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Féminisme et universalisme : vers une définition commune de la justice

Abstract : My dissertation explores the ways feminists mobilize the notion of "the universal" in their claims for justice. Since the late 1950s, the use of universalism in feminist discourse, whether claimed or latent, has been highly criticized. Namely, this critique highlights the ethnocentric, imperialist, and patriarchal philosophical framework underlying this discourse that was inherited from Enlightenment theory. In recent years, queer and postcolonial feminisms have expanded on this critique, urging feminists to explore ethical and contextual approaches while distancing themselves from the rhetoric of (universal) human rights. I argue in this dissertation that, despite the importance of these various critiques, we must retain "the universal" as a horizon for feminist theories of justice. Beginning with the hypothesis that "the universal" is always ambiguous, or equivocal, I argue that nonetheless it can still play an important role, at both the political and intersubjective levels. To think of "the universal" as an ambiguous concept enables us to reconceive the subject itself, as well as a postmodern ethics in light of queer and postcolonial critiques. After examining both feminist critiques that were addressed to some theories of justice (in particular Rawls') and feminist ethical debates (including ethics of care or ecofeminist ethics), I suggest the possibility of articulating a feminist ethic with a theory of fair or just institutions. My claim is that, while maintaining the ambiguity of "the universal," such a conception of justice helps us not only to conceive new forms of transnational solidarities, but also to rethink the terms of a feminist cosmopolitanism.
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Contributor : Damien Tissot <>
Submitted on : Monday, April 7, 2014 - 6:00:30 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00974803, version 1


Damien Tissot. Féminisme et universalisme : vers une définition commune de la justice. Etudes sur le genre. Université Paris VIII Vincennes-Saint Denis, 2013. Français. ⟨tel-00974803⟩



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