Theory and its difficulties

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Abstract
The paper starts by acknowledging that most of what comes under the heading of 'theory', even feminist theory, is obscure, and that it can function as elitist exclusion. But it points out that readers too, as well as authors, have a responsibility to work to make texts comprehensible. It defines feminist theory as the process of trying to understand and explain the world of experience, and insists that it is the process of making sense of what has already happened, and not something which directs actions, which automatically supplies 'the right path'. The latter, I argue, is dogmatism, not theory. Social theory (of which feminism is one example) starts from, and is structured and informed by, a moral and political standpoint, whether that is acknowledged or not. Despite the unpopularity of the notion of truth, the paper argues that it is important that feminism make, and be seen to be making, claims to truth, in the sense of a correspondence between something that is said and what that statement refers to. It concludes with a discussion of the interrelationship of theory and experience.
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Thompson, Denise
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Publication Year
1990
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Conference Paper
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download 1990-Theory and its difficulties.pdf 140.95 KB Adobe Portable Document Format
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