Problem: The underlying assumption of all feminist theories is that in order to achieve our emancipatory goals we have to resolve the so-called female subjectivity problem first. That is, we have to answer the question of what is (is not) the nature/essence/main feature of being a woman. The debate about where and how we should look for that essence seems to be endless and it still continues in contemporary feminist theories. This stalemate blocks the initial political and social power of the whole feminist movement. It also seems to contradict the idea that philosophy can serve practical purposes, which was a driving force behind feminist theories as such. Solution: While analyzing contemporary feminist theories we can discover that they are dualistic with respect to the cognitive situation. Using tools taken from Josef Mitterer’s philosophy and the idea of emancipation developed by Bruno Latour, I want to consider the idea of avoiding stalemate situations in discussions on female subjectivity. I claim that this strategy can be more effective in achieving certain practical goals that are important from a feminist point of view. Benefits: We are able to show that the aim of our theoretical activity is not to agree about what a woman is and what kind of woman we are going to emancipate, but rather to define which problems should be solved in order to improve the situation of women. We just have to learn how to formulate the description from now on of initial matters of concern that is acceptable to all those involved in a given dispute.
This paper presents a critical evaluation of the impact of Maturana’s constructivist approach to (systemic) family therapy. After an historical introduction and a brief description of the main ideas, a number of criticisms are considered. These concern the radical antirealist epistemology, and problems in dealing with the social context of the family, and power relations within the family
Context: Josef Mitterer has become known for criticizing the main exponents of analytic and constructivist philosophy for their blind adoption of a dualistic epistemology based on an alleged ontological difference between world and words. Judith Butler, who has developed an influential model of (de)constructivist feminism and has been labeled a linguistic constructivist, has been criticized for sustaining exactly what, according to Mitterer, most modern philosophy fails to acknowledge: namely that there is no ontological difference between objective facts beyond language and the discourse about these facts. Problem: In the scholarly discussion on non-dualism, two main questions have been raised: Where does Mitterer’s basic consensus, i.e., the starting-point description, come from? and: What does it mean, to say that further descriptions change their object? Method: Comparative analysis of the core concepts of Mitterer’s and Butler’s work in the context of the history of ideas. Results: Butler’s conception of a performative production of objectivity through discursive and non-discursive iterated practices can be interpreted as an illustration of Mitterer’s claim that descriptions change their object. The problem of where Mitterer’s starting-point descriptions come from can be solved by adopting Butler’s concept of culturally inherited practices.