Feminist Pragmatist Salvaging of Victoria Welby’s Theory of ‘Ident’
Source of Publication
Women in the History of Philosophy and Sciences
Feminist contributions to the pragmatist tradition continue to be overlooked despite the significant works of women pragmatist philosophers, including the British writer Victoria Welby (1837–1912). Welby’s intellectual impact has been eroded and almost forgotten, but she advanced her theory of meaning and subjectivity in pragmatist terms. Her works include over twelve published monographs, lectures, letters, sermons, and numerous unpublished manuscripts that extend pragmatist theory about meaning and the self. Welby’s theory of meaning is called ‘Significs’ and conceives of subjectivity, not as a singular or individual ontology, but as a matrix-of-selves, which she called the ‘Ident’. In the spirit of feminist revisionism, this theoretical study develops the unique conceptual tool of ‘feminist pragmatist salvaging’ for an interpretative discussion of Welby’s concept of Ident. Ident is taken as a case to illustrate how it could be applied to reorientate the ‘woman question’ in nuanced pragmatist terms. Consequently, this articulates why obscuring Welby’s contribution to philosophy could be a loss to feminist pragmatism, since her notion of Ident casts luminosity on a prism of pragmatist feminist concerns. Furthermore, the study problematizes the relegation of feminist pragmatism as an appendage or subfield, in view of its potential for developing explicit modes of reflexive theorizing.
Springer International Publishing
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Feminist pragmatist salvaging, Ident, Matrix-of-selves, Pragmatist tradition, Significs, Women pragmatist philosophers
Hurley, Zoe, "Feminist Pragmatist Salvaging of Victoria Welby’s Theory of ‘Ident’" (2022). All Works. 5199.
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