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Playlist: Facets of Feminism

Compiled By: Philosophy Talk

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Simone de Beauvoir

From Philosophy Talk | 53:59

The life and thought of the French feminist philosopher.

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Simone de Beauvoir is often cast as only a novelist or a mere echo of Jean-Paul Sartre. But she authored many philosophical texts beyond The Second Sex, and the letters between her and Sartre reveal that both were equally concerned with existentialist questions of radical ontological freedom, the issue of self-deception, and the dynamics of desire. This episode explores the evolution of de Beauvoir's existential-ethical thinking. In what sense did she find that we are all radically free? Are we always to blame for our self-deception or can social institutions be at fault? John and Ken sit down at the café with Shannon Mussett from Utah Valley University, co-editor of Beauvoir and Western Thought from Plato to Butler.

What is a Wife?

From Philosophy Talk | 53:59

Is the concept of 'wife' an outmoded relic of our chauvinistic past?

Kenjohn_small The concept of a wife has been embedded in cultures, religious practices, social customs and economic patterns of wildly different sorts. Is there a core concept of what it is to be a wife? Is it a good concept, or one that deserves to be thrown on the trash heap of intellectual history because it perpetrates corrosive stereotypes of women? What conceptions of being a wife do Americans have today? John and Ken espouse their views with Marilyn Yalom, author of A History of the Wife.

Misogyny and Gender Inequality

From Philosophy Talk | 53:59

With all the advances women have made, why does misogyny still persist?

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With the recent #MeToo viral campaign, along with the wave of prominent male figures toppled for being serial sexual harassers or worse, the topic of misogyny has come into sharp focus. But what exactly is misogyny? And how does it differ from sexism? What set of beliefs or attitudes makes someone a misogynist? And why does misogyny persist despite the fact that traditional gender roles are being abandoned more and more? Ken and Debra explore the trials of the second sex with Kate Manne from Cornell University, author of Down, Girl: The Logic of Misogyny.

The Value of Care: Feminism and Ethics

From Philosophy Talk | 53:59

How do notions like care, compassion, and empathy change the way we view our obligations to others?

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We sometimes think of the domains of ethics and morality as divorced from feeling and emotion. You keep your promises because it maximizes good. But what if care were thought of as the bedrock of morality? While we know that more care work is performed by women, would a care-based approach to ethics be feminist, or merely feminine? What would it look like for us to build our institutions around the goal of promoting care? Debra and Ken take care to welcome Joan Tronto from the University of Minnesota, author of Who Cares?: How to Reshape a Democratic Politics.

Abortion

From Philosophy Talk | 53:59

Is the question whether a fetus is a person, or a living human being, or something else?

Playing
Abortion
From
Philosophy Talk

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Nothing stirs up controversy like abortion. To some, it carries the steep moral cost of destroying human life, while to others, it represents an inviolable bastion of women’s rights over their own bodies. Despite the polarizing nature of the debate, it covers broad philosophical ground, and touches on religious, political, social and moral considerations. Ken and John seek a dispassionate and rational discussion of abortion with UC Berkeley Journalism professor Cynthia Gorney, author of Articles of Faith: A Frontline History of the Abortion Wars.


 

Science and Gender

From Philosophy Talk | 53:59

Isn't the scientific method gender-neutral?

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What does gender have to do with science? The obvious answer is ‘nothing.’ Science is the epitome of an objective, rational, and disinterested enterprise. But given the history of systemic under-representation of women in science, what does it mean that science answers almost exclusively to the methodologies of men? Has male domination contributed certain unfounded assumptions or cognitive biases to the ‘objectivity’ of scientific inquiry? Is there any possibility of achieving a gender-neutral science, and if so, what would that look like? John and Ken make room at the table for Stanford historian Londa Schiebinger, author of Gendered Innovations in Science and Engineering.