Volume 20, 1998
Philosophy and Gender
The Philosophy of Sex and Gender in Russia
This presentation focuses on the main philosophical approaches toward analyzing the notions of "sex" and "gender" in Russia since the nineteenth century. I analyze the conceptions and ideas which were developed by Aleksey Khomyakov, Nicolai Chernyshevsky, Leo Tolstoy, Fedor Dostoevsky, Vladimir Solovyov and some other philosophers. Then, I discuss the concept of emancipation of women within the framework of Marxist-Leninist theory, which played a role in the state's "women's philosophy" in the Soviet period, and within the existing modern viewpoints. My methodology is based on concepts and guidelines developed in feminist philosophy. One of the goals, as put forward by feminist philosophy, is to discover the gender determinateness of the metatheoretical foundations of science and traditional Western humanitarianism and of philosophy. This problem can be quite successfully solved on the basis of Western philosophic studies. Russian philosophy, however, has not so far become a subject of feminist analysis either in Russia or in the West. Therefore, my research in this field could be considered rather novel.