•  19185
    Kant on Moral Agency and Women's Nature
    Kantian Review 16 (1): 89-111. 2011.
    Some commentators have condemned Kant’s moral project from a feminist perspective based on Kant’s apparently dim view of women as being innately morally deficient. Here I will argue that although his remarks concerning women are unsettling at first glance, a more detailed and closer examination shows that Kant’s view of women is actually far more complex and less unsettling than that attributed to him by various feminist critics. My argument, then, undercuts the justification for the severe feminis…Read more
  •  1066
    Gender sceptics and feminist politics
    Res Publica 13 (4): 361-380. 2007.
    Some feminist gender sceptics hold that the conditions for satisfying the concept woman cannot be discerned. This has been taken to suggest that (i) the efforts to fix feminism’s scope are undermined because of confusion about the extension of the term ‘woman’, and (ii) this confusion suggests that feminism cannot be organised around women because it is unclear who satisfies woman. Further, this supposedly threatens the effectiveness of feminist politics: feminist goals are said to become unachi…Read more
  •  742
    Contexts and pornography
    Analysis 68 (4): 316-320. 2008.
    Jennifer Saul has argued that the speech acts approach to pornography, where pornography has the illocutionary force of subordinating women, is undermined by that very approach: if pornographic works are speech acts, they must be utterances in contexts; and if we take contexts seriously, it follows that only some pornographic viewings subordinate women. In an effort to defend the speech acts approach, Claudia Bianchi argues that Saul focuses on the wrong context to fix pornography’s illocutiona…Read more
  •  462
    Feminist perspectives on sex and gender
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008.
    Feminism is the movement to end women’s oppression. One possible way to understand ‘woman’ in this claim is to take it as a sex term: ‘woman’ picks out human females and being a human female depends on various anatomical features (like genitalia). Historically many feminists have understood ‘woman’ differently: not as a sex term, but as a gender term that depends on social and cultural factors (like social position). In so doing, they distinguished sex (being female or male) from gender (being a…Read more
  •  457
    Gender concepts and intuitions
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (4). 2009.
    The gender concept woman is central to feminism but has proven to be notoriously difficult to define. Some feminist philosophers, most notably Sally Haslanger, have recently argued for revisionary analyses of the concept where it is defined pragmatically for feminist political purposes. I argue against such analyses: pragmatically revising woman may not best serve feminist goals and doing so is unnecessary. Instead, focusing on certain intuitive uses of the term ‘woman’ enables feminist philosop…Read more
  •  357
    Ontological Commitments, Sex and Gender
    In Charlotte Witt (ed.), Feminist Metaphysics, Springer. pp. 67--83. 2011.
    This paper develops an alternative for (what feminists call) ‘the sex/gender distinction’. I do so in order to avoid certain problematic implications that the distinction underpins. First, the sex/gender distinction paradigmatically holds that some social conditions determine one’s gender (whether one is a woman or a man), and that some biological conditions determine one’s sex (whether one is female or male). Further, sex and gender come apart. Since gender is socially constructed, this implies…Read more
  •  274
    Elizabeth Spelman, gender realism, and women
    Hypatia 21 (4): 77-96. 2001.
    : Elizabeth Spelman has famously argued against gender realism. By and large, feminist philosophers have embraced Spelman's arguments and deemed gender realist positions counterproductive. To the contrary, Mikkola shows that Spelman's arguments do not in actual fact give good reason to reject gender realism in general. She then suggests a way to understand gender realism that does not have the adverse consequences feminist philosophers commonly think gender realist positions have.
  •  250
    Doing Ontology and Doing Justice: What Feminist Philosophy Can Teach Us About Meta-Metaphysics
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (7-8): 780-805. 2015.
    Feminist philosophy has recently become recognised as a self-standing philosophical sub-discipline. Still, metaphysics has remained largely dismissive of feminist insights. Here I make the case for the value of feminist insights in metaphysics: taking them seriously makes a difference to our ontological theory choice and feminist philosophy can provide helpful methodological tools to regiment ontological theories. My examination goes as follows. Contemporary ontology is not done via conceptual a…Read more
  •  165
    Pornography, Art and Porno-Art
    In Hans Maes (ed.), Pornographic Art and the Aesthetics of Pornography, Palgrave-macmillan. pp. 27. 2013.
    Philosophers involved in the ‘porn-or-art’ debates standardly assume that pornography is centrally about sexual arousal, while art is about something else. I argue against this assumption and for the view that there is no single thing that pornography (or art) ‘is about’. This suggests that there is no prima facie reason for claiming that some x cannot be both pornography and art. I further go on to develop an understanding of (what I call) ‘porno-art’ - a wholly new kind of thing developing fro…Read more
  •  155
    Illocution, silencing and the act of refusal
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (3): 415-437. 2011.
    Rae Langton and Jennifer Hornsby argue that there may be a free-speech argument against pornography, if pornographic speech has the power to illocutionarily silence women: women's locution ‘No!’ that aims to refuse unwanted sex may misfire because pornography creates communicative conditions where the locution does not count as a refusal. Central to this is the view that women's speech lacks uptake, which is necessary for illocutionary acts like that of refusal. Alexander Bird has critiqued this…Read more
  •  148
    Feminist Metaphysics and Philosophical Methodology
    Philosophy Compass 11 (11): 661-670. 2016.
    Over the past few decades, feminist philosophy has become recognised as a philosophical sub-discipline in its own right. Among the ‘core’ areas of philosophy, metaphysics has nonetheless until relatively recently remained largely dismissive of it. Metaphysics typically investigates the basic structure of reality and its nature. It examines reality's putative building blocks and inherent structure supposedly ‘out there’ with the view to uncovering and elucidating that structure. For this task, fe…Read more
  •  144
    Grounding and anchoring: on the structure of Epstein’s social ontology
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (2): 198-216. 2019.
    ABSTRACTBrian Epstein’s The Ant Trap is a praiseworthy addition to literature on social ontology and the philosophy of social sciences. Its central aim is to challenge received views about the social world – views with which social scientists and philosophers have aimed to answer questions about the nature of social science and about those things that social sciences aim to model and explain, like social facts, objects and phenomena. The received views that Epstein critiques deal with these issu…Read more
  •  139
    The relationship between feminism and metaphysics has historically been strained. Metaphysics has until recently remained dismissive of feminist insights, and many feminist philosophers have been deeply skeptical about any value that metaphysics might have when thinking about advancing gender justice. Nevertheless, feminist philosophers have in recent years increasingly taken up explicitly metaphysical investigations. Such feminist investigations have expanded the scope of metaphysics in holding…Read more
  •  105
    On the apparent antagonism between feminist and mainstream metaphysics
    Philosophical Studies 174 (10): 2435-2448. 2017.
    The relationship between feminism and metaphysics has historically been strained. Metaphysics has until recently remained dismissive of feminist insights, and many feminist philosophers have been deeply skeptical about any value that metaphysics might have when thinking about advancing gender justice. Nevertheless, feminist philosophers have in recent years increasingly taken up explicitly metaphysical investigations. Such feminist investigations have expanded the scope of metaphysics in holding…Read more
  •  92
    This book examines contemporary structural social injustices from a feminist perspective. It asks: what makes oppression, discrimination, and domination wrongful? Is there a single wrongness-making feature of various social injustices that are due to social kind membership? Why is sexist oppression of women wrongful? What does the wrongfulness of patriarchal damage done to women consist in? In thinking about what normatively grounds social injustice, the book puts forward two related views. Firs…Read more
  •  87
    Elizabeth Spelman, Gender Realism, and Women
    Hypatia 21 (4): 77-96. 2001.
    Spelman has famously argued against gender realism (the view that women have some social feature in common that makes them women). Many feminist philosophers have accepted Spelman’s argument and gender realist positions are, generally speaking, rejected. I show that Spelman’s arguments are inadequate and do not give good reasons to reject gender realism per se. I also propose a gender realist position that makes use of David Armstrong’s work on complex universals.
  •  87
    Childfree females encounter greater obstacles in obtaining voluntary sterilizations than childfree males. This paper discusses what might explain this and it proposes that female patients encounter particular credibility deficits that undermine their ability to grant informed consent. In particular, the paper explores Miranda Fricker’s recent suggestion that members of structurally disadvantaged groups encounter a particular sort of injustice that harms them in their capacity as knowers: they su…Read more
  •  38
    Gender der Philosophie
    Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 63 (1). 2015.
  •  20
    Rae Langton famously argues that pornographic speech illocutionarily subordinates and silences women. Making good this view hinges on identifying the context relevant for fixing such force. To do so, a parallel is typically drawn between pornographic recordings and multipurpose signs involved in delayed communication, but the parallel generates a dispute about the right illocutionary force-fixing context. Jennifer Saul and myself argue that if pornographic speech is akin to multipurpose signs, i…Read more
  •  11
    Dehumanization
    In Thom Brooks (ed.), New Waves in Ethics, Palgrave-macmillan. 2011.
    Martha Nussbaum endorses a kind of humanist feminism, which (for her) involves articulating the notion of human being as a normative ethical concept: once this normative concept is articulated, it can be employed to pick out those modes of treating women that are inappropriate with the view to developing corrective public policies. Contra Nussbaum, Louise Antony argues that human being cannot be defined in a normative sense. For Antony, the only plausible human universals are biological or genet…Read more
  •  9
    A Distortion or ‘Our’ Default?
    Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 95 (1): 143-162. 2021.
    This paper considers Tirrell’s analysis of toxic speech using examples epitomising speech that are misleading, outright false, and without compelling justification. They are toxic in polluting and eroding democratic functioning. However, I argue that Tirrell’s two epidemiological models (the common source model exemplified by poisons, and the propagated transmission model that viruses exemplify) fail to make good sense of my examples, which are deeply insidious without being overtly invidious. T…Read more
  •  5
    This paper takes issue with anti-realist views that eschew objectivity. Minimally, objectivity maintains that an objective gap between what is the case and what we take to be the case exists. Some prominent feminist philosophers and theorists endorse anti-realism that rejects such a gap. My contention is that this is bad news for political movements like feminism since this sort of anti-realism fosters radical relativism; feminists, then, must retain a commitment to objectivity. However, some an…Read more
  •  3
    This book provides an introduction to philosophical treatments of pornography. It considers relevant debates in ethics, aesthetics, feminist philosophy, political philosophy, epistemology, and social ontology thus offering a comprehensive examination of the topic. While offering an introduction, the book also puts forward substantive philosophical views on pornography.
  •  3
    Beyond Speech: Pornography and Analytic Feminist Philosophy (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2017.
    This collection of eleven new essays contains the latest developments in analytic feminist philosophy on the topic of pornography. While honoring early feminist work on the subject, it aims to go beyond speech act analyses of pornography and to reshape the philosophical discourse that surrounds pornography. A rich feminist literature on pornography has emerged since the 1980s, with Rae Langton's speech act theoretic analysis dominating specifically Anglo-American feminist philosophy on pornograp…Read more