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Playlist: Women's History Month

Compiled By: Philosophy Talk

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What is a Wife?

From Philosophy Talk | Part of the Philosophy Talk series | 53:59

Is the concept of 'wife' an outmoded relic of our chauvinistic past?

Kenjohn_small The concept of a wife has been embedded in cultures, religious practices, social customs and economic patterns of wildly different sorts. Is there a core concept of what it is to be a wife? Is it a good concept, or one that deserves to be thrown on the trash heap of intellectual history because it perpetrates corrosive stereotypes of women? What conceptions of being a wife do Americans have today? John and Ken espouse their views with Marilyn Yalom, author of A History of the Wife.

2021-03-07 The Value of Care: Feminism and Ethics

From Philosophy Talk | Part of the Philosophy Talk series | 53:59

How do notions like care, compassion, and empathy change the way we view our obligations to others?


We sometimes think of the domains of ethics and morality as divorced from feeling and emotion. You keep your promises because it maximizes good. But what if care were thought of as the bedrock of morality? While we know that more care work is performed by women, would a care-based approach to ethics be feminist, or merely feminine? What would it look like for us to build our institutions around the goal of promoting care? Debra and Ken take care to welcome Joan Tronto from the University of Minnesota, author of Who Cares?: How to Reshape a Democratic Politics.


From Philosophy Talk | Part of the Philosophy Talk series | 53:59

Is the question whether a fetus is a person, or a living human being, or something else?

Philosophy Talk


Nothing stirs up controversy like abortion. To some, it carries the steep moral cost of destroying human life, while to others, it represents an inviolable bastion of women’s rights over their own bodies. Despite the polarizing nature of the debate, it covers broad philosophical ground, and touches on religious, political, social and moral considerations. Ken and John seek a dispassionate and rational discussion of abortion with UC Berkeley Journalism professor Cynthia Gorney, author of Articles of Faith: A Frontline History of the Abortion Wars.


Science and Gender

From Philosophy Talk | Part of the Philosophy Talk series | 53:59

Isn't the scientific method gender-neutral?


What does gender have to do with science? The obvious answer is ‘nothing.’ Science is the epitome of an objective, rational, and disinterested enterprise. But given the history of systemic under-representation of women in science, what does it mean that science answers almost exclusively to the methodologies of men? Has male domination contributed certain unfounded assumptions or cognitive biases to the ‘objectivity’ of scientific inquiry? Is there any possibility of achieving a gender-neutral science, and if so, what would that look like? John and Ken make room at the table for Stanford historian Londa Schiebinger, author of Gendered Innovations in Science and Engineering.