Yet more on gender and citation

Political Philosop-her has a wonderful post up discussing the implications of the latest information on gender and citation in philosophy:

Almost everyone has had the chance to read the new Healy data on the citation of women. As another female philosopher has stated, a central take home point is that “women are cited. But they are only allowed to chip in to the debates–they are not allowed to be the agenda-setters.”

The question now is, what should we do about this? Increasing the diversity of those who participate in philosophy will not in and of itself change things unless we also find mechanisms to allow a more diverse range of people to “create” philosophy or to “set agendas” in philosophy, in Healy’s terms. Though it might mean some small progress, focusing on improving the citation of women’s work (for example, through a gendered-citation-campaign) will not fundamentally change things. Even if the citations of women’s work were to increase, women may still be prohibited from engaging in creative or agenda-setting philosophy.

4 thoughts on “Yet more on gender and citation

  1. It would be interesting to know about implausibility. So it seems to me that women’s philosophical theories are held to a much higher standard of plausibility, whereas even very implausible theories are taken seriously, if they are authored by a male.

  2. The agenda-setting issue is really key. In some philosophical environments I’ve been in it constitutes a palpable diminution of status for a man to be seen to be following a woman’s ideas, and in these hyper-competitive times no early-career academic, male or female, can afford any ‘reputational hits’.This has been my private observation from the beginning of my career: it’s so good to see some hard data on it.

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