The Woman of Reason: On the Re-appropriation of Rationality and the Enjoyment of Philosophy

  • Pieranna GaravasoEmail author
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science book series (BSPS, volume 317)


This paper starts out from two feminist criticisms of classical logic, namely Andrea Nye’s general rejection of logic and Val Plumwood’s criticism of the standard notion of negation in classical logic. I then look at some of Gottlob Frege’s reflections on negation in one of his later Logical Investigations. It will appear clear that Frege’s notion of negation is not easily pegged in the general category of ‘Otherness’ that Plumwood uses to characterize negation in classical logic. In the second half of the paper, I discuss the claim that the adversarial method of argumentation in philosophy is hostile to feminist goals and perhaps responsible for the low numbers of women engaged in academic philosophy. Against this hypothesis, I claim that a more naturalistic perspective on logic can avoid essentialism and provide a feminist friendly and pluralist view of logic, human reasoning, and philosophical argumentation.


Feminist criticism of logic Frege Adversarial method of argumentation Rationality Reason Philosophy 



I thank Kari Hanson and Tessa Hagen for their useful comments on both content and bibliography.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MinnesotaMorrisUSA

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