Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

PHIL 322: Philosophical Perpectives on Women

PHIL 322: Philosophical Perspectives on Women

The Generic Catalog Description

Rights, duties, and virtues of the human as an individual and as a member of society; the basic human societies of the family and the state; social justice; international society; war and world order. Cross-listed as WOST 322.

PHIL 322: Philosophical Perspectives on Women

Jennifer Parks

Reproduction is arguably the most central concern in women’s lives (whether women choose to seek it or avoid it), and marks an area of strong feminist discussion and debate.  In this regard, our class will treat various feminist approaches to reproduction, and will consider how to best resolve some of the ethical and social problems they create for women.  We will explore the feminist debate over whether reproductive technologies are a setback to women’s interests, or whether they are ultimately the means to women’s liberation.  To start with, we will consider different ways that feminists have theorized women’s reproduction, including liberal (rights-based) approaches, radical approaches, black feminist approaches, and Marxist (or materialist) feminist approaches.  With these frameworks in mind, we will examine a number of reproductive practices, like abortion, in vitro fertilization, contract motherhood, and egg vending.  We will not treat these reproductive technologies as discrete issues, but will consider them within the framework of patriarchy, according to which reproduction is a natural and essential part of womanhood.