Wittgenstein and Feminism
International Conference and Graduate Workshops. Date: March 26th - 27th, 2021. Location: Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris, France
Caterina Botti (University of Rome — La Spienza, Italy)
Alice Crary (New School for Social Research, New York, USA)
Chon Tejedor (University of Valencia, Spain)
Over the past thirty years, we have seen what a rich resource Wittgenstein’s philosophy can be for feminist epistemology and praxis. By emphasizing the myriad ways we use language in different contexts, Wittgenstein’s work encourages its readers to pay attention to the particularities of ordinary, situated uses of language and to the complexities attendant upon our linguistic practices. In fact, Wittgenstein conceived of language itself as a practice, and philosophy’s task as that of describing and making explicit the ways in which language and reality intertwine. Philosophy should not then seek to explain the metaphysical foundations of language, but to clarify the forms of our speech, the functions speech fulfills in different contexts, and the ways in which speech permits people to come together.
The aim of this event is to expand this inquiry while highlighting the Franco-Norwegian exchange on the importance of Wittgenstein’s thought for feminism. In France and Norway, Wittgenstein’s philosophy is used not only to reflect upon feminist methodologies and feminist epistemology, but also to investigate the intersections between language and ideology — their co-construction, as well as language’s subversions, reversals, and refusals of ideology — using a contextualized approach. We will attend to the plurality of feminist readings of Wittgenstein’s later work, their utility to feminist theory and practice, and the tensions that may arise between these and other post-structuralist or materialist approaches to discourse.