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In Defense of Experience

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020

Abstract

This article studies our philosophical understanding of experience in order to question the current political and theoretical dismissal of experiential accounts in feminist theory. The focus is on Joan Scott's critique of experience, but the philosophical issues animating the discussion go beyond Scott's work and concern the future of feminist theory and politics more generally. I ask what it means for feminist theory to redefine experience as a linguistic event the way Scott suggests. I attempt to demonstrate that the consequences that she draws from such a theoretical move are both philosophically and politically problematic. A critical study of the evidence of experience does not have to imply metaphysical or epistemological foundationalism, as Scott claims, but on the contrary, such a study is indispensable for challenging them. We must hold onto experience as an important resource for contesting sexist discourses and oppressive conceptual schemas.

Type
Open Issue Content
Information
Hypatia , Volume 29 , Issue 2 , Spring 2014 , pp. 388 - 403
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by Hypatia, Inc.

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