Feminist Logic, Literally


  • Ivan Restović Institute of Philosophy, Zagreb




I this paper, I discuss Plumwood’s feminist logic program. I argue both in favor of her general stance in feminist philosophy of logic and her more specific feminist critique of classical logic. Plumwood’s general position is in opposition with (I think it’s safe to say) the prevailing view in analytic philosophy about the relation between formal logic and feminist theory, according to which feminist theory cannot say anything about or against logic proper, since the issues of oppression are external to logic as a (formal) discipline. Connected to this externalism is a non-Plumwoodian view that “feminist logic” either doesn’t mean anything, or that it has some figurative meaning. Concerning Plumwood’s (I think it’s safe to say) not widely accepted feminist critique of classical logic, I propose an interpretation according to which classical logic is oppressive only when it’s used to describe a particular, “dualized” or “dualizable”, kind of notions. In accordance with this understanding, I consider five features of oppressive differentiations as proposed by Plumwood, arguing that two of them don’t concern negation, the feminist critique of which operator Plumwood is mostly (in)famous for.


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