Monday, October 26, 2009

Women in Philosophy: A Question for You?

While I have revealed a new love of Irigaray and that I am in a Continental Feminism Survey Seminar, this post should not be seen as connected to these recent motivations (or maybe it should since I have found a love of how Continental Feminists have appropriated and successively demonstrated a research project in Continental philosophy). Apparently, one of those mass-consumption philosophy periodicals have published an article on women in philosophy in general. Here's one of the interviewees blog entry about her interview, and the recent debacle with the NY Times.

My question to many here is given the dearth of women (for whatever reason or variety of reasons), is it right to teach with this sensitivity in the back of one's mind? Should I actively try and recruit talented women students into the major given the dearth of women in general? Would it be more responsible of me to actively recruit women students given that I have some working knowledge prior to recruitment of the reason or reasons why women are not in philosophy to begin with?

Assume for a moment a possible world in which philosophy actively discriminates against women (which might be very possible, I admit) and I recruit students into the philosophy profession (it should be clear this is hypothetical and not associated with my home institution), convincing a few to pursue graduate study. In so doing, it is possible I have done some form of intellectual violence to them. No? Shouldn't the causes of women aren't in philosophy first be identified so that my talented women students can have this information to see if they truly want to go into philosophy, or is recruitment itself a way to lessen whatever forces are at work keeping away women in philosophy?

What do you think?

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