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Uma Narayan & Sandra Harding (eds.)
Border-Crossings: Multicultural and Postcolonial Feminist Challenges to Philosophy

Bloomington 1998


Hypatia. Journal of Feminist Philosophy
Vol. 13, Special Issue
Bloomington: Indiana UP,

Indiana University Press:
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  The feminist philosophy journal Hypatia has published a special double issue on multicultural questions, both edited by Uma Narayan and Sandra Harding. The editors write that multicultural concerns challenge familiar philosophical concepts and simultaneously open interesting new perspectives.
   The latter include attempts to develop a global feminist ethic, such as those of Alison Jaggar and Susan Moller Okin. The treatments of cultural otherness by Ofelia Schutte and Uma Narayan are outstanding. While Schutte brings a fundamental problem with cultural incommensurability into view and criticizes power relations that build upon it, Narayan attacks the construction of otherness at a fundamental level and criticizes it as cultural essentialism. Also important are the contributions of Shari Stone-Mediatore and Aída Hurtado on the plurality of women's experiences and on hybrid identities.
  The second volume involves another confrontation with racism and multicultural perspectives within philosophy itself. Racism, like sexism, concerns not only individual and empirical dimensions but above all symbolic orders and systems of thought. A stimulating contribution to these questions is for example the attempt to reconceive "whiteness" on the basis of a calling into question through racism (Linda Martín Alcoff, Alison Bailey, Ann Cudd). Patricia Hill Collins concretely shows racist patterns in the standardization of United States family models. Sandra Harding's programmatic contribution to new, grassroots, non-hegemonic epistemologies concludes the special issue.

Nausikaa Schirilla, Frankfort/M.

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