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Mon Jun 17, 2013, 02:51 PM

 

Name Five Women In Philosophy. Bet You Can't.

NPR | June 17, 2013 10:32 a.m.
Contributed By:
Tania Lombrozo

Last Friday I found myself in a lovely lecture hall at Brown University with some 50 philosophers and psychologists attending the annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, affectionately known as "SPP." Daniel Dennett was in the seat just ahead of me; additional luminaries were scattered about the room. A quick count revealed about equal numbers of men and women in the audience an unusual figure for an event in philosophy, where women make up less than 20 percent of full-time faculty.

That was precisely the topic we'd gathered to discuss: the underrepresentation of women in philosophy, where numbers mirror those for math, engineering, and the physical sciences, making philosophy an outlier within the humanities.

There's been no shortage of speculation about why. Perhaps, to quote Hegel, women's "minds are not adapted to the higher sciences, philosophy, or certain of the arts." Perhaps women are turned off by philosophy's confrontational style. Perhaps women are more inclined toward careers with practical applications.

But the most plausible hypothesis is that various forms of explicit and implicit bias operate in philosophy, as they do within and beyond other academic disciplines. Unfortunately, though, this explanation refines our question rather than answering it.

http://www.opb.org/news/article/npr-name-five-women-in-philosophy-bet-you-cant/

31 replies, 5650 views

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Name Five Women In Philosophy. Bet You Can't. (Original post)
rug Jun 2013 OP
Scuba Jun 2013 #1
rug Jun 2013 #2
xtraxritical Jun 2013 #3
rug Jun 2013 #4
ismnotwasm Jun 2013 #5
NoRWNJ Jul 2014 #19
Tuesday Afternoon Jun 2013 #6
rug Jun 2013 #7
Tuesday Afternoon Jun 2013 #8
ismnotwasm Jun 2013 #9
Tuesday Afternoon Jun 2013 #10
Fortinbras Armstrong Aug 2013 #12
Sweeney Nov 2014 #28
delrem Aug 2013 #11
Htom Sirveaux Jan 2014 #13
CloptonHavers Feb 2014 #14
Chan790 Jun 2014 #15
Sweeney Nov 2014 #21
Jim__ Jun 2014 #16
rug Jun 2014 #17
Jim__ Jun 2014 #18
Sweeney Nov 2014 #20
rug Nov 2014 #23
Sweeney Nov 2014 #22
rug Nov 2014 #24
Sweeney Nov 2014 #25
rug Nov 2014 #26
Sweeney Nov 2014 #27
Stargleamer Jul 2019 #29
lounge_jam Aug 2019 #30
defacto7 Oct 2019 #31

Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 03:24 PM

1. Dorothy Parker, Joan Baez, Maya Angelou, Angela Davis, Harper Lee.

 

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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 03:30 PM

2. Show off.

 

Wait a minute. Strictly speaking only Angela Davis would be considered a philosopher.

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 03:52 PM

3. Are you sure you have any proof?

 

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Response to xtraxritical (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 03:55 PM

4. Of course.

 

A philosopher is not a smart ass, a folk singer, a poet or a novelist.

She can however be a political theorist.

QED.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 04:58 PM

5. Iris Marion Young

Simone de Beauvoir are as far as I can go without cheating right now, even though I'm missing some important ones

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 11, 2014, 06:01 PM

19. It was my honor to know Iris

While she was at the University of Pittsburgh, where I taught part-time, while a full time teacher at Carnegie Mellon. I have great respect for her writings on political philosophy and public policy matters. It was a cruelty that she died so early in her career.

Here are a couple more -- mostly contemporary -- women philosophers (without cheating):

Phillipa Foote
Judith Jarvis Thompson
Iris Murdoch
Deborah Johnson
Val Plumwood
Patricia Werhane
Ayn Rand
Diotima (Greek "teacher" of Socrates)

best,

NoRWNJ

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Response to rug (Original post)


Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #6)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 05:15 PM

7. What do the letters at the end mean?

 

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Response to rug (Reply #7)


Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #6)

Mon Jun 17, 2013, 06:29 PM

9. Argh! Luce Irigaray should have been off the top of my head

Probably Judith Butler too, although I don't think of her as a philosopher for some reason, lets see Hypatia, although little is known about her,-- there's a bunch of names I've read essays from but don't know well

I've read Ayn Rand, I suppose she has to count.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #9)


Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #10)

Tue Aug 13, 2013, 07:55 AM

12. I started to read "The Virtue of Selfishness"

On the first or second page, Rand has a "definition" of altruism that no actual altruist would accept -- that which benefits others is good, that which benefits the altruist is bad. The first part of this definition is so simplistic as to be laughable. As for the second part, an actual altruist would say that an act which benefits the altruist and does not harm others is at worst morally neutral and is probably good.

Since she began her argument with the Straw Man fallacy, I saw no reason to continue.

Someone said about her, "I had a hard time with Ayn Rand because I found myself enthusiastically agreeing with the first 90% of every sentence, but getting lost at 'therefore, be a huge asshole to everyone.'"

Someone else wrote, "There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

Yes, I suppose she is a philosopher. But her philosophy is crap.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 30, 2014, 01:04 AM

28. OH

No she doesn't. One does not do philosophy to pamper ones prejudice but to challenge prejudice.
Sweeney

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Response to rug (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2013, 11:12 PM

11. I don't think the bias is in philosophy. It's within societies.

It isn't always, or even most of the time, just a matter of whether someone has an idea and the ability to see it through to completion. It's almost invariably the case that sufficient patronage is the deciding factor. Darwin, for example, had sufficient patronage, in a field where less favored upstarts were also developing the ideas of natural evolution. In that case, in those days, the advantage didn't just lie with the male gender, but also with social station and patrons within political/academic society.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sat Jan 25, 2014, 06:23 PM

13. Martha Nussbaum

Marilyn McCord Adams
Christine Korsgaard
Judith Butler
G.E.M. Anscombe

Yeah that was tough. Anscombe was a reach, considering she's been dead for over a decade.

EDIT: Susan Neiman!

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sun Feb 16, 2014, 06:31 PM

14. Women in philosophy

Elizabeth Anscombe, Ruth Barcan Marcus, Christina Hoff Sommers, Hazel Barnes.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 08:30 AM

15. That's 5 but they've all been dead longer than I've been alive.

 

1.) Hannah Arendt
2.) Mary Wollstonecraft
3.) Simone du Beauvoir
4.) Simone Weil
5.) Emma Goldman

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Response to Chan790 (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 02:13 AM

21. A good list.

If I didn't think intelligent women blessed by the bloom of beauty no matter how hard they might some times be to look at, I might never have opened my first philosophy book.
Aristippus had a daughter who taught after he died, and she was called- the light. Knowing little of the man I still recognize a kindred spirit. His girlfriend, the mother of his daughter, told him she was pregnant, and he said you could no more say it was me than tell which thorn had caught you when running through a thorn bush. Can you imagine what an ass he felt like when he came to accept rather than deny?

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sun Jun 22, 2014, 09:22 AM

16. Patricia Churchland, Susan Blackmore, Rebecca Goldstein, Susan Haack, and Giovanna Borradori. - n/t

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #16)

Sun Jun 22, 2014, 11:28 AM

17. Sure, but it took you a year.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #17)

Sun Jun 22, 2014, 12:58 PM

18. :)

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Response to rug (Original post)


Response to Sweeney (Reply #20)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 10:57 AM

23. Let's ask Pascal.

 

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Response to rug (Original post)


Response to Sweeney (Reply #22)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 10:58 AM

24. That is as sexist as it is melodramatic.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #24)


Response to Sweeney (Reply #25)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 10:52 PM

26. And then, there's Sarah Palin.

 

I see you just joined DU. Welcome. If this is something you've thought about, check out these Groups:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=forum&id=1136

They can be pretty rough but they get more traffic than this Group.

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Response to rug (Reply #26)


Response to rug (Original post)

Thu Jul 11, 2019, 11:51 PM

29. Susan Wolf, Valerie Tiberius, Simone Weil, Martha Nussbaum

and J.J. Thomson

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Response to rug (Original post)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 02:41 AM

30. Here's seven

Although this is an old thread, and many names have been mentioned here, I'd like to add to this list.

Hannah Arendt, Veena Das, Sara Ahmed, de Beauvoir, Ayn Rand, Simone Weil, Martha Nussbaum

I don't think "women's 'minds are not adapted to the higher sciences, philosophy, or certain of the arts.' Perhaps women are turned off by philosophy's confrontational style. Perhaps women are more inclined toward careers with practical applications." That is essentialism of the crassest order. That this was said by the great old Hegel does not in any way lend credibility to this.

A Room of One's Own by Woolf is particularly relevant in this context. Women have been under-represented everywhere. And women are never "not working." Their domestic chores keep the political economy running.

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Response to lounge_jam (Reply #30)

Mon Oct 7, 2019, 09:58 AM

31. There's no limit here on reviving old threads.

I'd actually encourage it. There are a lot of good reads down in the archives and some like this one that need updating. Thanks for the additions!

D7

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