Michèle Le Dœuff

Michèle Le Dœuff (1948- ) is a French feminist philosopher and playwright. One of the most important contemporary feminist philosophers, Le Dœuff's work is highly critical of the philosophical tradition and its treatment of women. Le Dœuff’s ideas are driven by her intense philosophical and literary analysis of English empiricist philosophy, especially of Francis Bacon. This historicism places her in a rare position within continental philosophy. A capable critic of English empiricism, the analytical and the continental traditions of philosophy, Le Dœuff is concerned in her work to highlight the subtle fundamental ways in which both traditional philosophy and scientific thinking imagines a world in which women are inferior and incapable of rational and analytical thought. In books such as Recherches sur l'Imaginaire Philosophique (trans. The Philosophical Imaginary), now a classic text in feminist philosophy, Le Doeuff analyses a markedly misogynist relation to otherness within philosophy that has had a widespread and mythical dissemination: the philosophical imaginary that is an inescapeably irrational and uncritical foundation for knowledge in the writings of canonical philosophers.

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Further reading

  • L'Étude et le rouet, Michèle Le Dœuff (1989) translated as Hipparchia's Choice: An Essay Concerning Women, Philosophy, Etc. by Trista Selous (1991)
  • Le Sexe du savoir Michèle Le Dœuff (1998) translated as The Sex of Knowing by Kathryn Hamer and Lorraine Code(2003)
  • Recherches sur l'imaginaire philosophique, Michèle Le Dœuff translated as The Philosophical Imaginary by Colin Gordon (1990)
  • "Ants and Women, or Philosophy Without Borders" in Contemporary French Philosophy A. Phillips Griffiths (ed.)(1987)
  • Michèle Le Doeuff: Operative Philosophy and Imaginary Practice, Max Deutscher (ed.) (2001)

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