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Philosophy & Religion | McDowell Conference

8th Annual McDowell Conference
Fall 1997 Program


Friday, November 14, 1997
Ward Circle Building, Room 2
1:00 pm to 6:00 pm


1:00 pm - 3:15 pm Session I:

“Opening Remarks: Liberals and Feminists"
Jeffrey Reiman, William Fraser McDowell Professor of Philosophy, American University

“How Feminism Has Changed Ethics”
Virginia Held, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, CUNY Graduate School and Hunter College

“Dysfunctional Universality Claims? Multicultural and Global Feminist Philosophy of Science Issues"
Sandra Harding, Professor of Education and Women's Studies, and Director of the Center for the Study of Women, UCLA

“Are Women Human? Reflections on Women's Rights as Human Rights”
Lucinda Peach, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, American University

3:15 pm - 3:45 pm Coffee and Donuts

3:45 pm - 6:00 pm Session II:

“Eros and Freedom: Motherhood and the State”
Cynthia Willett, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Emory University

“Affect and Ethical Agency in a Multicultural Context”
Patricia Huntington, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, American University

“Globalizing Feminist Ethics”
Alison Jaggar, Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies, University of Colorado, Boulder.


Sandra Harding is a philosopher who is currently Professor of Education and Women's Studies at UCLA; she also directs the Center for the Study of Women. She taught in the Philosophy Department at the University of Delaware before joining UCLA in 1996. She is the author or editor of ten books and special journal issues, including Discovering Reality: Feminist Perspectives on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Methodology and Philosophy of Science (1983), The Science Question in Feminism (1986), Sex and Scientific Inquiry (1987), Feminism and Methodology (1987), Whose Science? Whose Knowledge? Thinking From Women's Lives (1991), The "Radical" Economy of Science: Toward a Democratic Future (1993), Is Science Multicultural? Postcolonialisms, Feminism and Epistemologies (forthcoming, Indiana, 1998), Border Crossings: Multicultural and Postcolonial Feminism Challenge Philosophy, two special issues of Hypatia: A Feminist Philosophy Journal co-edited with Uma Narayan (forthcoming Spring and Summer 1998).

Virginia Held is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Hunter College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York. Among her books are Justice and Care: Essential Readings in Feminist Ethics (editor, 1995); Feminist Morality: Transforming Culture, Society, and Politics (1993); Rights and Goods: Justifying Social Action (1984, 1989); and The Public Interest and Individual Interest (1970). She has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and has had Fulbright and Rockefeller fellowships. She is on the editorial boards of five journals in the areas of philosophy and political theory. She has also taught at Yale, Dartmouth, UCLA, and Hamilton.

Patricia Huntington, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at American University, received her Ph.D. from Fordham University in 1993. Her teaching and research specializations include feminist theory with special emphasis on psychoanalytic and French feminism, poststructuralism, phenomenology, the intersections of race and gender, and ethical questions surrounding the impact of media and technology on contemporary politics. Her book, Ecstatic Subjects, Utopia, and Recognition: Kristeva, Heidegger, Irigaray, will appear in July 1998 in Lenore Langsdorf's Philosophy and the Social Sciences Series with State University of New York Press. And she will co-edit the Feminist Interpretations of Heidegger volume with Nancy Holland. It will appear in Nancy Tuana's Re-Reading the Canon Series with Pennsylvania State University Press.

Alison M. Jaggar is Professor of Philosophy and Women Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She was formerly Wilson Professor of Ethics at the University of Cincinnati and has also taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of California at Los Angeles and Rutgers University, where she held the Laurie New Jersey Chair in Women's Studies. She has been a visiting professor at Victoria University, New Zealand and the Universities of Oslo. her books include: Feminist Frameworks, co-edited with Paula Rothenberg, 3rd edition (1993), Feminist Politics and Human Nature (1983), Gender/Body/Knowledge: Feminist Reconstructions of Being and Knowing, co-edited with Susan R. Bordo (1989). Living with Contradictions: Controversies in Feminist Social Ethics (1994); Morality and SOcial Justice, co-authored with James P. Sterba et. al. (1995), The Blackwell Companion to Feminist Philosophy, with Iris Marion Young (in press). Presently, she is working on Sex, Truth, and Power: A Feminist Theory of Moral Justification, and a book of essays on sexual equality. Jaggar was founder member of the Society for Women in Philosophy, past chair of the American Philosophical Association Committee on the StaTus of Women, and past co-president of the North American Society for Social Philosophy.

Lucinda Joy Peach, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at American University, received the Ph.D. in ethics from the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University. She also has a J. D. from New York University School of Law. Professor Peach's research interests include legal, feminist, applied and religious ethics, American Pragmatism, Buddhist philosophy, the relationship between law and religion, and the role of gender in law, ethics, and religion. Her dissertation examined the role of religion in the formation of moral identity and lawmaking on abortion. She has done significant work on the relationship of gender and violence, and is currently developing a critical feminist analysis of the movement for women's rights as human rights. Professor Peach has published essays on the ethics of women in military combat, feminist perspectives on just war theory, the relationship of law and virtueabortion and ethics, gender ideology in law and religion, and research ethics. She recently completed Women in Culture: An Anthology, forthcoming from Blackwell Publishers (1998).

Jeffrey Reiman is the William Fraser McDowell Professor of Philosophy at American University in Washington D.C. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1942. He received his B. A. in Philosophy from Queen College in 1963, and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Pennsylvania State University in 1968. He was a Fulbright Scholar in India during 1966-1967. He joined American University faculty in 1970, in the Center for the Administration of Justice (now called the Department of Justice, Law and Society of the School of Public Affairs). After several years of holding a joint appointment in the Justice program and the Department of Philosophy and Religion, Dr. Reiman joined the Department of Philosophy and Religion full-time in 1988, becoming Director of the Master's Program in Philosophy and Social Policy. He was named William Fraser McDowell Professor of Philosophy in 1990. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies, and president of the American University Phi Beta Kappa chapter. He is the author on In Defense of Political Philosophy (1972), Justice and Modern Moral Philosophy (1990), Critical Moral Liberalism: Theory and Practice (1997), The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison: Ideology, Class, and Criminal Justice, 4th edition (1995), and more than fifty articles in philosophy and criminal journals and anthologies.

Cynthia Willett teaches courses in contemporary continental ethics and social theory in the Philosophy Department at Emory University. She has published essays on postmodernism, dialectical philosophy, contemporary films, and is the author of a book, Maternal Ethics and Other Slave Moralities (1995). She has edited a forthcoming anthology, Theorizing Multiculturalism: A Guide to the Current Debate, due out in the Spring of 1998 with Blackwell. Her current project is a book on the topic of the talk, "Eros and Freedom: Motherhood and the State."