Feminism as critique: comments on Johanna Oksala’s feminist experiences
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Johanna Oksala’s sharp and incisive new book offers a defense of the ongoing importance, richness, and vitality of feminist philosophy on two fronts. Her defense offers a compelling response both to conservative critics who maintain that feminist philosophy is a contradiction in terms—because feminism is a partisan political movement whereas philosophy is allegedly a disinterested search for timeless, universal truths—and to colleagues in gender and cultural studies who see philosophy as too conservative a discipline to facilitate cutting edge feminist research. Oksala defines feminist philosophy as a form of immanent social critique whose main goal is “to expose, analyze, criticize, and ultimately change the power relations that produce and organize society, or more fundamentally reality, in a way that makes it unequal or unjust for beings who are constructed and classified as women.”1To my mind, perhaps the most interesting feature of this definition—though it remains mostly...
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