Next term we will continue the Feminism and Philosophy Reading group, but with a slightly different approach.
We will be reading Michelle LeDoeuf's Hipparchia's Choice, an important and very influential text on women and philosophy. Hipparchia's Choice was written in 1989 and is not only a personal reflection by LeDoeuff on her experience as a female philosopher, but also a deeply interesting philosophical book with a particular focus on the works of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. It is a somewhat informal book in approach, as its structure consists of four 'notebooks', each concerning a different theme. The first notebook concerns Sartre and the exclusion of women from his discourse. The second is focused on Simone de Beauvoir and her book The Second Sex. The third notebook is a more general reflection on the exclusion of women in (the history) philosophy from the ancient Greeks onwards. The fourth notebook focuses on social justice and the women's movements of the 70's and 80's, and how women can find their voice in a patriarchical society.
In reading this book we will continue to think about whether feminism and philosophy are compatible. Hipparchia's Choice answers this question in the affirmative. As one reviewer writes, "The “freedom of thought” Le Dœuff refers to in the epilogue is fundamental to all her work. This freedom is to follow philosophical ideas wherever they lead, for women to engage in the intellectual work that interests them, and in general not to be limited by boundaries, prejudices, or exclusionary imaginaries against thought."
There are two copies of the book available at the library, but if you want to buy it we recommend the 2007 Columbia University Press edition (you can probably get it cheaply from abebooks.co.uk). If you cannot find this edition, the 1991 Blackwell edition is also fine, although it does not have the Epilogue and there might be a bit of confusion with the page numbers.
Anyone is welcome to join the reading group, whether you attended this past term or not. If you would like to keep informed about the reading group, please join the SWIP subscription list athttps://www.essex.ac.uk/contact/mailinglists/listinfo.aspx?list=swip . All future communication about the reading group will be done on that mailing list.
We hope to see you in the first week of term!