Article Title

Catharine MacKinnon, Feminism, and Continental Philosophy: Comments on Toward a Feminist Theory of the State—Twenty-Five Years Later


Catharine MacKinnon’s feminist work on sexual abuse and violence has had a major impact on law and on policy in the United States and internationally. However, her complex theoretical writings, which are a foundation of that work, have yet to be adequately appreciated by philosophy, especially continental philosophy, that tradition with which she identifies her project. I explain her project in continental terms, especially Heidegger’s thought, so that we may better grasp the philosophical nature and significance of her work. In doing so, I also open paths by which those within the continental tradition may make it more relevant to the pressing real-world problems that MacKinnon uniquely illuminates, especially pornography, prostitution, and other practices significantly constituted by sexual abuse and violence.

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