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ERIC Number: ED527990
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 283
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-6651-1
Feminism and Pragmatism: Change toward a More Inclusive Philosophy of Higher Education
Carey, Patricia A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University
I begin with a quotation from Virginia Held, taking this as a point of departure: "Few feminists identify ourselves specifically as pragmatists, but perhaps most of us could offer more support for pragmatism at its best than most pragmatists realize." Though a passing remark, Held has raised an intriguing question. Could feminism and pragmatism offer to each other mutual support? Do they "already"? And if the philosophies can be demonstrated to be compatible, what are the possible gains in philosophy "particularly" and--especially for women--through change in higher education "generally"? I survey pragmatists Charles Peirce, William James, and others, though I concentrate on John Dewey. Similarly, I include feminists Carol Gilligan and Charlene Haddock Seigfried, though the schema suggested by Mary Field Belenky, Blythe McVicker Clinchy, Nancy Rule Goldberger, and Jill Mattuck Tarule, and as built on William Perry, provides a critical focus. In turn, I crosstabulate a "feminist epistemology," taking one-way tables based on Belenky et al. and Ann Stanton, and overlaying the educational philosophy of Dewey. Important in "shaping" my dissertation is Shulamit Reinharz: "In feminist research... the 'problem' is frequently a blend of an intellectual question and personal trouble." What makes my "problem" concrete is a recent Columbia University study documenting significant gender imbalance among Ph.D. graduates and tenured faculty. Further, many feminist researchers, by their own admission, define problems but stop short of developing solutions. In contrast, I lay groundwork in feminist, pragmatist, and educational philosophy, describe a "femisophical" approach, and sketch a School of Women's Studies and Research. In addition, I point to two fruitful and already existing models, the "Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine" and "Liberal Education and America's Promise." I conclude that feminism and pragmatism are, indeed, compatible and mutually supportive. I substitute "translate" for "transform," however, as a more constructive key to instituting change toward a more inclusive philosophy of higher education. Further, I argue that there are substantive and widely general benefits, both for men as for women, and that these are consistent with the social and intellectual ideals currently acclaimed for liberal education. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A