About this topic

Feminist history of philosophy is a reclamation and reformation project focused on the history of western philosophy.  It has several facets.  One facet is a critical analysis of the misogyny and sexism in individual canonical philosophers.  Some feminist historians of philosophy extend their critique to the western philosophical tradition as a whole.  A second facet focuses on restoring women philosophers and their works to the historical record.  Included in this project is the elevation of important women philosophers to the canon and to the philosophical conversation of their period.  A third aspect of feminist history of philosophy includes reflections on what one is doing in doing the history of philosophy as a feminist; how to go about making the philosophical tradition more inclusive of women and other excluded voices; and whether or not—and in what way-- the history of philosophy can be a resource for feminist theory, or for emancipatory theoretical projects more broadly.

Key works

Two pioneering books in feminist history of philosophy, which contain overviews of the western philosophical tradition, are Lloyd 1993 and Okin 1980.   The landmark Re-Reading the Canon series has over thirty volumes of feminist interpretations of historical and canonical philosophers, beginning with feminist interpretations of Plato. Tuana 1994 Works that discuss problems of method in the history of philosophy include Lloyd 2002 and Alanen & Witt 2004.  The continental feminist perspective(s) on the history of philosophy is represented by Irigaray & Kuykendall 1989Le Dœuff 1991 and Deutscher 1997.  


The encyclopedia article Witt 2008 provides an introduction and a bibliography for feminist history of philosophy.    

Related categories

231 found
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  1. added 2018-02-18
    Feminism Is Back in France: Or Is It?Michèle Le Dœuff & Penelope Deutscher - 2000 - Hypatia 15 (4):243-255.
    Michèle Le Dœuff discusses the revival of feminism in France, including the phenomenon of state-sponsored feminism, such as government support for "parity": equal numbers of women and men in government. Le Dœuff analyzes the strategically patchy application of this revival and remains wary about it. Turning to the work of seventeenth-century philosopher Gabrielle Suchon, Le Dœuff considers her concepts of freedom, servitude, and active citizenship, which may well, she argues, have influenced Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Le Dœuff favorably juxtaposes the active citizenship (...)
  2. added 2018-02-18
    Yielding Gender: Feminism, Deconstruction, and the History of Philosophy.Penelope Deutscher - 1997 - Routledge.
    Traditional accounts of the feminist history of philosophy have viewed reason as associated with masculinity and subsequent debates have been framed by this assumption. Yet recent debates in deconstruction have shown that gender has never been a stable matter. In the history of philosophy 'female' and 'woman' are full of ambiguity. What does deconstruction have to offer feminist criticism of the history of philosophy? _Yielding Gender_ explores this question by examining three crucial areas; the issue of gender as 'troubled'; deconstruction; (...)
  3. added 2018-02-17
    The Routledge Guidebook to Wollstonecraft's a Vindication of the Rights of Woman.Sandrine Berges - 2013 - Routledge.
    Mary Wollstonecraft was one of the greatest philosophers and writers of the Eighteenth century. During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children's book. Her most celebrated and widely-read work is _A Vindication of the Rights of Woman_. This Guidebook introduces: Wollstonecraft’s life and the background to _A Vindication of the Rights of Woman_ The ideas and text of _A Vindication of the Rights of Woman_ Wollstonecraft’s (...)
  4. added 2018-02-17
    Women Philosophers of the Seventeenth Century.Jacqueline Broad - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this rich and detailed study of early modern women's thought, Jacqueline Broad explores the complexity of women's responses to Cartesian philosophy and its intellectual legacy in England and Europe. She examines the work of thinkers such as Mary Astell, Elisabeth of Bohemia, Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway and Damaris Masham, who were active participants in the intellectual life of their time and were also the respected colleagues of philosophers such as Descartes, Leibniz and Locke. She also illuminates the continuities between (...)
  5. added 2017-02-11
    Some Remarks on Exploring the History of Women in Philosophy.Linda Lopez Mcalister - 1989 - Hypatia 4 (1):1-5.
    A discussion of the status of work on the history of women in philosophy and an introduction to the special issue of HYPATIA on the history of women in philosophy.
  6. added 2017-02-10
    The Other Philosophy Club: America's First Academic Women Philosophers.Dorothy Rogers - 2009 - Hypatia 24 (2):164--185.
    Recent research on women philosophers has led to more discussion of the merits of many previously forgotten women in the past several years. Yet due to the fact that a thinker’s significance and influence are historical phenomena, women remain relatively absent in “mainstream” discussions of philosophy. This paper focuses on several successful academic women in American philosophy and takes notice of how they succeeded in their own era. Special attention is given to three important academic women philosophers: Mary Whiton Calkins, (...)
  7. added 2017-02-08
    Mary Ellen Curtin'ssymposium on Love.Dwight Vate - 1974 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 12 (4):553-560.
  8. added 2017-02-07
    Reply to Dr. Ellen Burgess.Kathleen Cranley Glass - 1995 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 23 (2):212-212.
  9. added 2017-01-29
    Cecile T. Tougas and Sara Ebenreck, Eds., Presenting Women Philosophers. [REVIEW]Lisa Guenther - 2001 - Philosophy in Review 21:222-224.
  10. added 2017-01-29
    Pis Ma V Ameriku [V 3-Kh T. 1929-1955].E. I. Rerikh - 1996
  11. added 2017-01-29
    Die Welt der Philosophin.Ursula I. Meyer - 1995
  12. added 2017-01-29
    Mary Ellen Waithe, Ed., A History of Women Philosophers. [REVIEW]Rsm Sr Prudence Allen - 1988 - Philosophy in Review 8:464-466.
  13. added 2017-01-28
    Women Philosophers and the RAE.Kimberly Hutchings - 1998 - Radical Philosophy 88.
  14. added 2017-01-28
    U Poroga Novogo Mira.E. I. Rerikh & L. V. Shaposhnikova - 1993
  15. added 2017-01-28
    Donne in Filosofia.A. Brancaforte & Giuseppe Agostino Roggerone - 1990 - Lacaita.
  16. added 2017-01-26
    A Memoir: People and Places (R. Harrison).M. Warnock - 2002 - Philosophical Books 43 (2):155-155.
  17. added 2017-01-26
    Mary Ellen Waithe, Ed., A History of Women Philosophers (Volume 1/600BC-500AD) Reviewed By.R. S. M. Allen Sr - 1988 - Philosophy in Review 8 (11):464-466.
  18. added 2017-01-25
    Women Philosophers: A Bibliography of Books Through 1990.Mary Warnock & Else M. Barth - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (176):397.
    The main objectives of the bibliography are to incorporate women's publications into the main body of philosophical thought, to increase the visibility and use of publications created by women, and to indicate the variety of approaches, concepts, and theories embodied in these works. Women Philosophers brings together women's works, ideas, and theories from all branches of philosophy and compiles them into a comprehensive bibliography. More than 2,800 monographs, series, and volumes written or edited by women are listed. An author index (...)
  19. added 2017-01-23
    Simone Weil: An Apprenticeship in Attention.Mario Von der Ruhr - 2006 - Continuum.
  20. added 2017-01-23
    A History of Women Philosophers, Volume 2: 500-1600. Edited by Mary Ellen Waithe.Patricia S. Burton - 1991 - Modern Schoolman 68 (2):172-175.
  21. added 2017-01-22
    Women Philosophers.Therese Dykeman - 2001 - Philosophy Now 33:7-8.
  22. added 2017-01-22
    Neuerscheinungen: Mary Ellen Waithe (Hg.): A History of Women Philosophers.Rose Staudt - 1993 - Die Philosophin 4 (7):87-89.
  23. added 2017-01-21
    Women Philosophers and the History of Philosophy.E. O'Neill - unknown
  24. added 2017-01-16
    A History of Women Philosophers. Volume I: Ancient Women Philosophers, 600 B.C.-500 A.D.Mary Ellen Waith.Monica Green - 1989 - Isis 80 (1):178-179.
  25. added 2017-01-15
    Early Modern Women Philosophers and the History of Philosophy.Eileen O'neill - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (3):185-197.
  26. added 2017-01-15
    Symposium: Women Philosophers, Sidelined Challenges, and Professional Philosophy.Diana T. Meyers - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (3):149-152.
  27. added 2016-12-12
    What Lies Ahead: Envisioning New Futures for Feminist Philosophy.Kristen Intemann, Emily S. Lee, Kristin Mccartney, Shireen Roshanravan & Alexa Schriempf - 2010 - Hypatia 25 (4):927 - 934.
    Thanks in large, part to the record of schohrship fostered by Hypatia, feminist philosophers are now positioned not just as critics of the canon, but as innovators advancing uniquely feminist perspectives for theorizing about the world. As relatively junior feminist scholars, the five of us were called upon to provide some reflections on emerging trends in feminist philosophy and to comment on its future. Despite the fact that we come from diverse subfields and philosophical traditions, four common aims emerged in (...)
  28. added 2016-12-12
    Women of Color and Philosophy: A Critical Reader.Naomi Zack (ed.) - 2000 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    Philosophy is in its fourth millennium but this collection is the first of its kind. Twelve contemporary women of color who are American academic philosophers consider the methods and subjects of the discipline from perspectives partly informed by their experiences as African American, Asian American, Latina, Mixed Race and Native American.
  29. added 2016-12-12
    Womanizing Nietzsche: Philosophy's Relation to the "Feminine".Kelly Oliver - 1994 - Routledge.
    In ____Womanizing Nietzsche,__ Kelly Oliver uses an analysis of the position of woman in Nietzsche's texts to open onto the larger question of philosophy's relation to the feminine and the maternal. Offering readings from Nietzsche, Derrida, Irigaray, Kristeva, Freud and Lacan, Oliver builds an innovative foundation for an ontology of intersubjective relationships that suggests a new approach to ethics.
  30. added 2016-12-08
    Feminist Philosophy of Science: History, Contributions, and Challenges.Sarah Richardson - 2010 - Synthese 177 (3):337-362.
    Feminist philosophy of science has led to improvements in the practices and products of scientific knowledge-making, and in this way it exemplifies socially relevant philosophy of science. It has also yielded important insights and original research questions for philosophy. Feminist scholarship on science thus presents a worthy thought-model for considering how we might build a more socially relevant philosophy of science—the question posed by the editors of this special issue. In this analysis of the history, contributions, and challenges faced by (...)
  31. added 2016-12-08
    Modern Engendering: Critical Feminist Readings in Modern Western Philosophy.Bat-Ami Bar On (ed.) - 1993 - State University of New York Press.
    This book contains readings of canonical Western philosophical texts from the viewpoint of current feminist thinking. The contributors focus specifically on the ways in which modern Western philosophy constructs genders and analyzes gender relations. They provide a detailed analysis of modern philosophers’ conceptions of masculinity and femininity and call attention to the intertwining of gender with conceptual schema and networks.
  32. added 2016-12-08
    Engendering Origins: Critical Feminist Readings in Plato and Aristotle.Bat-Ami Bar On (ed.) - 1993 - State University of New York Press.
    This book introduces feminist voices into the study of Platonic and Aristotelian texts that modern Western philosophy has treated as foundational. The book concerns the extent to which Platonic and Aristotelian texts are redeemably sexist, masculinist, or phallocentric.
  33. added 2016-12-08
    Feminism and the Canon.Pamela Hall - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (10):568-569.
  34. added 2016-12-08
    The Weaker Seed The Sexist Bias of Reproductive Theory.Tuana Nancy - 1988 - Hypatia 3 (1):35-59.
    This history of reproductive theories from Aristotle to the preformationists provides an excellent illustration of the ways in which the gender/science system informs the process of scientific investigation. In this essay I examine the effects of the bias of woman's inferiority upon theories of human reproduction. I argue that the adherence to a belief in the inferiority of the female creative principle biased scientific perception of the nature of woman's role in human generation.
  35. added 2016-10-07
    Women, Liberty, and Forms of Feminism.Karen Detlefsen - forthcoming - In Jacqueline Broad & Karen Detlefsen (eds.), Women and Liberty, 1600-1800: Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter shows how Mary Astell and Margaret Cavendish can reasonably be understood as early feminists in three senses of the term. First, they are committed to the natural equality of men and women, and related, they are committed to equal opportunity of education for men and women. Second, they are committed to social structures that help women develop authentic selves and thus autonomy understood in one sense of the word. Third, they acknowledge the power of production relationships, especially friendships (...)
  36. added 2016-09-12
    Feminist Encounters with Confucius.Mathew Foust & Sor-Hoon Tan (eds.) - 2016 - Brill.
    This collection contributes to current debates and explores new topics of engagement between Feminism and Confucius’s teachings, variously interpreted. Besides care ethics and role ethics, questions of gender oppression and education, it includes essays on epistemology and environmental ethics.
  37. added 2016-08-23
    Michelle Facos.Late Nineteenth Century - 1998 - Analecta Husserliana 53:123.
  38. added 2016-08-23
    Voicing Women Gender and Sexuality in Early Modern Writing.Kate Chedgzoy, Melanie Hansen & Suzanne Trill - 1998
  39. added 2016-08-15
    The Encounter Between Wonder and Generosity.Marguerite la Caze - 2002 - Hypatia 17 (3):1-19.
    In a reading of René Descartes's The Passions of the Soul, Luce Irigaray explores the possibility that wonder, first of all passions, can provide the basis for an ethics of sexual difference because it is prior to judgment, and thus nonhierarchical. For Descartes, the passion of generosity gives the key to ethics. I argue that wonder should be extended to other differences and should be combined with generosity to form the basis of an ethics.
  40. added 2016-08-13
    Love, That Indispensable Supplement: Irigaray and Kant on Love and Respect.Marguerite la Caze - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (3):92-114.
    Is love essential to ethical life, or merely a supplement? In Kant's view, respect and love, as duties, are in tension with each other because love involves drawing closer and respect involves drawing away. By contrast, Irigaray says that love and respect do not conflict because love as passion must also involve distancing and we have a responsibility to love. I argue that love, understood as passion and based on respect, is essential to ethics.
  41. added 2016-08-13
    French Feminist Theory an Introduction.Dani Cavallaro - 2003
  42. added 2016-08-11
    Marx, Rawls, Cohen, and Feminism.Paula Casal - 2015 - Hypatia 30 (4):811-828.
    Although G. A. Cohen's work on Marx was flawed by a lack of gender-awareness, his work on Rawls owes much of its success to feminist inspiration. Cohen appeals effectively to feminism to rebut the basic structure objection to his egalitarian ethos, and could now appeal to feminism in response to Andrew Williams's publicity objection to this ethos. The article argues that Williams's objection is insufficient to rebut Cohen's ethos, inapplicable to variants of this ethos, and in conflict with plausible gender-egalitarian (...)
  43. added 2016-08-11
    Who's Afraid of the Sophists? Against Ethical Correctness.Barbara Cassin - 2000 - Hypatia 15 (4):102-120.
  44. added 2016-08-09
    Kant's and Hegel's Moral Rationalism: A Feminist Perspective.Lawrence A. Blum - 1982 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 12 (2):287 - 302.
  45. added 2016-08-04
    Nietzsche's Misogyny: A Class Action Suit.Craig Carely - unknown - Proceedings of the Heraclitean Society 19.
  46. added 2016-06-13
    The Promise of Feminist Reflexivities: Developing Donna Haraway's Project for Feminist Science Studies.Kirsten Campbell - 2004 - Hypatia 19 (1):162-182.
    This paper explores models of reflexive feminist science studies through the work of Donna Haraway. The paper argues that Haraway provides an important account of science studies that is both feminist and constructivist. However, her concepts of "situated knowledges" and "diffraction" need further development to be adequate models of feminist science studies. To develop this constructivist and feminist project requires a collective research program that engages with feminist reflexivity as a practice.
  47. added 2016-06-13
    Mujeres Latinoamericanas Del Siglo Xx Historia y Cultura.Luisa Campuzano, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana & Casa de la Américas - 1998
  48. added 2016-06-01
    Making Feminist History the Literary Scholarship of Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar.William E. Cain - 1994
  49. added 2016-05-31
    Reading Woman: Displacing the Foundations of Femininity.Wendy A. Burns-Ardolino - 2003 - Hypatia 18 (3):42-59.
    I offer here an analysis of contemporary foundation garments while exploring the ways in which these garments encourage, reinforce and protect normative femininity. In examining the performatives of contemporary normative, ideal femininity as they perpetuate inhibited intentionality, ambiguous transcendence, and discontinuous unity, I look to the possibility for subversive performativity vis-à-vis the strengths of women in order to proliferate categories of gender and to potentially displace current notions of what it means to become woman.
  50. added 2016-05-31
    Response to Bordo's “Feminist Skepticism and the ‘Maleness’ of Philosophy”.Judith Butler - 1992 - Hypatia 7 (3):162-165.
    Bordo argues that the "theoretics of heterogeneity" taken too far prevents us from being able make generalizations or broadly conceptual statements about women. I argue that the political efficacy of feminism does not depend on the capacity to speak from the perspective of "women" and that the insistence on the heterogeneity of the category of women does not imply an opposition to abstraction but rather moves abstract thinking in a self-critical and democratizing direction.
1 — 50 / 231