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Alison Jaggar: April 2013

posted Mar 28, 2013, 9:23 AM by Peggy DesAutels   [ updated Mar 28, 2013, 6:14 PM ]

Alison Jaggar
University of Colorado at Boulder

ALISON M. JAGGAR is a College Professor of Distinction at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she holds a joint appointment in Philosophy and Women and Gender Studies. She is also a Research Coordinator at the Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature, University of Oslo, Norway. Jaggar has won many fellowships and awards. In 2011 she won the University of Colorado Gee award for advancing women, interdisciplinary scholarly contributions and distinguished teaching.

Jaggar was a pioneer in introducing feminist concerns into philosophy. In 1971, at Miami University of Ohio, she taught what she thinks was the first-ever course in feminist philosophy, distributing her syllabi and readings through the newly-formed Society for Women in Philosophy. Her articles and books have been translated into many languages and some have become classics. Jaggar also pioneered the discipline of feminist studies, producing several texts which helped define the field. They include, Feminist Frameworks, (co-edited with P. Rothenberg, 1978, 1984, 1993), Living with Contradictions:
Controversies in Feminist Ethics (1994) and Just Methods: An Interdisciplinary Feminist Reader (2008). 

In 1971, Jaggar was a founder of SWIP and in the late 1960s she worked with a women’s caucus in the APA which eventually grew into the Committee on the Status of Women. Jaggar was a member of the CSW for several years and chaired it from 1986-1991. She was also a founder of Hypatia.

Jaggar currently works on gender and globalization, a broad area which she approaches from several angles, normative, methodological, and epistemological. Normatively, she has published many articles exploring how global institutions and policies interact with local practices to create gendered cycles of vulnerability and exploitation. In 2013, Polity will publish her edited book, Gender and Global Justice and she plans an eventual monograph. Jaggar is also a team member in a multi-disciplinary and transnational research project working to develop a new poverty metric capable of revealing the gendered dimensions of global poverty. This project is methodologically innovative because it incorporates the perspectives of poor people into the measure. Finally, at the epistemological level, Jaggar is working with Theresa Tobin (Marquette) to figure out how moral claims may be justified in real-world circumstances of diversity and inequality. Jaggar and Tobin propose a new mission and method for moral epistemology. They advocate abandoning the search for a one-size-fits-all-contexts method of moral justification and substituting a naturalized case-study approach, which investigates how moral claims are justified in the real world. They argue that, through interdisciplinary teamwork and moral fieldwork, philosophers should develop different models of moral justification appropriate for varying contexts and explain why some models “fit” some contexts better than others. Expressed in the most general terms, Jaggar seeks to reframe traditional philosophical debates about justice and justification in terms that are responsive to gender, globalization, and post-colonialism.