The Sceptical Feminist
Cover of the first edition
|Author||Janet Radcliffe Richards|
|Series||Penguin Women's Studies|
|Publisher||Routledge and Kegan Paul|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover and Paperback)|
|Pages||456 (1994 edition)|
The Sceptical Feminist: A Philosophical Enquiry (1980; second edition 1994) is a book about feminism by the philosopher Janet Radcliffe Richards.
Richards argues against both opponents of feminism as well as much "common feminist dogma and practice."
The Sceptical Feminist was first published by Routledge and Kegan Paul in 1980. In 1982, it was published in Pelican Books. In 1991, it was reprinted in Penguin Books. In 1994, the book was published with a new introduction and two new appendices.
The Sceptical Feminist has been influential, but it has been criticized for being "too unworldly in its understanding of women's oppression, and insufficiently radical in the remedies it proposes." Susan Mendus writes that Richards provides little discussion of inequalities of power which perpetuate injustice, and accepts that "women's work" is less fulfilling and valuable than work outside the home, commenting, "Richards's feminism is logical rather than ideological, cerebral rather than celebratory." The book was controversial within and outside feminism, in regard to standards of rationality, fashion and style, and Richards' liberal stance.
The Sceptical Feminist received a positive review from the philosopher Antony Flew in The Philosophical Quarterly. The book was also reviewed by Emily Stoper in Women & Politics, and Christa Bausch in Sociology & Social Research.
Flew considered the book excellent and probably the best book on its topic, and its material relevant to questions of ethics in general as well as specifically to feminism. However, he considered one chapter "marred" to some extent by the intrusion of John Rawls's ideas about justice, which in his view Richards had not fully understood, and criticized Richards for not devoting more space to criticizing Marxist feminists.
- Mendus, Susan; Honderich, Ted, Editor (2005). The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-926479-1.
- Richards, Janet Radcliffe (1994). The Sceptical Feminist: A Philosophical Enquiry. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-017487-7.
- Sommers, Christina Hoff (1994). Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-80156-6.
- Whelehan, Imelda (1995). Modern feminist thought: from the second wave to "post-feminism". New York: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0814793002.
- Battersby, Christine (1991). "Recent work in feminist philosophy". Philosophical Books. 32 (4).
- Bausch, Christa (1985). "The Sceptical Feminist. A Philosophical Enquiry". Sociology & Social Research. 69 (2). – via EBSCO's Academic Search Complete (subscription required)
- Flew, Antony (1981). "The Sceptical Feminist (Book)". The Philosophical Quarterly. 31 (125). – via EBSCO's Academic Search Complete (subscription required)
- Stoper, Emily (1983). "The Sceptical Feminist: A Philosophical Enquiry". Women & Politics. 3 (4). – via EBSCO's Academic Search Complete (subscription required)