Whose names do you hear?

Posted: December 11, 2011 by Jender in ignoring women

Something which has come up only obliquely on this blog is the issue of credibility. It seems that when male philosophers propose theories, even very implausible ones, they are given weight in the way that women doing the same simply are not. In my field for example, I have proposed something like a theory of X. Now there are male philosophers who are also working on problems related to X, whose names one hears constantly, who regularly appear on lists of plenary speakers at meeting related to X, whose names then get attached to theories, which people then write about etc. But I can only think of one woman whose ideas are discussed in the literature. And this is not a small field.

It is not that I feel neglected especially, but I cannot foresee a day when my name will be attached to a theory, or even an example, in the way that has happened with the men working in my subject. Now I cannot speak for other fields necessarily, but my sense is that this holds true for philosophy in general.

Male philosophers seem to enter “the discussion,” if not the canon; women philosophers rarely do.

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