Enlightened Women: Modernist Feminism in a Postmodern Age


Hardback 176 pages
Publisher Routledge; 1 edition (28 Dec 1995)
Language English
ISBN-10 0415083389
ISBN-13 978-0415083386
Dimensions 23.4 x 15.6 x 1.8 cm

This is a bold and controversial feminist, philosophical critique of postmodernism. While providing a brief and accessible introduction to postmodernist feminist thought, Enlightened Women is also a unique defence of realism and enlightenment philosophy. The first half of the book covers an analysis of some of the most influential postmodernist theorists, such as Luce Irigaray and Judith Butler. In the second half Alison Assiter advocates a return to modernism in feminism. She argues, against the current orthodoxy, that there can be a distinction between "sex" and "gender". For students trying to pick their way through the maze of literature in the area of postmodernist feminism, Enlightened Women is a concise guide to contemporary thought - as well as a radical contribution to the debate.

This is a brave and intellectually rigorous book, which goes against the grain of current orthodoxies to challenge some of the postmodern assumptions in the interest of a political project—feminism—that we should not discard,
— Elizabeth Wilson
Assister’s detailed examinations of the writings of some of the leading proponents of the postmodren turn in feminist philosophy are a welcome contribution to the ongoing debate over the merits and drawbacks of that theoretical development. Her insightful discussions of the roles that reworked ideals of objectivity and rationality can play iin epistemology and ethics are substantial contributions to those fields.
— Graham, Creighton University
In this provocative and wide-ranging discussion, Alison Assiter seeks to reclaim a realist position for feminist knowledge and a morality that affirms the coherence of the category woman amid the instabilities of postmodern theory.
— Lorraine Code, York University, Canada