Carol Hay

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Kantianism, Liberalism, & Feminism: Resisting Oppression

"Progressives concerned about gender domination and other kinds of social oppression have traditionally viewed liberalism with a jaundiced eye—not at all the solution, but very much part of the problem. In this spirited contrarian text, Carol Hay makes a bold and lucid case for the defense. She argues that despite liberalism's historic complicity with patriarchy and Kantianism's abstraction and hyper-rationalism, Kant's crucial concept of duties to oneself can indeed be turned to emancipatory ends, thereby redeeming deontological liberalism for a radical feminist agenda. If mainstream liberals uninterested in social oppression issues and non-mainstream progressives uninterested in liberalism want to have their unthinking presuppositions challenged (and even if they don't), they both need to read this provocative book." – Charles W. Mills, John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy, Northwestern University 

"These are fun and inspiring times to be a Kantian philosopher! Carol Hay's new addition to Kantian scholarship proves the point. Hay's ability to identify and engage central philosophical issues at the core of any plausible account of oppression makes it a very interesting contribution to the growing scholarship on systemic justice in general as well as to the related Kantian and feminist scholarship in particular. I suspect we will be hearing much more from her in the years to come –  undoubtedly a good thing." 
– Helga Varden, Notre Dame Philosophical Review

"Carol Hay's account of Kantian liberal feminism is at once reconciliatory and revisionary. ...  Hay's interest is practical: bringing new resources to bear on problems worth solving.  She confidently challenges the tendency to dismiss ideas due to the problematic commitments of their earlier adherents, and seeks to build what she can from those ideas.  She succeeds in showing that a suitably modified Kantianism can be deployed in feminist theorizing, and that liberal principles have a life beyond the privileged interests of those who once applied them narrowly, and to such socially destructive ends.  ...  Hay has made a significant contribution to not one but two literatures, and will, I believe, influence the way we think about resistance going forward." - Daniel Silvermint, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy



I'm an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Director of the Gender Studies program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

My work focuses primarily on issues in analytic feminism, liberal social and political philosophy, oppression studies, and Kantian ethics.  

 I received the 2015 Gregory Kavka/UC Irvine Prize in Political Philosophy for "The Obligation to Resist Oppression," chapter 4 of my book Kantianism, Liberalism, and Feminism: Resisting Oppression.

I'm the Secretary/Treasurer for the Society for Analytical Feminism.

I received a Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, an M.A. from Dalhousie University, and a B.A. from the University of Saskatchewan.


Contact me:  
carol_hay@ uml.edu





"Beginning in the preface, the reader is made
aware that liberalism, which includes Kantianism, is being philosophically defended against contemporary radical, communitarian, and identity-political
critiques and programs that tend to dismiss or attack liberalism (and Kantianism) as ineffective or malign for liberatory projects of race, gender, and other sites of oppression. Hay’s theses and arguments build, chapter by chapter, with passion, circumspection, and conscientious citation of related scholarly work. …  Overall, Hay’s Kantianism, Liberalism, & Feminism is a well-executed update of Kantian liberalism for feminism. It is suitable for Kant scholars, feminist moral theorists, and advanced college readers and should serve as a valuable contribution to ongoing discussion for all members of these audiences  - Naomi Zack, Radical Philosophy Review 17 (2014): 313–317

"Is Kantian feminism an oxymoron?  Carol Hay’s Kantianism, Liberalism, & Feminism: Resisting Oppression shows that it does not have to be.  Hay persuasively argues that feminism and Kantianism can influence each other dialectically and formulate an imperfect duty, out of self-respect, to resist sexual harassment in particular and sexist oppression in general." - Dilek Huseyinzadegan, Kantian Review 20 (2015): 150-154 

"In the most sustained analysis of a duty to resist oppression to date, Hay defends a Kantian account of a duty of self-respect on the part of the oppressed to resist their own oppression. Intriguing and challenging cases motivate the deep issues presented, followed by detailed analyses and fair and open-minded presentation of all sides of the debates. This clear and engaging book is a must-read by anyone interested in oppression, moral psychology, and feminism."  Anita Superson, University of Kentucky