We have been asked by Nancy Tuana to post the following statement from a group of feminist philosophers. Readers may wonder whether this blog takes a position in the debates over the Pluralists’ Guide. The answer is that the blog takes no position on this debate: this is a group blog and the individuals who blog here take a wide variety of positions as individuals. The blog, however, is strongly committed to respectful and collegial discussion of issues like this, so we welcome the call for constructive and civil discussion. To that end, we are opening the blog for comments for the next 24 hours, but during that period *all* comments will be moderated. (WordPress does not allow us to moderate comments from just one post.) Please bear in mind that all of us are unpaid and doing this in our spare time. Our moderating is therefore likely to be occasionally slow and, due to different moderators, may be inconsistent. We will be trying our best, and we ask you to do so as well. To that end, we remind you of our comments policy, and in particular our Be Nice rule, which will be strictly enforced. In addition, we will not allow speculation about intentions; discussion of particular philosophers’ private lives, whether by name or by description; discussion of particular departments, whether by name or by description. In addition, we ask commenters to refrain from inflammatory language. We also want to call attention to the fact that this statement is not about Brian Leiter. Discussion of Brian Leiter is off-topic and will be deleted as such.
We ask that commenters make every effort not to conflate issues about the climate for women with other issues that have been raised, such as questions about the methodologies permissible in philosophy or those concerned with the factual accuracy of claims that have been made.
Statement of Feminist Philosophers concerning the Pluralist’s Guide to Philosophy
We, the undersigned, publicly support the efforts of the new Pluralist’s Guide to Philosophy in both of its endeavors: to provide new sources of information on areas of philosophy that are still underrepresented in major doctoral programs and to provide information on the conditions for women and minorities in those programs. Philosophy has lagged behind the humanities and social sciences in its level of inclusiveness and diversity, a problem that adversely affects the caliber of all philosophical work. For decades now, feminist philosophers have been at the forefront of efforts to address sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and the general climate for women and other minority groups in philosophy, and to develop new and innovative areas of philosophical work. We know from many years of experience how difficult these efforts can be, and how often those who engage in these efforts are attacked, mis-characterized, and preemptively dismissed. In light of this experience, we have been dismayed at the level of vitriol and misinformation being perpetrated against some named and some unnamed feminists. We welcome constructive input about how to strengthen these efforts to provide more information on areas of philosophy that are underrepresented in major doctoral programs and urge all who work in these important areas of philosophy to contribute. And we call on the philosophical community to support initiatives, such as the Pluralist’s Guide, to make our profession more hospitable to women, and to women and men from underrepresented social sectors.
Nancy J. Holland
Sharon M. Meagher
Comments now closed, a bit later than promised. I think we’ve managed an extremely cordial discussion, but I don’t want to push our luck.