Some Thoughts on Feminist Metaphysics

I developed an interest in how gender applied to Immanuel Kant’s metaphysics while reading the Critique of Pure Reason as part of one of my spring 2019 courses, Kant and His Successors, in the Philosophy Department. With these concerns, I began a conversation with my instructor, Professor Aaron Griffith, and was referred to a piece by Ásta. In her article, Ásta writes about Judith Butler, a leading feminist philosopher, who proposed a metaphysical theory on gender. Upon reading the article, I felt the work was incomplete. Ásta set the stage for formally applying Butler’s views in a Kantian framework, yet gaps remained. In conversations with Professor Griffith, we agreed upon the promising claims in Ásta’s interpretation and that they required further development. 


I recognize the reasonability of the claims that many feminist philosophers assert against traditional conceptions. This project adds to the feminist philosophical conversation. 

In the past couple of weeks, I have read Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble three times, Butler’s Bodies That Matter, and Ásta’s article. I have also been researching and reading critical responses of other philosophers to Ásta’s and Butler’s works. As I work to better understand each of these texts, I have begun to develop my own criticisms and interpretations; I hesitate to share them prematurely.

As I have read, I have considered the possible intended audiences for my article and how that might change my writing. More specifically, one consideration has been the pronouns that I will use. I have read detailed arguments from feminist sides advocating for she/her/hers or they/them/theirs as well as from traditional sides promoting he/him/his. If you have a strong opinion, feel free to share!