Feminist Engagements with Nineteenth-Century German Philosophy

Authored by: Elaine P. Miller

The Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  May  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138795921
eBook ISBN: 9781315758152
Adobe ISBN:


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Immanuel Kant’s 1791 Critique of Judgment inspired the best of nineteenth-century European philosophy, including German Idealism and Romanticism and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche (Hance 1998; Kreines 2008; Zimmerman 2005). Many feminist scholars have also found the Critique of Judgment productive, despite thorough critique of some of Kant’s central presuppositions in his other works. Themes of interest to feminists in this work include the turn away from an emphasis on the isolated ego or subject, the value of felt connectedness among humans, the significance of embodiment, and the restoration of narrative complexity (Moen 1997: 214). G. W. F. Hegel’s transformation of Kantian morality into a system that unites universal principles with an acknowledgment of the concrete circumstances and self-correcting possibilities of actual historical events and movements is also arguably important for the feminist critique of traditional metaphysics and of moral values that do not take women’s concerns into account (Gauthier 1997). A growing recognition of the impossibility of understanding the human being apart from her relation to nature and to a broader political context, and the necessity of attributing a very specific type of purposiveness to natural as well as human phenomena can be added to this list.

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