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Adversariality, Grandstanding and Gender in Argument

dc.creatorAlsip Vollbrecht, Lucy 2023
dc.description.abstractPhilosophy aims at uncovering the deeper truths about our world and ourselves, and it does so by means of argument. Argument is philosophy’s prime mover. However, given the fact that extra-argumentative norms often pollute our intellectual spaces, access to effective argument isn’t always equitable. In this dissertation, broadly speaking, I examine a number of ways in which extra-argumentative norms pervert our intellectual spaces. As I’ll show, social-cultural norms, particularly those surrounding gender, distort the neutrality of intellectual speech, including argument. While I’ll claim that argument itself is a reliable and fair framework for inquiry, these gender norms create additional barriers to effective intellectual speech for women and feminists therein. More specifically, in what follows, I analyze three related, but distinct problems of this nature. These are the adversariality of argument, moral grandstanding, and intellectual grandstanding. In Chapter 1, I make a novel feminist contribution to the adversariality debate. I argue that, contrary to the going feminist view, skeptical engagement is actually required to achieve epistemic justice. In Chapter 2, I weigh-in on the growing moral grandstanding debate. In Chapter 3, driven by insights from Chapter 2, I introduce a new, but parallel concept to moral grandstanding: intellectual grandstanding. Lastly, in Chapter 4, I examine the intersection between grandstanding and gender. As I’ll demonstrate, intellectual grandstanding disproportionately effects women, and so, is a pressing issue for feminist research. Together these reflections offer a relatively undertheorized approach to the gender problem in philosophy. They instruct us to look at how external social-cultural norms produce gender inequity in philosophy through argument first.
dc.subjectArgument Theory
dc.subjectFeminist Philosophy
dc.titleAdversariality, Grandstanding and Gender in Argument
dc.type.materialtext University Graduate School
dc.contributor.committeeChairAikin, Scott F.

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