Women in Western Political Thought
The focus of this course is not on critique of the tradition, but how contemporary feminists build on the strengths of the tradition and offer alternatives to its limitations. In particular, we will focus on four overlapping areas that have been the subject of important critiques of the tradition by feminists: the conception of reason, the treatment of the body, the concept of autonomy, and the role of human dependence in envisioning the autonomous individual and the competent citizen. We will see how contemporary feminist theorists are developing serious alternatives to the tradition. We will also consider the ways in which these areas—reason, the body, autonomy, and dependence—are related to one another. Taken together, the feminist alternative approaches to these issues not only transform the role of women in political thought, but the core arguments of political theory.
Love’s Labor: Essays on Women, Equality and Dependency, by Eva Feder Kittay is available from Amazon and may also be at used bookstores. We will be reading almost the whole book (all but 50 pages). ALL other readings are posted on Blackboard, sometimes as links, sometimes as pdfs. The links also appear in the syllabus.
Format and Requirements
One 2 page paper (10%), Two sets of questions (5%), Peer Review of draft paper (5%), 5 page paper (25%), Final exam (55%)
NEW360Y1 / PHL265H1 / POL200Y1