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Analytical feminism

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Title: Analytical feminism  
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Subject: Feminist theory, Ann Cudd, History of feminism, Feminist art movement, Feminist art movement in the United States
Collection: Analytic Philosophy, Feminist Theory, Social Theories
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Analytical feminism

Analytical feminism is a line of philosophy that applies analytic concepts and methods to feminist issues and applies feminist concepts and insights to issues that have traditionally been of interest to analytic philosophers. Like all feminists, analytical feminists insist on recognizing and contesting sexism and androcentrism.[1]


  • History 1
  • Philosophy 2
    • Doctrines 2.1
    • Bridge building 2.2
    • Reconstructing Philosophy 2.3
  • References 3
  • External links 4


The term “analytical feminism” dates back to the early 1990s when the Society for Analytical Feminism was opened in at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.[2] It was used as an opportunity to discuss and examine issues concerning analytical feminism; up to that point, feminism had been overshadowed by postmodernism and post-structuralism. Analytic feminists have attempted to rehabilitate certain ideas in order to find truth and to empower and liberate women. Analytic feminists during the 1990s played a vital role in contributing to the core areas of analytic philosophy, such as epistemology, metaphysics and the philosophy of science.[3]

In 1995, the American philosophical magazine Hypatia published a special issue[4] clarifying the meaning of analytic feminism in the mainstream Anglo-American analytical context and in the range of feminist philosophical positions. In this issue, the authors such as Ann Cudd of the University of Kansas, Ann Garry of California State University Los Angeles, and Lynn Hankinson Nelson of the University of Washington proposed that analytic feminism typically was unrecognized and somewhat depreciated by not only analytical philosophers but academic feminists as well.[5]


Analytical feminism holds that the best way to counter sexism and androcentrism is through forming a clear conception of, and pursuing, truth, logical consistency, objectivity, rationality, justice and the good, while recognizing that these notions have often been perverted by androcentrism throughout the history of philosophy. Analytic feminists engage the literature traditionally thought of as analytic philosophy, but also draw on other traditions in philosophy as well as work by feminists working in other disciplines, especially sociology and biology. They, like most analytic philosophers value clarity and precision in argument and use logical and linguistic analysis to help them achieve that.

The majority of North American philosophers, including feminists, have over time received learning which is analytic in orientation. There has been a conscious effort to use the word ‘analytical’, the reason being that in philosophy there has been an inclination to tag all feminist work as tied to other methods to philosophy, whereas in truth much of the feminist work is closer in method to the analytic convention.[6]

Analytical feminism asserts that there is a gender bias in the theoretical framework of international relations; in this context, gender does not refer to the "biological" differences between men and women, but the social ideas of masculine and feminine identities.[7] Analytical feminists normally propose neo-realistic ideas and often detest use of domestic explanations for explaining interstate conduct as an instance of this bias. According to most analytic feminists, the best method for scholars to counter sexism and androcentrism in their work can be done by forming a clear conception of and practicing logical consistency and neutrality.[8]


Even though analytical feminists retain only some traditional concepts, it is not doctrinaire: Indeed, there is even a spirit of contrarianism within it. Nevertheless analytic feminists share a thing that we may call a "core desire" rather than a core principle, that is to say, the need to hold on to enough of the essential normative notions of the modern European tradition to aid the kind of normativity which is necessary for both feminist political theory and philosophy. This "core desire" finds its appearance by means of the core concepts of analytical feminism.[9]

Bridge building

Analytic feminists' use of core ideas and their excerpt to the work of traditional analytic philosophers permit them to communicate with and build bridges amongst different types of scholars, for example, traditional analytic philosophers, other feminist philosophers, and, in some cases, scientists or scholars in social studies.[10]

Reconstructing Philosophy

Analytic feminists usually suggest that feminist ethics and metaphysics should become a uniform way to establish criteria of adequacy; they maintain that a complete philosophical theory is one that functions for both women as well as men, often arguing for the significance of including a range of perspectives without necessarily upholding that there is something inherently critical about said perspectives. [11]


  1. ^ Ann E. Cudd. "One Woman's Attempt at a Definition". 
  2. ^ Norco College - Riverside Community College District. "Society for Analytical Feminism". 
  3. ^ Monash University Publishing. "History of Analytical Feminism". 
  4. ^ "Hypatia-Special Issue: Analytic Feminism-August 1995". Wiley Online Library. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  6. ^ Samantha J., Brennan; Anita M., Superson (2005). Hypatia. pp. 1–9.  
  7. ^ True, Jacqui, "Feminism" in Theories of International Relations, Scott Burchill et al., 3rd ed, Palgrave, p.221
  8. ^ bookrags. "Analytic Feminism". 
  9. ^ Nelson, Jack; Nelson, Lynn Hankinson. Feminist Interpretations of W. V. Quine (2003 ed.).  
  10. ^ Moulton, Janice. Women, knowledge, and reality: explorations in feminist philosophy (1996 ed.).  
  11. ^ Ann, Garry,. "Analytic Feminism". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2011 ed.).  

External links

  • Analytic Feminism at Central APA June 12, 2011
  • Paper on Analytic Feminism
  • The Fordham Law School Institutional Repository -Rethinking Emotional Distress Law: Prenatal Malpractice and Feminist Theory
  • APA Newsletter
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