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email LewissHartwickedutitle A Paper on Gendered ReasonPhilosophical thought has traditionally been the realm of the masculine one in which men thought women were unable to comprehend Canonical philosophers have perpetuated a theory that women are less than capable of pondering subjects of importance those dealing with rationale and reasoning These theories came from the great philosophical thinkers Plato and Aristotle Descartes and Rousseau Kant and Hume Locke and Hegel Each of them had their own reasons for believing the reasoning capacity of women to be inferior to men differing on some views but agreeing on many Nancy Tuana gives a feminist approach to philosophy and critically analyses the theories set forth in her book Woman and the History of Philosophy She states that One of the most basic gender assumptions found throughout the philosophical canon is the tenet that man is the true form of humanity that is masculinity is equated with humanness Tuana p 9 She expounds this statement in her critique of each of the theories by the above-mentioned philosophers In doing so Tuana shows how we have been conditioned to a standard way of looking at issues and thus we view the world in a certain way This view has been biased by the indoctrination of philosophical teachings and therefore we must question everything to find the truth in its meaning Some of the theories explored clearly show a gender bias toward women while others are not as blatant in their discrimination and actually seem to provide a neutral gender analysis or one that may even be considered as upholding feminine qualities By using Tuanas method of hermeneutics however we are given a different interpretation one which many feminists would say is a clearer interpretation of canonical philosophical theory It seems that there is a general consensus of those traits and characteristics seen as innately masculine and feminine These traits are used to define what humanness is and are also used to
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