PHILO 230 Alcoff

Philosophy of Feminism
FALL 2013
Professor Linda Martín Alcoff
Office: 1419 Hunter West
Phone: 212-772-4970
This course will explore the development of feminist thought from the publication of
Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex to the present. We will consider feminist attempts
to reveal, unravel, and remedy the conceptual, psychological, cultural, and economic
dimensions of the oppression of women. Readings will explore the major feminist
positions on the nature and scope of women's oppression, how it gets perpetuated, and
possible solutions. We will also cover the relationship of sexism to racism, to
heterosexism, to imperialism, and to class exploitation, and we will look at debates
among feminists on pornography, cultural and religious traditions, and abortion. We will
discuss the feminist arguments about how femininity, as it is currently practiced and
understood, is a psychological form of sexist social conditioning. The focus of the course
will be on the variety of possible positions and debates within feminism.
Course Objectives will include: the capacity to read and understand primary sources;
understand some of the central philosophical arguments of feminism and some of the
central lines of debate within feminism; understand some of the central concepts
feminism has developed, such as sexism and intersectionality; develop a philosophical
analysis of feminism of your own.