Professor McBride publishes new philosophy anthology celebrating pragmatist feminism
Lee A. McBride III, professor of philosophy at The College of Wooster recently published Pragmatist Feminism and the Work of Charlene Haddock Seigfried, an edited anthology that celebrates the philosophical work of McBride’s dissertation advisor, Charlene Haddock Seigfried.
“She coined the term ‘pragmatist feminism’ and is seen as the preeminent figure in this philosophical position,” McBride said. Co-edited with prolific ecofeminist philosopher, Erin McKenna, the book draws together various scholars to assess the significance and value of Seigfried’s past, present, and future philosophical contributions.
“Pragmatist feminism takes women’s lived experiences as philosophically important,” McBride said. “It challenges hetero-patriarchal presuppositions and methods of engaging in philosophy. In this way, pragmatist feminism provides a viable/genial philosophical methodology, a perspective from which to engage recent women’s rights issues.”
This is the second anthology McBride has edited for Bloomsbury Publishing. The first, A Philosophy of Struggle: The Leonard Harris Reader, is an April 2020 collection of integral pieces of world-renowned African American philosopher Leonard Harris’s work in an accessible format.
McBride followed his work on the Harris publication with a 2021 monograph, Ethics and Insurrection. “It aims to consider both critical pragmatic naturalism and Harris’s insurrectionist ethics, showing how this work is relevant to contemporary ethical and political discussions,” McBride explained.
He called the three books amplifications of his broad philosophical interests, noting how Ethics and Insurrection is a window into his philosophical perspective. “I have deep worries about ethics, upright behavior, and (fighting against) oppression,” McBride declared. “Seigfried’s pragmatist feminism helps to clarify the way I approach human limitation (fallibilism), perception, apperception, knowledge creation, and systematic problem solving. Harris’s work helps to explain the worries I have about intervening background assumptions that allow for unevenness, exploitation, hetero-patriarchy, and ethnic and racial hierarchies.”
Some of McBride’s students have incorporated insurrectionist philosophy and resistance to oppression as a central aspect of their senior Independent Study projects. Recent topics include combatting colonial oppression, certain exclusions to “liberty and justice for all,” and a philosophical unpacking of a female politician’s tweets, for example. He’s also had several students integrate work on feminist and queer studies themes, and some who work on pragmatic themes.
One of these students, Grace O’Leary ’20, served as McBride’s research assistant during her senior year while he was finalizing Ethics and Insurrection. “Grace helped me edit the final draft,” McBride said. “I am grateful for her careful attention and thoughtful comments during this process.”
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