Gender and Philosophical First Impressions

A rare moment of gender parity in philosophy: Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre at a Paris cafe in May 1970.

Here’s an article, “Name Five Women in Philosophy. Bet You Can’t“, that asks why the attrition rate between introductory philosophy classes and becoming a major in philosophy is so much higher for women than for men.

I came up with more than five, but I will admit it took a minute to turn the wheels that direction.

Anybody up for some post-Marx de Beauvoir?

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2 Responses to Gender and Philosophical First Impressions

  1. Jess! says:

    You know my crazed feelings on gender in philosophy.

    I would definitely be pro de Beauvoir.

  2. PH says:

    On the topic of women in philosophy: (1) I find Simone Weil worthwhile. *The Need for Roots* is probably her most important book. She’s a philosopher and social theorist, very attuned to details of social organization of her time (she worked as a farm laborer and factory laborer for several years as means of studying the workers’ conditions). Her thought is a mixture of Marxist, Platonist, and Christian themes, but very, very original and interesting. Agamben wrote his doctoral dissertation on her. (2) I also like Marjorie Grene, who worked with Michael Polanyi, wrote on existentialism (very critically), the history of philosophy (especially Descartes and Aristotle), and the philosophy of biology. Her most important book is probably *The Understanding of Nature: Essays in the Philosophy of Biology.*

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