Rowan University
Ellen Miller, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Department of Philosophy & Religion
Rowan University
Glassboro, NJ 08028
Office: B
unce Hall
Office Phone:  856-256-4835

Dr. Ellen Miller
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Philosophy and Gender  Paper #1. Due March 1

Approx 5 pages. Follow guidelines provided in class.

  • I am most interested in your interpretation of the readings and your ability to demonstrate the implications of your interpretation. I hope that this is an exciting task where you can learn about your own views and commitments in the process of writing.
  • Please contact me if you wish to discuss your ideas in further detail.

·        You can, of course, refer to other articles we have read even when not explicitly called for

·        You should do your best to be fair to all perspectives under consideration, especially when they differ from your own. It is more effective to criticize a position you have shown to fully understand. In fact, it is required for an excellent paper.


Answer one questions. Follow Writing Guidelines Provided in class and on Web

1.  Nature of Gender:  “Sex and gender are separate systems which are interwoven at many points. Although members of a culture experience this interweaving as natural, seamless, and organic, the points of connection vary historically and cross-culturally (Vance, Social Construction Theory and Sexuality, p.39).” Examine this statement from the viewpoint of at least two of the following authors: Fausto-Sterling, Kleinman, Francis, Christian Women’s Declaration. What are the strengths and weaknesses in these accounts in your estimation?                

 2.  Feminist ethics:  According to Gilligan, what is the difference between care reasoning and justice reasoning?  What does Gilligan mean when she says that Kohlberg's scale was unable to hear Amy's different voice? Does she think this is due to biology or environment? After you explain Gilligan's views, critically evaluate her position (Note: this is from a much longer book. You may want to look up the book, other articles by Gilligan, on-line resources).                

 3.  Fatherhood and masculinity:  Anderson argues that gender equality in the home does not necessarily lead to the "decline of the family." Set out some of his reasons in support of this claim. Then provide a sustained counterargument to his view by referring to Blankenhorn's essay. Which do you find most plausible? Why? It would be good to bring in Kaufman's article about male power to support your answer.

 4.  Justice and the Family:  Explain why Okin claims that political theorists need to examine family structure when they   discuss justice. What does Okin think of Sandel's sentimental view of the family? What does she think about Rawl's conception of justice? Why does Hewlett think that it will take more than small individual changes to create a just society? What are the public policy changes she endorses in her article? What are the strengths and weaknesses in these accounts of justice we read from Rawls, Sandel, Okin, Hewlett? (Remember there are notes about Rawls on our web-page that I showed in class)

 5.   Dating, Race, and Gender:  Explain what Staples means when he says “The problems black men and women have in their relationships often are shaped by external forces” (247). Critically examine Staples understanding of how socially constructed gender roles and race effect the singles world and one’s marital status. It would be good to bring in some discussion of our first articles on gender and social construction for this question.






































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