Draft Paper on Women in Philosophy

I’m posting here because I’ve recently drafted a paper on women in philosophy that may be of interest to Feminist Philosophers readers. Here’s the intro:

There is by now a well-established body of research in psychology showing that human beings are strongly influenced by a range of unconscious biases and dispositions related to categories like race, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc. So far, there has been little to no empirical work on whether philosophers are influenced by theses biases. But given that philosophers are human beings, it seems very likely that they are. My goal in this paper is to explore the effects these biases may be having in philosophy with respect to women, and to propose and explore some remedies philosophers could implement. In Part One, I review some of the main findings from the empirical literature. In Part Two, I show how these findings may apply to philosophy. In Part Three, I argue that philosophers should want to do something about this situation. And in Part Four, I explore possible remedies.

The paper can be found by clicking on the link at the lower right hand side of my web page, here.

It’s a draft, so (a) I’ll be very grateful for comments and suggestions; and (b) check with me before citing it. The paper is forthcoming in Jenkins and Hutchison, Women in Philosophy: What Needs to Change?.

5 thoughts on “Draft Paper on Women in Philosophy

  1. It’s a great paper and it’s terrific that it’s going into the public domain.

    Will you mind if the paper gets sent around independently of you?

  2. Thanks for posting this paper. I hadn’t heard about this Jenkins and Hutchison volume, but it sounds quite interesting. Does anyone have other information on the book and the papers in it?

  3. The book should be coming out with Cambridge Scholarly Press in the second half of 2011. It will contain data on the under-representation of women in philosophy from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and UK; analysis and commentary on the significance of this data; reflections on the experience of women in philosophy and the nature of philosophy itself; as well as contributions to ideas about practices and pedagogy that might facilitate change. Contributors include leading profession philosophers, from all the countries above; but also female undergraduates, and recent postgraduates who are either leaving philosophy or struggling to find ways to maintain a relationship with the discipline, and who describe their experiences and views.

Comments are closed.