Feminist Philosophy/Dr. Freeland


Take-Home Exam #1



Answer two questions.  Each question is worth 15 points or 15% of your final grade.  Essays will be graded on the basis of content as well as style and the correct use of grammar, punctuation, etc. All essays must be typed, double-spaced. The length guide is roughly 2 pages per essay, or four pages total, for undergraduates, and longer for graduate students (use your discretion). Be sure to incorporate references to the readings! You do not need formal footnotes to refer to material from the assigned texts or in-class handouts. You do need footnotes for all other material that is cited. I do not have a preferred format for the paper layout or footnotes.


1. Roots of Liberal Feminism

Discuss some of the history of liberal feminism by examining views of the earliest liberal feminists. What can feminists today take from their writings? What would be difficult to borrow from their works? Consider Diotima (as discussed by Irigaray), Princess Elizabeth (as presented by Andrea Nye), Mary Wollstonecraft, Harriet Taylor and John Stuart Mill, and/or the early American suffragettes (including Frederick Douglass). To the extent that their views are different from those of feminists today, what would the explanation be?


2. Difference

Why is difference an issue in feminist philosophy? What does “difference” mean when it is raised as a problem by critics of feminist theory? What are some of the concrete concerns and practical recommendations? Is difference an insuperable obstacle for liberal feminism’s vision of equality? Why or why not?


3.  Methodology

What is feminist methodology? Discuss some various recommendations on this topic. Why is it an important topic in feminist theory and philosophy? Do you think there is a “right” feminist methodology? Explain.


Due in Class October 1, 2007

Late papers will be marked down one half-grade (2 pts) per class day late. Be sure to put  your name and the topic on the top of each of your essays. Use a separate page for your second essay.



Remember, plagiarism is a serious offense against the university’s academic honesty policy. Plagiarism includes paraphrasing. Every effort will be made to detect plagiarized material (this includes material copied from websites!). And yes, even one sentence is enough to make a paper count as a violation. Papers must represent the student’s own work and ideas. There’s no point in grading them (or in writing them!) otherwise. Any papers found to be in violation of the academic honesty policy will receive a grade of “0” points.  


E-Mail:  If you submit essays by e-mail. please entitle them as follows:  JaneDoeEssay1.doc, JamesBlueEssay2.doc, etc. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the professor receives e-mailed essays on time and also that they are readable and virus-free! Do not send essays written in Word Perfect, as I cannot read it.