conceived. Much of my work has focussed on institutional inequalities, particularly those that are informally rather than formally institutionalized. I understand institutions as systems of rules; informal institutions are social patterns of rule-following behaviour in which the rules are widely understood and followed but not formally codified as laws, by-laws, policies, procedures, and so on. Language, friendship and etiquette are largely informal institutions. My particular interest is in informally institutionalized forms of social inequality such as sexism and racism, in the forms of both discrimination and privilege. I'm also interested in the development of radical egalitarian political thought, beginning with heretical pre-Reformation religious sects, continuing through the development of liberalism in the seventeenth century, the revolutions of the eighteenth century, the rise of socialism, the gradual extension of the franchise, abolitionism and the woman's rights movement in the nineteenth century, and into the equality-seeking movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
The Feminist Philosophy Research Group and the Department of Philosophy hosted the Canadian Society for Women in Philosophy annual conference, October 2-4, 2009.
For additional information please contact Maya Goldenberg: firstname.lastname@example.org