Women and Philosophy

Tessa Carter

In an article published last Friday, June 28, 2013, Inside Higher Ed reported on Georgia State University's "20% Experiment": to rewrite introductory-level philosophy course syllabi to include at least 20% female philosophers. In view of the low concentration of women philosophy majors and female philosophy professors, the plan aims to facilitate a better classroom experience for female students and to encourage them to pursue philosophy beyond the introductory level. Georgia State hopes the 20% plan will alleviate the underrepresentation of women in the field of philosophy.

The article cited NAS president Peter Wood, who pointed out that the plan is,

“on its surface, rather anti-intellectual.” Philosophy is normally taught historically and thematically, he said, and “it’s hard to imagine a grid which considers the gender of the author as relevant to either of those enterprises.” More attention should be paid to the “deep and important differences” of ideas within philosophical tradition than “superficial views of diversity” based on social groups such as class, gender and race, he said.

Read more here.

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