“a new, thoroughly non-Cartesian framework by which to approach large theoretical issues”

Well, I just found the Choice review below. Let me stress that a lot of people played very significant roles in this project. It could not have been otherwise:

Neurofeminism: issues at the intersection of feminist theory and cognitive science, ed. by Robyn Bluhm, Anne Jaap Jacobson, and Heidi Lene Maibom. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. 28410 bibl index ISBN 9780230296732, $90.00

This volume of essays is about neurofeminism and so much more. Though feminist-oriented philosophy of science informs much of the text, the work is far more demonstrative of the revolutionary effect that the neurosciences have had on traditional discourse in the study of cultural history, ethics, and science. The interdisciplinary and international authors make this collection truly one of a kind. In addition to establishing a new, thoroughly non-Cartesian framework by which to approach large theoretical issues, this volume also takes a deep, critical dive into such practical issues as reductionism, the limitations associated with brain imaging technology, and the popular belief that there are “essential” differences between male and female brains. In the end, the empirical, methodological, and conceptual inadequacies of some firmly entrenched thinking about self and other are unraveled. This is a remarkable read that lives up to its placement in the series “New Directions in Philosophy and Cognitive Science,” edited by John Protevi and Michael Wheeler. Good bibliography. Summing Up: Highly recommended. *** Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.–H. Storl, Augustana College (IL)

Storl, H.

Source Citation (MLA 7th Edition)
Storl, H. “Neurofeminism: issues at the intersection of feminist theory and cognitive science.” CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries Mar. 2013: 1261. Literature Resource Center. Web. 19 Dec. 2013.
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O pooh, so to speak.

There are a number of enchanting differences between British language and labels and US English. One that always delights me is the fact that a British pudding is genuinely, seriously caled “Spotted Dick”. That, I think, is just perfect.

So I thought I’d give a tin of it to a friend who, considering he’s not a philosopher, has some appreciation for languge. (Imagine this said airily.)

Then I saw a news article about an incident of alleged sexual harassment and got worried. To give or not to give?

What would you do?

Gendered Citation: another case study

Following up on previous discussion, I wanted to do another brief ‘case study’ of gendered citation. So I picked up, at random, a recent issue of an elite philosophy journal. (And yes, it really was at random.) Here’s what I found.

There are three papers in the issue. All are by men.

One paper’s reference list contains approximately 30 items. There are no items by women cited.

Another paper’s reference list contains approximately 70 items. Things look better here – there are 11 items by women cited. Interestingly, though, 10 of the 11 citations to work by women are citations to women employed in linguistics departments. There is only 1 cited item by a woman employed in a philosophy department. This citation is in a footnote, pointing the reader to a separate debate.

The final paper’s reference list contains approximately 20 items. There is 1 item by a woman cited. When you examine the reference in the text, however, the reader is actually being directed to a male philosopher’s discussion (‘see Mr. X’s discussion of Ms. Y’), and the work written by a woman is simply cited in passing.

There is nowhere in any of these (quite lengthy) papers where the work of female philosophers is discussed in any detail. In the entire issue, there are only two references to female philosophers, and these are both made in passing.

Again, there’s a limited amount we can learn from a citation snapshot like this. (Though watch this space – we’re hoping to have some more numbers about gender and citation up soon.) But it’s striking that female philosophers could be so absent from the discussion in a top journal – even a single issue of a top journal. And I wouldn’t be surprised (though we’ll have to wait for more data) to learn that the particular issue I picked up isn’t exactly an egregious outlier when it comes to gendered citation.

Well, that’s one way to get more women into the canon…

Last week, we told you about the strange phenomenon of philosophical porn sites. Perhaps that post has sparked in you an unquenchable passion for a juxtaposition of sexy images and philosophical discussion? Fear not. Relief awaits.

This week, BuzzFeed Books (now, that’s an odd idea, isn’t it) has revived a 2011 Ayashii World discussion of Me, Tsundere and Heidegger, a 2011 ranobe (light novel for youth) in which a misogynist is reincarnated as a high school girl and gets schooled in philosophy by sexy (anime) schoolgirl versions of Descartes, Spinoza, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Heidegger.

My thanks(ish) to four (!) friends who separately (!) posted links about this on my Facebook wall because they felt that I urgently needed to see the sexy bookworm Lolita version of Spinoza, pictured below. (Apologies in advance.)

A spectacled teenage anime girl looks over her shoulder at the reader. Her short school uniform skirt reveals her underwear.
Sexy Spinoza

Women doing the history of philosophy

A former student of mine recently wrote from one of the London universities that all the women seemed to be doing ancient philosophy. I wondered if it was still the case that women were being steered to the history of philosophy, rather than the standard “male, hard” areas, such as metaphysics, epistemology and phil of language.

Someone even more recently queried the idea that women were being so steered in, say, the 60’s to the 80’s or beyond. I think I’ve heard tons of anecdotes, but I’m wondering whether anything has been written about this tendency. And is it still going on?

I will say that I finished my doctorate thinking of myself as a metaphysician. The first papers I published, however, were from the historical footnotes in my thesis. Even then the one reviewer for one of them said it was too implausible to be published. Talk about feeling out of place! He was overruled, thank goodness.

Please let us know what you know about yourself or other women being encouraged to do history of phil.

Please note that nothing here is meant to say that history is somehow easy. As we learned from recent scholars like Margaret Wilson, doing history well is extremely demanding.

CU Boulder students say tenured faculty member being forced out over a lecture on prostitution

At Thursday’s 2 to 3 p.m. class inside the Cristol Chemistry and Biochemistry auditorium, or “chem 140” as it’s called by students, Adler lectured for about 20 minutes before telling students she would not return in the spring.

Students said Adler then told the class that she was being forced into retirement because the administration thought her lecture on prostitution was inappropriate, degrading to women and offensive to some minority communities.

The prostitution lecture is given as a skit in which many of Adler’s teaching assistants dress up as various types of prostitutes. The teaching assistants portrayed prostitutes ranging from sex slaves to escorts, and described their lifestyles and what led them to become prostitutes.

Students said Adler told them the administration heard a complaint about the skit. On the day of the lecture, several people who did not appear to be students attended the skit and took lots of notes, students said.

Adler told her students she tried to negotiate with the administration about leaving the skit off the syllabus. Administrators allegedly told Adler that in the era of sex scandals at schools like Penn State University, they couldn’t let her keep teaching.

From here. 

On the future of philosophy and diversity

Peter Ludlow, interviewed in 3 am, responds to the issue of the lack of women in Philosophy:

The only thing I know for sure about this problem is that it has nothing to do with the technical nature of analytic philosophy or its alleged apolitical nature. In the semantics of natural language, for example, I would guess that half the research contributors are women – most of those women just happen to be housed in linguistics departments. So that raises a question. Why can linguistics have so many women do this kind of technical work while in philosophy it is much less common? Here I can only speculate. For one, in the semantics of natural language there are many important female role models like Barbara Partee, Angelika Kratzer, and Irene Heim. Perhaps also it helps to be housed in a linguistics department where the gender balance is typically around 50/50 and there is much greater diversity all around. Perhaps the gender imbalance in philosophy departments leads to worse behavior by the men, or at least a greater likelihood of encountering bad behavior so that the problem is self-perpetuating.

It is worth pointing out that the gender imbalance is not only symptomatic of discrimination somewhere along the line, but it is not good for philosophy departments to have so little diversity. Diverse backgrounds can correlate with diversity of perspectives. Diverse perspectives mean more creativity, more novel solution strategies, and ultimately greater depth of understanding. Isn’t this something that philosophy departments should strive for?

Now go read the rest of what the hell are we doing here ? and find out about cyber worlds, online communities, and the future of the humanities.