About this topic
Summary

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 1988Le Dœuff 1991 and Deutscher 1997.  

Introductions

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

Related categories

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  1. Not the Social Kind: Anti-Naturalist Mistakes in the Philosophical History of Womanhood.Kathleen Stock - manuscript
    I trace a brief history of philosophical discussion of the concept WOMAN and identify two key points at which, I argue, things went badly wrong. The first was where when it was agreed that the concept WOMAN must identify a social not biological kind. The second was where it was decided that the concept WOMAN faced a legitimate challenge of being insufficiently “inclusive”, understood in a certain way. I’ll argue that both of these moves are only intelligible, if at all, (...)
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  2. Nietzsche's Misogyny: A Class Action Suit.Craig Carely - unknown - Proceedings of the Heraclitean Society 19.
  3. 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 (...)
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  4. Form, Normativity and Gender in Aristotle A Feminist Perspective.C. Witt - forthcoming - Feminist Reflections on the History of Philosophy:117--136.
  5. Philosophy and the Maternal.Charlotte Knowles - 2020 - Studies in the Maternal 13 (1):1-8.
    Reflections on the role and position of maternal relations within philosophy as a practical discipline, as a metaphor for philosophical practice, and as a subject of philosophical investigation.
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  6. Sex, Love, and Gender: A Kantian Theory.Helga Varden - 2020 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Sex, Love, and Gender is the first volume to present a comprehensive philosophical theory that brings together all of Kant's practical philosophy — found across his works on ethics, justice, anthropology, history, and religion — and provide a critique of emotionally healthy and morally permissible sexual, loving, gendered being. By rethinking Kant's work on human nature and making space for sex, love, and gender within his moral accounts of freedom, the book shows how, despite his austere and even anti-sex, cisist, (...)
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  7. Beyond Acting and Being Acted Upon.Emanuela Bianchi - 2018 - Philosophy Today 62 (3):1025-1036.
  8. A Republican Housewife: Marie‐Jeanne Phlipon Roland on Women's Political Role.Sandrine Bergès - 2016 - Hypatia 31 (1):107-122.
    In this paper I look at the philosophical struggles of one eighteenth-century woman writer to reconcile a desire and obvious capacity to participate in the creation of republican ideals and their applications on the one hand, and on the other a deeply held belief that women's role in a republic is confined to the domestic realm. I argue that Marie-Jeanne Phlipon Roland's philosophical writings—three unpublished essays, published and unpublished letters, as well as parts of her memoirs—suggest that even though she (...)
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  9. At the Crossroads: Latina Identity and Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex.Stephanie Rivera Berruz - 2016 - Hypatia 31 (2):319-333.
    Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex has been heralded as a canonical text of feminist theory. The book focuses on providing an account of the lived experience of woman that generates a condition of otherness. However, I contend that it falls short of being able to account for the multidimensionality of identity insofar as Beauvoir's argument rests upon the comparison between racial and gendered oppression that is understood through the black–white binary. The result of this framework is the imperceptibility of (...)
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  10. Feminist Encounters with Confucius.Mathew Foust & Sor-Hoon Tan (eds.) - 2016 - Boston, USA: 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.
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  11. The Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy.Ann Garry, Serene J. Khader & Alison Stone (eds.) - 2016 - Routledge.
    _The Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy_ is an outstanding guide and reference source to the key topics, subjects, thinkers, and debates in feminist philosophy. Fifty-six chapters, written by an international team of contributors specifically for the _Companion_, are organized into five sections: Engaging the Past Mind, Body, and World Knowledge, Language, and Science Intersections Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics. The volume provides a mutually enriching representation of the several philosophical traditions that contribute to feminist philosophy. It also foregrounds issues of global (...)
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  12. Sophie de Grouchy on the Cost of Domination in the Letters on Sympathy and Two Anonymous Articles in Le Republicain.Sandrine Berges - 2015 - The Monist 98 (1):102-112.
    Political writings of eighteenth-century France have been so far mostly overlooked as a source of republican thought. Philosophers such as Condorcet actively promoted the ideal of republicanism in ways that can shed light on current debates. In this paper, I look at one particular source: Le Republicain, published in the summer 1791, focusing on previously unattributed articles by Condorcet’s wife and collaborator, Sophie de Grouchy. Grouchy, a philosopher in her own right, is beginning to be known for her Letters on (...)
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  13. A Feminist Perspective on Virtue Ethics.Sandrine Berges - 2015 - palgrave macmillan.
    The writings of women philosophers have often been neglected in the discipline of virtue ethics. In this historical survey of feminist virtue ethics, Sandrine Berges redresses the balance by focusing on key writings of important women philosophers, including Perictione, Heloise, Christine de Pizan, Mary Wollstonecraft and Sophie de Grouchy. A Feminist Perspective on Virtue Ethics first applies the findings of its historical survey to questions on the ethics of care, gender and the public life, and global justice. In what follows, (...)
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  14. 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 (...)
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  15. [REVIEW] The Equality of the Sexes: Three Feminist Texts of the Seventeenth Century.Jacqueline Broad - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (3):617-19.
    The seventeenth century witnessed the first publications that argued for the equality of men and women. Desmond M. Clarke presents new translations of the three most important ones, with excerpts from the authors' related writings, together with an extensive introduction to the religious and philosophical context within which they argued.
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  16. Gendered Readings of Change: A Feminist-Pragmatist Approach.Clara Fischer - 2014 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    In Gendered Readings of Change, Clara Fischer develops a unique theory of change by drawing on American philosophy and contemporary feminist thought. Via a select history of ancient Greek and Pragmatist philosophies of change, she argues for a reconstruction of transformation that is inclusive of women's experiences and thought. With wide-ranging analysis, this book addresses ontological, moral, epistemological, and political questions, and includes an insightful exploration of the philosophies of Parmenides, Aristotle, John Dewey, Iris Young, and Jane Addams.
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  17. From the Exclusion of Women to the Transformation of Philosophy: Reclamation and its Possibilities.Sarah Tyson - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (1):1-19.
    In the mid-1980s, feminist philosophers began to turn their critical efforts toward reclaiming women in the history of philosophy who had been neglected by traditional histories and canons. There are now scores of resources treating historical women philosophers and reclaiming them for philosophical history. This article explores the four major argumentative strategies that have been used within those reclamation projects. It argues that three of the strategies unwittingly work against the reclamationist end of having women engaged as philosophers. The fourth (...)
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  18. Remembering Hypatia's Birth: It Took a Village.Azizah Al‐Hibri - 2013 - Hypatia 28 (2):399-403.
  19. 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 (...)
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  20. Rethinking Twelfth Century Ethics: The Contribution of Heloise.Sandrine Berges - 2013 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (4):667-687.
    Twelfth-century ethics is commonly thought of as following a stoic influence rather than an Aristotelian one. It is also assumed that these two schools are widely different, in particular with regards to the social aspect of the virtuous life. In this paper I argue that this picture is misleading and that Heloise of Argenteuil recognized that stoic ethics did not entail isolation but could be played out in a social context. I argue that her philosophical contribution does not end there, (...)
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  21. Teaching Christine de Pizan in Turkey.Sandrine Berges - 2013 - Gender and Education 25 (5):595-605.
    An important part of making philosophy as a discipline gender equal is to ensure that female authors are not simply wiped out of the history of philosophy. This has implications for teaching as well as research. In this context, I reflect on my experience of teaching a text by medieval philosopher Christine de Pizan as part of an introductory history of philosophy course taught to Turkish students in law, political science, and international relations. I describe the challenges I encountered, the (...)
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  22. The Need for an Alternative Narrative to the History of Ideas or To Pay a Debt to Women: A Feminist Approach to Ricœur's Thought.Fernanda Henriques - 2013 - Études Ricoeuriennes / Ricoeur Studies 4 (1):7-20.
    This paper explores the thought of Paul Ricœur from a feminist point of view. My goal is to show that it is necessary to narrate differently the history of our culture – in particular, the history of philosophy – in order for wommen to attain a self-representation that is equal to that of men. I seek to show that Ricoeur’s philosophy – especially his approach to the topics of memory and history, on the one hand, and the human capacity for (...)
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  23. “An Examination of the Role of Women in the Enlightenment”.Dongwoo Kim - 2013 - Constellations (University of Alberta Student Journal) 4 (2).
    In the traditional historiography of the Enlightenment in which historians regard it as a rather narrow, exclusively intellectual movement, the voice of women is almost, if not entirely, non-existent. However, a more inclusive interpretation of the Enlightenment, which adds cultural and social dimensions to it, allows for a place for her-story. In this essay, various roles that women played during the era of the Enlightenment are explored.
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  24. Spinoza’s Hobbesian Naturalism and Its Promise for a Feminist Theory of Power.Ericka Tucker - 2013 - Revista Conatus - Filosofia de Spinoza 7 (13):11-23.
    This paper examines recent feminist work on Spinoza and identifies the elements of Spinoza’s philosophy that have been seen as promising for feminist naturalism. I argue that the elements of Spinoza’s work that feminist theorists have found so promising are precisely those concepts he derives from Hobbes. I argue that the misunderstanding of Hobbes as architect of the egoist model of human nature has effaced his contribution to Spinoza’s more praised conception of the human individual. Despite misconceptions, I argue that (...)
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  25. Reclamation From Absence? Luce Irigaray and Women in the History of Philosophy.Sarah Tyson - 2013 - Hypatia 28 (3):483-498.
    Luce Irigaray's work does not present an obvious resource for projects seeking to reclaim women in the history of philosophy. Indeed, many authors introduce their reclamation project with an argument against conceptions, attributed to Irigaray or “French feminists” more generally, that the feminine is the excluded other of discourse. These authors claim that if the feminine is the excluded other of discourse, then we must conclude that even if women have written philosophy they have not given voice to feminine subjectivity; (...)
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  26. The Interruptive Feminine: Aleatory Time and Feminist Politics.Emanuela Bianchi - 2012 - In Henriette Gunkel, Chrysanthi Nigianni & Fanny Söderbäck (eds.), Undutiful Daughters: New Directions in Feminist Thought and Practice. Palgrave-Macmillan.
  27. Feminism and the History of Political Philosophy.Penelope Deutscher - 2012 - In Gerald F. Gaus & Fred D'Agostino (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Social and Political Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 278.
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  28. Empowerment and Interconnectivity: Toward a Feminist History of Utilitarian Philosophy.Catherine Villanueva Gardner - 2012 - Pennsylvania State University Press.
    "Examines the work of three nineteenth-century utilitarian feminist philosophers: Catharine Beecher, Frances Wright, and Anna Doyle Wheeler.
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  29. Teaching ‘Philosophy of Feminism’ From a Global Perspective.Gail Presbey - 2012 - Apa Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy 12 (1):4-9.
    The paper points out ways in which philosophy can be taught from a global feminist perspective without falling into typical Eurocentric pitfalls. For example, African women's practices of cliterodectomy can be studied thoughtfully and in context, with attention to both sides of the issue, instead of covering the topic for its shock value as a strategy to convince students that relativism is wrong. The paper covers a reading list and topics that both cover feminist critiques of the prevalent male philosophical (...)
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  30. After Cursing the Library: Iris Murdoch and the (In)Visibility of Women in Philosophy.Marije Altorf - 2011 - Hypatia 26 (2):384-402.
    This article offers a critical reading of three major biographies of the British novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch. It considers in particular how a limited concern for gender issues has hampered their portrayals of Murdoch as a creator of images and ideas. The biographies are then contrasted to a biographical sketch constructed from Murdoch's philosophical writing. The assessment of the biographies is set against the larger background of the relation between women and philosophy. In doing so, the paper offers a (...)
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  31. Why Women Hug Their Chains: Wollstonecraft and Adaptive Preferences.Sandrine Berges - 2011 - Utilitas (1):72-87.
    In a recent article, Amartya Sen writes that one important influence on his theory of adaptive preferences is Wollstonecraft's account of how some women, though clearly oppressed, are apparently satisfied with their lot. Wollstonecraft's arguments have received little attention so far from contemporary political philosophers, and one might be tempted to dismiss Sen's acknowledgment as a form of gallantry. That would be wrong. Wollstonecraft does have a lot of interest to say on the topic of why her contemporaries appeared to (...)
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  32. The Center Must Not Hold: White Women Philosophers on the Whiteness of Philosophy. Edited by George Yancy.Lauren Freeman - 2011 - Hypatia 26 (2):438-445.
  33. Von Diana Zu Minerva: Philosophierende Aristokratinnen des 17. Und 18. Jahrhunderts.Ruth Hagengruber & Ana Rodrigues (eds.) - 2011 - Akademie Verlag.
    Die Gottinnen Diana und Minerva wurden zum Symbol der Unabhangigkeit dieser Frauen.
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  34. Kant on Moral Agency and Women's Nature.Mari Mikkola - 2011 - Kantian Review 16 (1):89-111.
    Some commentators have condemned Kant’s moral project from a feminist perspective based on Kant’s apparently dim view of women as being innately morally deficient. Here I will argue that although his remarks concerning women are unsettling at first glance, a more detailed and closer examination shows that Kant’s view of women is actually far more complex and less unsettling than that attributed to him by various feminist critics. My argument, then, undercuts the justification for the severe feminist critique of Kant’s (...)
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  35. A Woman Who Defends All Persons of Her Sex: Selected Moral and Philosophical Writings (Review). [REVIEW]Emily Anne Parker - 2011 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 49 (2):256-257.
  36. Filosofiens annet kjønn.Tove Pettersen - 2011 - Pax Forlag A/S.
    Why are there so few women included in the history of philosophy? What are the consequences Why are there so few women included in the history of philosophy? What are the consequences from the fact that men have designed the vast majority of contemporary political and ethical theories? How can discrimination as well as equal treatment based on gender be philosophically justified? Are women the second sex of philosophy? And what is feminist philosophy? -/- In Philosophy’s Second Sex, Tove Pettersen (...)
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  37. Filosofe Della Modernità: Il Pensiero Delle Donne Dal Rinascimento All'illuminismo.Sandra Plastina - 2011 - Carocci.
  38. „ “Eve’s Perfection: Spinoza on Sexual (In)Equality.”.Hasana Sharp - 2011 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 50.4 (2012) 50 (4):559-580.
    This paper outlines Spinoza’s two diametrically opposed views on the question of sexual equality. In the Political Treatise, he contends that women are naturally inferior to men, and that they are unable to practice virtue. Yet, he presents an antithetical portrait of Eve in his retelling of the Fall in the Ethics. There, Eve’s nature accords perfectly with Adam’s, and their relationship might have promoted virtue in each of them. Attention to Spinoza’s version of the Fall reveals the profound importance (...)
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  39. Strategies for Making Feminist Philosophy Mainstream Philosophy.Anita Superson - 2011 - Hypatia 26 (2):410-418.
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  40. Women in Philosophy: The Costs of Exclusion—Editor's Introduction.Alison Wylie - 2011 - Hypatia 26 (2):374-382.
    Philosophy has the dubious distinction of attracting and retaining proportionally fewer women than any other field in the humanities, indeed, fewer than in all but the most resolutely male-dominated of the sciences. This short article introduces a thematic cluster that brings together five short essays that probe the reasons for and the effects of these patterns of exclusion, not just of women but of diverse peoples of all kinds in Philosophy. It summarizes some of the demographic measures of exclusion that (...)
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  41. Women, Hegel, and Recognition in The Second Sex.Karen Green & Nicholas Roffey - 2010 - Hypatia 25 (2):376 - 393.
    This paper develops a new account of Beauvoir's "Hegelianism" and argues that the strand of contemporary interpretation of Beauvoir that seeks to represent her thought in isolation from that of Jean-Paul Sartre constitutes a betrayal of the philosophy of recognition that she denves from Hegel. It underscores the extent to which Beauvoir influenced Sartre's Being and Nothingness and shows that Sartre and Beauvoir both adapted Hegel's ideas and agreed in rejecting his optimism.
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  42. Introduction: Feminist Legacies / Feminist Futures: 25th Anniversary Special Issue.Lori Gruen & Alison Wylie - 2010 - Hypatia 25 (4):725-732.
    This special issue marks the culmination of Hypatia's twenty-fifth anniversary year. We kicked off the celebration of Hypatia's quarter century as an autonomous journal with a conference, "Feminist Legacies/Feminist Futures," which drew close to 150 attendees—a capacity crowd, and more than twice what we'd expected in the planning stages! The conference provided an opportunity to reflect on how Hypatia came to be and how it has shaped feminist philosophy.
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  43. Rationality and Feminist Philosophy.Deborah K. Heikes - 2010 - Continuum.
    Exploring the history of the concept of 'rationality', Deborah K. Hakes argues that feminism should seek to develop a virtue theory of rationality.
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  44. 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 scholarship 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 (...)
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  45. The History of Feminism: Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis de Condorcet.Joan Landes - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  46. Feminist Philosophy of Science: History, Contributions, and Challenges.Sarah S. 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 (...)
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  47. A Woman Who Defends All the Persons of Her Sex: Selected Philosophical and Moral Writings.Gabrielle Suchon - 2010 - University of Chicago Press.
  48. Historical Dictionary of Feminist Philosophy.Lena Halldenius - 2009 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 17 (2):453-456.
    "The introduction of Historical Dictionary of Feminist Philosophy provides a useful overview of the subject, while the chronology runs the gamut from ancient Greek to contemporary feminist philosophers. Dictionary entries cover both the central figures and ideas from the historical tradition of philosophy, as well as ideas and theories from contemporary feminist philosophy, such as epistemology and topics like abortion and sexuality. In addition to including entries on Aristotle, Plato, Descartes, Kant, Wollstonecraft, Beauvoir, and Daly, relevant aspects of other fields (...)
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  49. Aufklärerinnen.Ursula I. Meyer - 2009 - Ein-Fach-Verlag.
  50. The Left Vienna Circle, Part 2. The Left Vienna Circle, Disciplinary History, and Feminist Philosophy of Science.Sarah S. Richardson - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (2):167-174.
    This paper analyzes the claim that the Left Vienna Circle offers a theoretical and historical precedent for a politically engaged philosophy of science today. I describe the model for a political philosophy of science advanced by LVC historians. They offer this model as a moderate, properly philosophical approach to political philosophy of science that is rooted in the analytic tradition. This disciplinary-historical framing leads to weaknesses in LVC scholars’ conception of the history of the LVC and its contemporary relevance. In (...)
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