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Feminism and Pragmatism: Change toward a More Inclusive Philosophy of Higher Education

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Patricia A Carey
Abstract:
I begin with a quotation from Virginia Held, taking this as a point of departure: "Few feminists identify ourselves specifically as pragmatists, but perhaps most of us could offer more support for pragmatism at its best than most pragmatists realize." 1 Though a passing remark, Held has raised an intriguing question. Could feminism and pragmatism offer to each other mutual support? Do they already ? And if the philosophies can be demonstrated to be compatible, what are the possible gains in philosophy particularly and--especially for women--through change in higher education generally ? I survey pragmatists Charles Peirce, William James, and others, though I concentrate on John Dewey. Similarly, I include feminists Carol Gilligan and Charlene Haddock Seigfried, though the schema suggested by Mary Field Belenky, Blythe McVicker Clinchy, Nancy Rule Goldberger, and Jill Mattuck Tarule, 2 and as built on William Perry, provides a critical focus. In turn, I crosstabulate a feminist epistemology , taking one-way tables based on Belenky et al. and Ann Stanton, and overlaying the educational philosophy of Dewey. Important in shaping my dissertation is Shulamit Reinharz: "In feminist research ... the 'problem' is frequently a blend of an intellectual question and personal trouble."3 What makes my "problem" concrete is a recent Columbia University study documenting significant gender imbalance among Ph.D. graduates and tenured faculty.4 Further, many feminist researchers, by their own admission, define problems but stop short of developing solutions. In contrast, I lay groundwork in feminist, pragmatist, and educational philosophy, describe a "femisophical" approach, and sketch a School of Women's Studies and Research. In addition, I point to two fruitful and already existing models, the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine and and Liberal Education and America's Promise . I conclude that feminism and pragmatism are, indeed, compatible and mutually supportive. I substitute translate for transform , however, as a more constructive key to instituting change toward a more inclusive philosophy of higher education. Further, I argue that there are substantive and widely general benefits, both for men as for women, and that these are consistent with the social and intellectual ideals currently acclaimed for liberal education. 1 Virginia Held, Feminist Morality: Transforming Culture, Society, and Politics (Chicago: University Press, 1993), p. 25. 2 Mary Field Belenky, Blythe McVicker Clinchy, Nancy Rule Goldberger, and Jill Mattuck Tarule. Women's Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice, and Mind . New York: Basic Books, 1986. 3 Shulamit Reinharz, Feminist Methods in Social Research (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 259-260. 4 James Applegate, Lucy Drotning, Nancy Gajee, Jean Howard, Kim Kastens, Janet Metcalfe, Denny Partridge, Maria Pilar Rodriquez, and JoAnn Winsten, Advancement of Women through the Academic Ranks of the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: Where Are the Leaks in the Pipeline? (Columbia University, Commission on the Status of Women, Nov. 2001).

TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iv DEDICATION viii CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION 1 Goal of this dissertation 1 Definitions 11 Approach to research 19 Notes 28 CHAPTER II FEMINISM AND PRAGMATISM: CHANGE AND EDUCATION 35 Introduction 35 Change 36 Feminism and pragmatism: change and learning 52 Conclusion 56 Notes 58 CHAPTER III FEMINISM: ARGUMENT AS IT RELATES TO KNOWING 65 Introduction 65 Argument 66 Situating Perry and Belenky et al.: Women's Ways of Knowing 74 Grid: Stanton's "Epistemological Perspectives" cross-tabulated 84 Interpreting Women's Ways of Knowing 90 Conclusion 97 Notes 99 CHAPTER IV PRAGMATISM: EXPERIENCE AS IT APPLIES TO CURRICULUM 104 Introduction 104 Curriculum 105 Experience and Education (Dewey) 114 Grid: Dewey's age groupings and "Growth/growing" cross-tabulated against "Knowledge," "Mind," "Mode," and "Voice" 119 Interpreting experience 130 Conclusion 137 Notes 140 CHAPTER V FEMINISM AND PRAGMATISM: BRINGING THE PHILOSOPHIES TOGETHER 147 Introduction 147 Feminists and pragmatists come together 148 "Intrinsically worth while" as a standard 165 "Femisophical" perspective 167 Conclusion 177 Notes 178 CHAPTER VI FEMINISM AND PRAGMATISM: CHANGE TOWARD A MORE INCLUSIVE PHILOSOPHY OF HIGHER EDUCATION 186 Introduction 186 Current status of women's studies 190 i

Six "real world" examples in higher education suggesting a "femisophical" approach 208 Challenges to feminist thinking—and the need to reach beyond feminist thinking 225 Beyond theory to change—a picture for higher education 228 School of Women's Research and Studies 236 Translate—not transform—a key to a more inclusive philosophy of higher education 239 Conclusion 241 Notes 244 BIBLIOGRAPHY 257 APPENDIX 267 ii

TABLES AND FIGURES Table 1 "Argument" vs. "Academic" 69 Table 2 Perry "positions" 76 Table 3 Perry's positions as summarized by Evans et al 77 Table 4 Perry "positions" compared to Belenky et al. "stages" 77 Table 5 Stanton: "Epistemological Perspectives" from Women's Ways of Knowing 82 Table 6 Traditional (Old) vs. Progressive (New) schools 109 Table 7 Barnard College Catalogue 112 Table 8 Columbia College Bulletin 113 Table 9 First Year Attrition of Doctoral Students 201 Table 10 Ultimate Attrition of Doctoral Students 202 Table 11 Influence of Funding Status on Attrition 202 Table 12 "Remapping Liberal Education" 221 Table 13 "The Essential Learning Outcomes" 222 Table 14 "The Principles of Excellence" 222 Table 15 "High-Impact Educational Practices" 223 Table 16 "Changing Educational Practices" 224 Table 17 Schools and Affiliates of Columbia University 231 Table 18 "Liberal and Liberal Arts Education: A Guide to Frequently Confused Terms" 267 Table 19 "Changing Frameworks for Knowledge and Knowing" 267 Table 20 "High-Impact Educational Practices" 268 Figure 1 Columbia University—Graduate PhD Enrollment, Graduation, and Attrition 4 Figure 2 Grid: Stanton's "Epistemological Perspectives" cross-tabulated 86 Figure 3 Grid: Dewey's age groupings and "Growth/growing" cross-tabulated against "Knowledge," "Mind," "Mode," and "Voice" 121 Figure 4 Columbia University—Graduate PhD Enrollment, Graduation, and Attrition 198 Figure 5 Picture for higher education—beyond theory to change 229 iii

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I want to extend my grateful appreciation to the following people who, most recent, helped to see my dissertation through to successful completion and who, earlier, laid the foundations for my doctoral studies. First are my dissertation committee members, starting with W. Warner Burke and L. Lee Knefelkamp, sponsor and chair, respectively. As Edward Lee Thorndike Professor of Psychology and Education and Education Program Coordinator, Graduate Programs in Social-Organizational Psychology, Warner's academic titles would seem to say it all; however, it is his unassuming, steadfast open-mindedness, confidence- and trust-building listening and problem-solving skills, and applied organizational leadership which benefited me first-hand. The vastness of Warner's scholarly expertise could have suggested significant additional directions and insight to my present dissertation, including fruitful expansion and interpretations of feminist thinking. Pragmatics, however, suggested instead his taking the trouble to understand my thinking, "staying the course," and allowing me to postpone doing justice to his scholarly contributions for future research (e.g., among them Mary Parker Follett). At the same time, Warner's own passion for, and widely recognized expertise in, managing change, reminded me, reinforced, and nagged at the earliest motivation and direction behind my dissertation, and—at the last moment—I added the word "change" back into the title. Lee Knefelkamp, Professor of Psychology and Education, and a Senior Fellow with the American Association of Colleges and Universities, similarly offers what could seem intimidating expertise and credentials. What I especially valued in addition, however, were her astuteness and tenacity, and her seeming ability to pull things together effortlessly, all the while maintaining an upbeat sense of humor! Her first-hand work with and enthusiasm for William Perry were contagious, however, and as a result I saw the necessity to expand my groundwork for IV

Women's Ways of Knowing* Similarly, I could not resist some of Lee's current work on liberal education and which supported some my own examples. If my present dissertation has ended by asking some difficult questions and offering only tentative solutions, Lee has pointed the way to hopeful continuing research. The other members of my dissertation committee—Ruth Vinz (Enid & Lester Morse Chair and Program Coordinator, English Education/The Teaching of English), Janet Miller (Professor of English Education and Program Coordinator of Programs in English Education/The Teaching of English), and Barbara Levy Simon (Associate Professor at Columbia's University's School of Social Work and "outside reader" representing Columbia University at large)—are no less stellar. Each has established a unique scholarly identity and expertise. Equally important, each is an outstanding feminist educator. I spend a good deal of time in the body of my dissertation describing from both feminist and pragmatist perspectives, and in what I hope is appropriately sophisticated language, what it means to be an outstanding educator. But Yale law professor Stephen Carter (through the medium of a detective in a mystery novel), puts it bluntly and unforgettably: "[L]oving a subject [is] a true advantage in a teacher: if you enjoy talking about your field, you will never treat a question, or a questioner, as dumb."f I am encouraged, then, that my connection with my dissertation committee represents a beginning and not an end. Vice-Provost William Baldwin, and others at Teachers College acting in administrative roles, also came through for me in extraordinary ways. Bill is a listener and problem solver, and allows a student comfortably to express herself. Most important, Bill keeps communication open. And no doubt that is partly because of his assistant, Iraida Torres-Irizarry. Iraida has been a personal lifeline for me, keeping all of us on task, taking the initiative in solving problems, and *Mary Field Belenky, Blythe McVicker Clinchy, Nancy Rule Goldberger, and Jill Mattuck Tarule. Women's Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice, and Mind. New York: Basic Books, 1986. fStephen Carter, New England White (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007), p. 163. v

offering encouraging words that kept me going. At the same time, Gary Ardan (Ph.D. Assistant, Doctoral Advisor) is remarkable in his own right. He is assiduous and thorough—and if in procedural details "the buck stops with him," despite a demanding schedule, he is "always there" to work out what is best for the student. I can't count the times that I spoke with or e-mailed Iraida and Gary. In terms of foundations, and in a tangible sense the beginning of my doctoral studies at Teachers College, I am thankful to Yale professors John A. Bollier, Aidan J. Kavanagh, and George A. Lindbeck, all of whom wrote letters of recommendation. In particular, the Rev. Dr. John A. Bollier's approach to library research provided a crucial foundation to academic inquiry. Acting dean of the Divinity School, Professor Aidan J. Kavanagh encouraged down-to-earth approaches to writing, liturgy and spirituality. Professor George A. Lindbeck offered insight about vocation and the connection between philosophy and theology. He always was accessible to his students, and because of him, I dared to study philosophy. At the same time Geri Frei lent crucial personal support, and the Rev. Claire Wolterstorff and Professor Nicholas Wolterstorff have been exceptional models of both philosophical inquiry and servant ministry. Professor Rowan A. Greer, perhaps an archetype of Yale professors, provided the knowing and necessary helping hand over some academic hurdles. I am indebted, also, to Israel Scheffler at Harvard University. More probably than he realizes, he provided a helpful "outside" perspective in guiding the direction and place of my studies. In addition, he valued the relationships among different disciplines—philosophy, religion, and education—and provided direction both in words and in personal example. To return focus to Teachers College, I actually have a considerable history here. I received my teaching degree in 1988, under the guidance of Professor Robert Kretschmer. I have always considered myself his student, and through the years he has always been there for me. Bob introduced me to the theories of Piaget and Chomsky. I am thankful for his continued encouragement and for his standing up for what is best in the Teachers College tradition. vi

Similarly, I am thankful to another person, Scott Fahey, Secretary of the College, giver and receiver of complaints and advice, and in the best academic tradition, an advocate both to me and to TC. Without Scott I could not have succeeded in my doctoral application and study. I am thankful to each person mentioned in these acknowledgments, and to many others besides neglected through my own faults of memory and omission. As the text of my dissertation admits, doctoral studies are not always a happy and universally successful experience. In fact, the present evidence in terms of attrition and graduation rates suggests that the outcome is less likely to be successful for women than for men. Thank you, all, for continuing to make a difference for me and for others. vn

DEDICATION To my parents William E. Carey and E. Lee (Bobbie) Martin Carey . .. and to my spouse Richard Gilliat Fry . ..and "Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomine, tuo da gloriam" (Psalm 115:1) vm

1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Few feminists identify ourselves specifically as pragmatists, but perhaps most of us could offer more support for pragmatism at its best than most pragmatists realize. We would, however, have to transform pragmatism as so far developed for it to be compatible with feminism.1 —Virginia Held Goal of this dissertation The goal of my dissertation, as it has evolved, is an approach to higher education that brings together feminism and pragmatism to establish a more inclusive "philosophy of education." By "more inclusive"—in addition to offering more to those who have found themselves excluded—I mean providing a broader, better-rounded, richer education for all. It is necessary, then, to build a case for certain common features of feminism and pragmatism which together lend support for change toward a more inclusive educational philosophy. Note that my goal takes in more than one understanding of "philosophy." In fact, opinions may be divided on whether feminism and pragmatism are themselves each a "philosophy." My overall approach, at the same time, reflects a broader "philosophy of education." I will clarify these and other distinctions throughout the dissertation. Note, too, that by suggesting movement "toward a more inclusive philosophy of higher education," I also am talking about change. Although feminism and pragmatism are themselves worthwhile areas of academic endeavor, and should be offered as part of the university curriculum, I am speaking also about bringing these ways of thinking to bear in improving the overall system itself. By "more inclusive," I, of course, mean "less exclusive," and that implies some sort of effort to overcome the resistance which preserves the status quo. Pragmatism or John Dewey"] The overall context of my dissertation is higher education. John Dewey, especially in connection with Teachers College and Columbia University, is associated both with education

2 and pragmatism. To those outside the immediate community, a quick dictionary entry is appropriate: Dewey, John, 1859-1952 American philosopher and educator who was a leading exponent of philosophical pragmatism and rejected traditional methods of teaching by rote in favor of a broad-based system of practical experience.3 In speaking of bringing together feminism and pragmatism in higher education, then, I have a major place for John Dewey. At the same time, I lean on other pragmatists including Charles Peirce, William James, Richard Rorty, and Umberto Eco. My focus is on a constructive overlap between feminism and pragmatism, not on the areas of thinking which remain distinctly separate, so I may appear to skirt some of the "higher" philosophical questions. Nonetheless, I have resisted substituting "John Dewey" for "pragmatism" in the title of my dissertation, as this would imply a narrower focus on "education" than I intend. As a practical matter, a feminist- pragmatist perspective of Dewey is well treated in works such as Charlene Haddock Seigfried, Feminist Interpretations of John Dewey.2 Bringing together feminism and pragmatism I include elsewhere in the dissertation a simple diagram: Part of my "argument" is that feminism and pragmatism, if brought together, can have a greater impact in the direction of a more inclusive (i.e., less exclusive of women) philosophy of higher education than either area of interest alone. This reduces to the idea that the effect of the whole can sometimes be equal to more than the sum of its parts, or that if feminism and '''American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition (Houghton Mifflin, 1992).

3 pragmatism were joined together, they could accomplish more easily some of their common aims. I do not attempt to define the relative size and position of the circles. The more important part of my argument, however, is that the circles already overlap. That there is the possibility of any commonality at all is the challenge that has been raised in my mind by Virginia Held. If Held were to pursue her line of thought, then no doubt she would have us map out a portion of one circle to represent "pragmatism at its best." Then she would encourage us further to "transform" it. I will argue, in contrast, that feminism and pragmatism are less dissimilar than Held supposes, and that realizing the benefit of this commonality is a matter of translation rather than transformation, a point I will develop later. Implicit in the drawing of the circles, also, is the understanding that in some areas feminists and pragmatists will "agree to disagree." The areas of disagreement, however, are not the subject of my dissertation. Validating my "problem" If, in an academic setting, feminism and pragmatism can be regarded as tools of inquiry, then, not surprisingly, broader problems may begin to define themselves in terms of the tools available to solve them. One remaining part of my argument is that feminism and pragmatism can enhance higher education. Not everyone will agree, but then, nobody is forcing students to take courses in these subjects. More radical is my argument that feminism and pragmatism can correct higher education. Not only will some disagree but they may deny that there is any problem to correct. As I will discuss later, "In feminist research . .. the 'problem' is frequently a blend of an intellectual question and personal trouble."3 It is not an entirely inappropriate response for a general reader, then, to ask, "So what?" or to say, "I don't share your perception of the problem." Behind the development of my dissertation, however, has been an "unease" over a lack of inclusivity of women in higher education. I have tried to provide a broad range of examples to support this feeling as well as to justify my area of study to those who respond that the general

4 "problem" no longer exists. Over the course of this dissertation, I will point back to Dewey and to observations that I believe give foundation to my perspective. At the same time, more recent Columbia University reports (2001) provide concrete data4 and (2005) stark graphical form:5 Figure 1 Columbia University—Graduate PhD Enrollment, Graduation, and Attrition 90% 80% | 70% • "o £ 60% - tu g, 50% - n a 40% - u £. 30% - 20% • 10% - ( Cohort Size Men. 207 Women 202 V \A. ) 1 1993 Cohort "-. ^\^ ^ Graduated r 0% • 10% 20% »:- ^ j 4. ''A •. - 30% » ^Nk- '• * * ~ - ^ - 40% 1 ^ » * •. —'' 50% • • > V *'""^ 6 0 % £ 'Ov Attrited - - 70% » Still Enrolled X a • 80% • • - 4 ^ ~ ~ » ——i; 90% 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Years after Matriculation | - - -A - - Men — • — Women j I do not mean to imply that Columbia is a "typical" example from which generalities may be drawn and sweepingly applied. Instead, it is a "case in point," or "convenience sample"—a system of which I am a part—which provides limited (though persuasive) anecdotal (as well as statistical) evidence which would help us to define further feminist research and to weigh proposed remediation. I will place the reports in context later, but in short, significantly more women drop out of ("attrit") the Ph.D. program than do men—in the example chart above, and after 11 years, a graduation rate of only about 50% compared to nearly 60% for men. The problem is worse because higher education is a "closed system": the output from Ph.D. graduation serves as input to faculty hiring. Not too surprisingly, the Columbia report reflects also a gender imbalance in faculty tenure. (Most recent statistics—"Full-time faculty distribution by gender and tenure status, Fall 2009"—put women at 22.8%, though up admittedly from 20.1% in 2003.6)

5 It should be noted, too, that this approach, in addition to others, is picked up by Judith Glazer-Raymo (2008) in Unfinished Agendas: New and Continuing Gender Challenges in Higher Education? It is developed also by Linda Dale Bloomberg and Marie Volpe (2008) in Completing Your Qualitative Dissertation: A Roadmap From Beginning to End} A fundamental question—one which I will not tackle directly in this dissertation—is: What is the explanation for the observed differences in outcomes for women compared to men? That question has been researched by men as well as women. For example, in an article (1995) "Women and Men as Organizational Development Practitioners: An Analysis of Difference and Similarities," Janine Waclawski, Allan H. Church, and W. Warner Burke demonstrate that "females placed far more importance on humanistic values in OD [Organizational Development] work for the future than did men" (although other findings were "very similar").9 And a recent (2008) study by Columbia Business School professor David Gaddis Ross and Cristian L. Dezso (University of Maryland) identify differences in men's and women's management styles that result in different performance outcomes.10 The researchers suggest that companies would benefit from more women in senior management positions. Barnard president Debora Spar is even more pointed: "It may be that women perceive and act on risk in subtly different ways; that they don't, as a general rule, embrace the kind of massively aggressive behavior that brought us a Dow of 14,000 and then, seemingly overnight, a crash of epic proportions."11 My dissertation title says "toward a more inclusive philosophy of higher education." In terms of my intended audience, then, I am less concerned with promoting (or defending) a "cause"—or, for that matter, with explaining a cause-and-effect relationship—than with suggesting a "direction." I end my dissertation, in fact, by offering concrete "solutions," but this is with the reader's understanding that continuing research into the problem is itself part of the process.

6 What should a dissertation do? A dissertation should present some sort of "argument," of course, and, at a minimum, "it is taken for granted that no dissertation accepted by a department of the University will be without some degree of importance and originality."12 A still better dissertation, as described by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, "has a more than usual interest for scholars in the field in which it was written."13 Almost needless to say, I would like to achieve that level of scholarship. But since I am trying to bring together two different areas of study—feminism and pragmatism—appealing to two groups of scholars, and remaining at the same time both scholarly and accessible, presents a special challenge. And, of course, since I have implied that there is something to be improved in higher education—I do not think the curriculum is as inclusive as it should be—I want to go farther, reaching beyond scholarship in feminism and pragmatism to the wider academic community. But is that something that a dissertation should do? To make such an inclusive appeal suggests using more general language and broader illustrations. That approach, although I find support for this in feminism itself, may require more authoritative warrant. Again I turn to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: "A dissertation whose interest reaches beyond its own field and engages the attention of scholars in other fields should be considered to have special [merit]. ... A dissertation may be considered to have a further degree of excellence if it is judged to be of interest not only to an unusual number of scholars but also to the general educated public."14 I may not achieve that goal, of course. But I hope it explains some of my attempt to anticipate and overcome objections (from one camp or the other) and to be at the same time both scholarly and down-to-earth. Point of departure Few feminists identify ourselves specifically as pragmatists, but perhaps most of us could offer more support for pragmatism at its best than most pragmatists realize. We would, however, have to transform pragmatism as so far developed for it to be compatible with feminism.15

7 The quotation—I will repeat it more than once throughout the dissertation—of course, comes from Held's book, Feminist Morality: Transforming Culture, Society, and Politics. For me, it is a point of departure, not less and not more. If I can imagine myself sitting in a lecture hall listening to Professor Held, at that moment I would have drifted off in directions of my own. Held's statement is uniquely thought-provoking and full of possibility. Could feminism and pragmatism under some circumstances be compatible? And to turn around Held's conjecture, could pragmatism offer support to feminism? Do they already offer mutual support? . . . And in my broader thoughts, could feminism and pragmatism be brought together productively in an approach to philosophy that is more widely inclusive? I am not going to consider feminist morality; as Held goes on to do; rather, I will focus on the possibilities when considering feminism and pragmatism together, particularly as they contribute to a more accessible curriculum of higher education. That is not to say that I am unconcerned with a bigger picture. The bigger picture to Held and to many other feminist writers is, to use her words, "transforming culture, society, and politics." Almost needless to say I share that enterprise, and it requires considerable discipline to narrow greatly the context of Held's words to my inquiry into higher education. And at the risk of broadening this context, I am intrigued, as well with the possibility implied behind Held's effort to restrict her own purview: "at least in the United States." To clarify the broader context from which I have taken the opening quotation, and then to be able to justify a narrower application, here is how Held continues: Since experience, as feminists understand it, is not limited to the perceptual experience on which Charles Pierce [sic] had theory rely, nor to experience as the predictor of future experience, as with William James, nor to the empirical, problem-solving experience invoked by John Dewey, feminists may never be in large numbers feminist pragmatists the way many are socialist feminists. But it is experience all the same to which we constantly return, at least in the United States. As Catharine Stimpson observes, "The trust in women's experience in North American feminist writing has been as common and as pervasive as city noise."16 And Catharine MacKinnon writes of feminism that "its project is to uncover and claim as valid the experience of women."17

8 It is from experience that we adopt our critical stance toward what has been claimed as "knowledge" in male-dominated society. It is experience with which we confront and protest existing institutions and distributions of power. It is experience on which we trace suggested patterns for the future. And, I believe, it is moral experience to which we are now subjecting traditional moral theories and our own proposals for how we ought to live.18 I will return later to some of the points Held raises, but stop short of her last sentence (above). I did not "drift off' at this point (as imagined earlier) or stop reading her book. Nor is there anything inconsequential about Held's treatment of feminist morality. It is simply that she has offered already a great deal to explore in suggesting—in only one or two sentences—some compatibility between feminism and pragmatism. My own interest in "experience," in the end, finds its definition most often in the context of philosophy and education. Nor am I certain that Held fairly summarizes experience as understood by Peirce, James, and Dewey. It was not her chief purpose in Feminist Morality to do so. What I take as a point of departure is the possibility that a pragmatist understanding of experience may not be so alienating to feminists as Held leads us to believe. My own effort will be to bring feminism and pragmatism together, not to drive them apart, and to stress similarities and possibilities rather than differences. And if feminism and pragmatism call for a common defense, it is against a "Western philosophy" that neglects experience in favor of reason. Held, for her part, takes Feminist Morality: Transforming Culture, Society, and Politics off in the direction of experience, separating her own concept from that of Charles Peirce, William James, and John Dewey. Held offers a serious challenge to pragmatism: "pragmatism at its best" "pragmatism as so far developed'' (emphasis added). This is faint praise. Worse, we would have to transform—do something to—pragmatism to make it compatible with our (feminist) values. This could be an alarming prospect for pragmatists and other "beneficiaries" of such transformation. In the context of a feminist book, however, it is unlikely that Held either intends a direct attack or expects to provoke a serious defense. Nor, as I discuss in Chapter IV, do I think Held completely captures the understanding of experience in Dewey (Experience and

Full document contains 283 pages
Abstract: I begin with a quotation from Virginia Held, taking this as a point of departure: "Few feminists identify ourselves specifically as pragmatists, but perhaps most of us could offer more support for pragmatism at its best than most pragmatists realize." 1 Though a passing remark, Held has raised an intriguing question. Could feminism and pragmatism offer to each other mutual support? Do they already ? And if the philosophies can be demonstrated to be compatible, what are the possible gains in philosophy particularly and--especially for women--through change in higher education generally ? I survey pragmatists Charles Peirce, William James, and others, though I concentrate on John Dewey. Similarly, I include feminists Carol Gilligan and Charlene Haddock Seigfried, though the schema suggested by Mary Field Belenky, Blythe McVicker Clinchy, Nancy Rule Goldberger, and Jill Mattuck Tarule, 2 and as built on William Perry, provides a critical focus. In turn, I crosstabulate a feminist epistemology , taking one-way tables based on Belenky et al. and Ann Stanton, and overlaying the educational philosophy of Dewey. Important in shaping my dissertation is Shulamit Reinharz: "In feminist research ... the 'problem' is frequently a blend of an intellectual question and personal trouble."3 What makes my "problem" concrete is a recent Columbia University study documenting significant gender imbalance among Ph.D. graduates and tenured faculty.4 Further, many feminist researchers, by their own admission, define problems but stop short of developing solutions. In contrast, I lay groundwork in feminist, pragmatist, and educational philosophy, describe a "femisophical" approach, and sketch a School of Women's Studies and Research. In addition, I point to two fruitful and already existing models, the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine and and Liberal Education and America's Promise . I conclude that feminism and pragmatism are, indeed, compatible and mutually supportive. I substitute translate for transform , however, as a more constructive key to instituting change toward a more inclusive philosophy of higher education. Further, I argue that there are substantive and widely general benefits, both for men as for women, and that these are consistent with the social and intellectual ideals currently acclaimed for liberal education. 1 Virginia Held, Feminist Morality: Transforming Culture, Society, and Politics (Chicago: University Press, 1993), p. 25. 2 Mary Field Belenky, Blythe McVicker Clinchy, Nancy Rule Goldberger, and Jill Mattuck Tarule. Women's Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice, and Mind . New York: Basic Books, 1986. 3 Shulamit Reinharz, Feminist Methods in Social Research (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 259-260. 4 James Applegate, Lucy Drotning, Nancy Gajee, Jean Howard, Kim Kastens, Janet Metcalfe, Denny Partridge, Maria Pilar Rodriquez, and JoAnn Winsten, Advancement of Women through the Academic Ranks of the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: Where Are the Leaks in the Pipeline? (Columbia University, Commission on the Status of Women, Nov. 2001).