New Website to Highlight the Contributions of Early Women Philosophers

Today, women make up only about one quarter of professional philosophers. Amy Ferrer, executive director of the American Philosophical Association says that “women studying philosophy don’t see themselves in the curriculum. The philosophers taught tend to be straight, White, able-bodied males.”

Emilie du Chatelet

Emilie du Chatelet

Now a group of philosophers at Duke University, Columbia University, and the University of Pennsylvania are developing a website that hopes to highlight the contributions of early women philosophers. The Project Vox website states that from “Lady Masham, Margaret Cavendish and Anne Conway in England to Émilie Du Châtelet in France, many women played significant roles in the development of modern philosophy, but their contributions have often gone unnoticed.”

The online effort has stated three main goals:

  1. To provide students at all levels with the materials they need to begin exploring the rich philosophical ideas of Cavendish, Conway, Du Châtelet and Masham.
  2. To provide teachers with the material they need to incorporate these four figures into their courses.
  3. To help transform our current conception of the canon.

Below is a video showing Andrew Janiak, an associate professor of philosophy at Duke University and leader of the Project Vox initiative, discussing the effort to include more women philosophers in the discipline’s curriculum.

Filed Under: Women's Studies


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