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Loosely related set of approaches in various fields of philosophy that emphasizes the role of gender in the formation of traditional philosophical problems and concepts and the ways in which traditional philosophy reflects and perpetuates bias against women. In social and political philosophy, liberal feminists have advocated making women's political and economic opportunities equal to those of men; socialist or Marxist feminists have argued that women's oppression is inherently economic in character; and radical feminists have criticized liberal political notions such as equality and autonomy as inherently masculine (seeliberalism). Similar feminist critiques have been made of notions such as rationality and objectivity in epistemology and metaphysics. In ethics, feminists have contrasted the traditional masculine approach based on impersonal and abstract rights and principles with an ethic of care based on personal and concrete relationships and responsibilities. In the late 20th century feminists influenced by postmodern philosophy and literary theory pointed out the potential racial, cultural, and class biases of academic feminists attempting to speak for all women and argued that no single description of women's experience or women's oppression can be valid for all (seepostmodernism).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on feminist philosophy, visit Britannica.com.
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