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Metafísica feminista

"One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman,"
(de Beauvoir 1949, 267)

"He is the Subject, he is the Absolute—she is the Other"
(de Beauvoir 1949, xxviii).

Feminist Metaphysics

First published Tue 27 Feb, 2007

Metaphysics is the study of the basic structure of reality. It considers, for example, concepts such as identity, causation, substance, and kind, that seem to be presupposed by any form of inquiry; and it attempts to determine what there is at the most general level. For example, are there minds in addition to bodies? Do things persist through change? Is there freewill or is all action determined by prior events? It may seem bizarre, then, to suggest that there is such a thing as feminist metaphysics. What could be feminist or anti-feminist about metaphysics?

However, feminist theorists have asked whether and, if so, to what extent our frameworks for understanding the world are distorting in ways that privilege men or masculinity. What, if anything, is eclipsed if we adopt an Aristotelian framework of substance and essence, or a Cartesian framework of immaterial souls present in material bodies? And is what's left out of such frameworks relevant to the devaluation or oppression of women? Feminists have also considered the structure of social reality and the relationship between the social world and the natural world. Because social structures are often justified as natural, or necessary to control what's natural, feminists have questioned whether such references to nature are legitimate. This has led to considerable work on the idea of social construction and, more specifically, the social construction of gender.