Carol Gould

Position: Distinguished Professor, Director of the Center for Global Ethics and Politics at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies
Campus Affiliation: Hunter College
Research Interests: democratic theory, human rights and global justice, feminist theory

Prof. Gould previously taught at Temple University as Professor of Philosophy and Political Science, and at George Mason University as Professor of Philosophy and Government. She is the Editor of the Journal of Social Philosophy and Executive Director of the Society for Philosophy and Public Affairs. Gould has held fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Fulbright Foundation, as Senior Scholar in France and as Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Political and Social Science at the European University Institute in Florence.

She is the author of Marx’s Social Ontology (MIT Press, 1978),Rethinking Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 1988), andGlobalizing Democracy and Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2004), editor of seven books including Women and Philosophy, Beyond Domination, The Information Web, Cultural Identity and the Nation-State, and Gender, and has published over sixty articles in political philosophy, social theory, feminist theory, and applied ethics. Her bookGlobalizing Democracy and Human Rights received the 2009 David Easton Award from the Foundations of Political Theory Section of the American Political Science Association. Her new book Interactive Democracy: The Social Roots of Global Justice was published by Cambridge University Press in fall, 2014.


interactive democracyCarol Gould, Interactive Democracy: The Social Roots of Global Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

How can we confront the problems of diminished democracy, pervasive economic inequality, and persistent global poverty? Is it possible to fulfill the dual aims of deepening democratic participation and achieving economic justice, not only locally but also globally? Carol C. Gould proposes an integrative and interactive approach to the core values of democracy, justice, and human rights, looking beyond traditional politics to the social conditions that would enable us to realize these aims. Her innovative philosophical framework sheds new light on social movements across borders, the prospects for empathy and solidarity with distant others, and the problem of gender inequalities in diverse cultures, and also considers new ways in which democratic deliberation can be enhanced by online networking and extended to the institutions of global governance. Her book will be of great interest to scholars and upper-level students of political philosophy, global justice, social and political science, and gender studies.

globalizing democracyCarol Gould, Globalizing Democracy and Human Rights (Cambridge, 2014).

Carol Gould addresses the fundamental issue of democratizing globalization, or finding ways to open transnational institutions and communities to democratic participation by those widely affected by their decisions. Gould develops a framework for expanding participation in cross-border decisions, arguing for a broader understanding of human rights. In addition, she introduces a new role for the ideas of care and solidarity at a distance. Her accessible text will be a major new contribution to political philosophy.

constructivisn and practiceCarol Gould, ed., Constructivism and Practice: Toward a Historical Epistemology (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003).

Over the past several decades, philosophers have grown to recognize the role played by frameworks and models in the construction of human knowledge. Further, they have paid increasing attention to the origins of knowing processes in social and historical contexts of human practical activities, and to social transformation of the frameworks over time. In a series of original essays by prominent philosophers, Constructivism and Practice advances the understanding of the role of construction and model creation, reflects on the relationship of these models to social practices, and considers whether our modes of knowing themselves have a history. These questions are thoughtfully considered in the light of the ‘historical epistemology’ first developed by Marx Wartofsky.

cultural identityCarol Gould, co-editor, Cultural Identity and the Nation-State (Rowman and Littlefield, 2001)

In this collection, several distinguished political philosophers consider alternative models of the recognition of diverse cultures and the significance of cultural and national identity within democratic societies. The impact of this recognition for conceptions of citizenship and the supposed neutrality of the democratic state is examined, in the framework of economic and political globalization on the one hand, and the widespread assertion of cultural and ethnic differences on the other. The tension between the recognition of diverse cultures and universal frameworks of human rights is discussed, as are the idea of national self-determination and the new forms of democratic and civic institutions that may be required in order to deal with present political conflicts.

rethinking democracyCarol Gould, Rethinking Democracy: Freedom and social cooperation in politics, economy, and society (Cambridge, 1988).

This important book offers a fundamental reconsideration of the theory of democracy, arguing that democratic decision making should apply not only to politics but also to economic and social life. Professor Gould redefines traditional concepts of freedom and social equality, and proposes a principle of Equal Positive Freedom in which individual freedom and social cooperation are seen to be compatible. Reformulating basic conceptions of property, authority, economic justice and human rights, the author suggests a number of ways in which these principles could be realized in social institutions. She also discusses such issues as democratic control of technology, the nature of democratic personality, and the question of democracy in international relations.

marx social ontologyCarol Gould, Marx’s Social Ontology: Individuality and Community in Marx’s Theory of Social Reality (MIT Press, 1978).

Here is the first book to present Karl Marx as one of the great systematic philosophers, a man who went beyond the traditional bounds of the discipline to work out a philosophical system in terms of a concrete social theory and politico-economic critique. Basing her work on the “Grundrisse” (probably Marx’s most systematic work and only translated into English for the first time in 1973), Gould argues that Marx was engaged in a single enterprise throughout his works, specifically the construction of a systematic and philosophical theory of society.Gould examines five basic themes of Marx’s social ontology: society, labor, causality, freedom, and justice, in five separate chapters, preceded by an introductory chapter explicating thesis and methods. The book shows how Marx’s ontology, or theory of social reality, may be reconstructed from concrete details of his account of the historical stages of social development and from his analyses and critiques of capitalist economy. It clarifies further the value theory underlying Marx’s critique of modern society and explores the question of how philosophy can play a major role in understanding and resolving social issues.This book will be of interest to all students of society, since it raises issues of the relationship of technologies to society and of the forms and prospects for socialism as a possible future society. It has deliberately been written in a style that makes the difficult, technical issues accessible to undergraduates just beginning to read Marx, as well as, of course, graduate students of social theory and specialized scholars. The lay reader will also be drawn to the particular content of this book and will enjoy the lucid, straightforward presentation.”Marx’s Social Ontology” proposes a solution to a long-standing problem in interpretations of Marx: the apparent dilemma of his insistence on the ideal of full self-realization of the individual and his equal insistence on the ideal of full self-realization of the community. This is a book of major significance dealing with topics of enduring and current interest.

genderCarol Gould, ed., Gender: Key Concepts in Critical Theory (Prometheus Books, 1999).

A comprehensive collection of the most important essays on gender of the last two decades. Includes such themes as the social constitution of gender; the nature of sexual oppression; the relation of gender to family, class, race, and culture; and feminist perspectives on science and philosophy.



artifactsCarol Gould, co-editor, Artifacts, Representations, and Social Practices: Essays for Marx W. Wartofsky (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1994).

A collection of essays by friends, students, and colleagues on Max Wartofsky’s 65th birthday. Reflecting Wartofsky’s own interests, topics discussed in this text range from the arts and sciences, to ethics and history, from the Enlightenment, through the 19th century to the present day.


beyond dominationCarol Gould, ed., Beyond Domination: New Perspectives on Women and Philosophy (Rowman and Littlefield, 1984).

Table of Contents:

  • Private rights and public virtues : women, the family, and democracy / Carol C. Gould
  • Human biology in feminist theory : sexual equality reconsidered / Alison Jaggar
  • Is gender a variable in conceptions of rationality? : a survey of issues / Sandra Harding
  • A different reality : feminist ontology / Caroline Whitbeck
  • Concepts of woman in psychoanalytic theory : the nature-nurture controversy revisited / Anne Donchin
  • Sexism, religion, and the social and spiritual liberation of women today / Rosemary Radford Ruether
  • Liberating philosophy : an end to the dichotomy of matter and spirit / Hilde Hein
  • Pornography and the erotics of domination / Eva Feder Kittay.
  • From domination to recognition / Mitchell Aboulafia
  • Women’s work and sex roles / Janice Moulton and Francine Rainone
  • The political nature of relations between the sexes / Paula Rothenberg
  • Feminist theory : the private and the public / Linda Nicholson
  • Women and their privacy : what is at stake? / Anita L. Allen
  • A feminist analysis of the universal declaration of human rights / Helen Bequaert Holmes
  • Rights-conflict, pregnancy, and abortion / Janet Farrell Smith
  • Sex preselection : from here to fraternity / Roberta Steinbacher
  • Contemporary feminist perspectives on women and higher education / Geraldine Perreault.

women and philosophyCarol Gould, co-editor, Women and Philosophy: Toward a theory of liberation (Perigree, 1980).

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