Archive for the ‘Feminist Philosophy’ Category


Very occasionally, in the morning when the weather is not too hot, I step out onto my front porch and sit on a broad wooden bench, looking out into my front yard and that of my neighbor’s, enjoying the coolness of the air with nothing save birdsong to disturb the silence. I may bring a cup of tea with me, and perhaps one of my cats will come to sit near.

For the moment, I am at rest. I own the ground upon which I sit. I am fully provisioned and no enemies appear on my immediate horizon. I am well aware that this is an illusion, but choose to pretend in the moment, that all is well. Now in my fifties, my ambitions are modest. “A home, respect, freedom, and neighbors who want the same” (Lamar). I desire peace and quiet broken only by the occasional company of my extended family and close friends. I think that this is a desire commonly held by the overwhelming majority of mature adults existent across the face of the earth, irrespective of their culture, their history, or their present social and economic position within their particular communities. In the following pages it is my intention to describe the realization of this desire by a certain class of men among the petit-bourgeoisie whom I shall refer to as neo-patriarchs.


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While searching through old posts at Against Politics, one of my common haunts, I came across an interview featuring Jan Narveson, professor of philosophy emeritus at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Narveson, whose work I encountered via the work of Robert Nozick and David Gauthier, is an anarcho-capitalist and the author of the influential The Libertarian Idea. Among other things, Dr. Narveson addresses in the interview why natural rights should be rejected and offers his list of the most influential texts in libertarian political philosophy. Here is the link to the interview, a significant portion of which I excerpt here:

The contractarian and utilitarian approaches to libertarianism are often confused. What are the differences between these two views?

Contractarian is not the same as utilitarian, and does not give similar results. The Utilitarian, as in Bentham and Mill, holds that (1) everyone’s utility is cardinally measurable, in principle, and (2) for social and moral purposes, we should count an equal amount of anyone’s utility as equal to anyone else’s, intrinsically.

Utilitarianism is, actually, equivalent to another natural rights perspective—that’s why I stopped being a utilitarian.


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This is worth reading — particularly stunning at times.  (HT: Jon Jacobs via Kari Theurer)

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Today is Ada Lovelace Day, a day to celebrate women’s accomplishements in science and techonology. Ada Lovelace was the inventor of the first computer program. From Feminist Philosophers we learn more about her:

Who was Ada?

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace was born on 10th December 1815, the only child of Lord Byron and his wife, Annabella. Born Augusta Ada Byron, but now known simply as Ada Lovelace, she wrote the world’s first computer programmes for the Analytical Engine, a general-purpose machine that Charles Babbage had invented. Ada had been taught mathematics from a very young age by her mother and met Babbage in 1833. Ten years later she translated Luigi Menabrea’s memoir on Babbage’s Analytical Engine, appending notes that included a method for calculating Bernoulli numbers with the machine – the first computer programme. The calculations were never carried out, as the machine was never built. She also wrote the very first description of a computer and of software.

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Four popular female bloggers dicuss the ins and out of blogging in this interesting panel discussion.

(HT: Feminist Philosophers)

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Brandon argues: Nope.

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The running stats are that women are only about 20% of philosophers, but at a meeting I went to at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, I learned that their local student body is about 97% male. In light of that, and yesterday being International Women’s Day, I thought it would be nice to post a story NPR is running about female WWII pilots:

In 1942, the United States was faced with a severe shortage of pilots, and leaders gambled on an experimental program to help fill the void: Train women to fly military aircraft so male pilots could be released for combat duty overseas.

The group of female pilots was called the Women Airforce Service Pilots — WASP for short. In 1944, during the graduation ceremony for the last WASP training class, the commanding general of the U.S. Army Air Forces, Henry “Hap” Arnold, said that when the program started, he wasn’t sure “whether a slip of a girl could fight the controls of a B-17 in heavy weather.”

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