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Yielding Gender : Feminism, Deconstruction and the History of Philosophy - Penelope Deutscher

Yielding Gender

Feminism, Deconstruction and the History of Philosophy

Hardcover Published: 21st November 1997
ISBN: 9780415139441
Number Of Pages: 232

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Traditional accounts of the feminist history of philosophy have viewed reason as associated with masculinity and subsequent debates have been framed by this assumption. Yet recent debates in deconstruction have shown that gender has never been a stable matter. In the history of philosophy 'female' and 'woman' are full of ambiguity. What does deconstruction have to offer feminist criticism of the history of philosophy?
Yielding Gender explores this question by examining three crucial areas; the issue of gender as 'troubled'; deconstruction; and feminist criticism of the history of philosophy. The first part of the book discusses the work of Judith Butler, Jacques Derrida, and contemporary French feminist philosophy including key figures such as Luce Irigiray. Particular attention is given to the possibilities offered by deconstruction for understanding the history of philosophy.
The second part considers and then challenges feminist interpretations of some key figures in the history of philosophy. Penelope Deutscher sketches how Rousseau, St. Augustine and Simone de Beauvoir have described gender and argues that their readings of gender are in fact empowered by gender's own contradiction and instability rather than limited by it.

"One of the more compelling ventures in feminist philosophy that I have seen. I think that a book with this range, and with the kind of precise and cautious thinking exhibited by this author might just establish a new standard in the field." -Judith Butler, University of California, Berkeley

Introduction: Feminist Philosophy and Constitutive Instabilityp. 1
Gender Trouble/Constitutive Troublep. 11
Deconstruction in a Retrospective Timep. 34
Le Doeuff, Kofman and Irigaray as Theorists of Constitutive Instabilityp. 59
Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the Inconstancy of Womanp. 89
Constitutive Instability in Rousseau's Defence of Natural Sexual Differencep. 112
Operative Contradiction in Augustine's Confessionsp. 141
The Notorious Contradictions of Simone de Beauvoirp. 169
Conclusionp. 194
Notesp. 199
Bibliographyp. 213
Indexp. 221
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415139441
ISBN-10: 0415139449
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 232
Published: 21st November 1997
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 17.78  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.52
Edition Number: 1