Beyond the Margins

Reflections of a Feminist Philosopher

By Linda A. Bell

Subjects: Women's Studies
Series: SUNY series, Feminist Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791459041, 256 pages, November 2003
Hardcover : 9780791459034, 256 pages, November 2003

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents




1. Philosophy—A Lifeline

2. Within Some Not-So-Hallowed Halls of Ivy: Mid to Late 1960s

3. Unwrapping Anger

4. A Chinese Fortune Cookie

5. No, I Didn't Leave: A Cautionary Tale

6. An Affirmative Action Poster Professor

7. A Sketchy History of "Political Incorrectness" as Experienced by a Survivor

8. Do You, or Does Someone You Know, Have Vaginal Fortitude?

9. Individual Need and Societal Change: A Balancing Act Inspired by Virginia Woolf

10. Can Men Really Not Control Themselves? A Response to Camille Paglia, 1991

11. Focusing on Violence While Empowering Its Victims

12. Two Days in the Life of an Academic Feminist: Mid 1990s

13. An Aunt's Death: 1997


14. Different Oppressions: A Feminist Exploration of Sartre's Anti-Semite and Jew

15. Friendship, Love, and Experience

16. I'm Sort of White and Mostly Middle Class—Want to Make Something of It?

17. Identity Politics, Standpoint Theory, and Objectivity: An Ongoing Argument with My Friend Diane L. Fowlkes

18. Calvin Hears a Who: Calvin O. Schrag and Postmodern Selves

Navigating Treacherous Waters: A Tentative Conclusion


Selected Bibliography


Incorporates memoir in the context of philosophical and political theory and argument.


Presenting essays rich with her own personal experiences, philosopher Linda A. Bell examines not only her own life but also problems arising from ways that living affects thinking. She reflects on her own experience in order to challenge a variety of provocative claims, including: that affirmative action harms those it is designed to help; that suicide, while perhaps acceptable for some with fatal diseases, is otherwise a manifestation of mental illness; that women are to blame for male violence toward them if they don't leave the relationships; that a low profile is the best path to success for women in academe; that women are treated fairly in academe, perhaps even better than men; and that "political correctness" is a recent and aberrant move away from respect for freedom of speech. Although drawing from experience as she creates and critiques theory, Bell argues against the view that it is the bedrock of theory.

Linda A. Bell is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Women's Studies Institute at Georgia State University. She is the author of Visions of Women; Sartre's Ethics of Authenticity; and Rethinking Ethics in the Midst of Violence: A Feminist Approach to Freedom; and the coeditor (with David Blumenfeld) of Overcoming Racism and Sexism.