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Original scientific paper

Women in Philosophy: What is to be Done? Interrogating the Values of Representation and Intersectionality

Rebecca Buxton ; University of Bristol
Lisa Whiting ; Independent scholar, London, UK

Full text: english pdf 319 Kb

page S6-28

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It is clear that philosophy has a “woman problem”. Despite the recent acceptance of this fact, it is less clear what ought to be done about it. In this paper, we argue that philosophy as a discipline is uniquely well-positioned to think through the marginalisation suffered by women and other minorities. We therefore interrogate two values that already undergird conversations about inclusion— representation and intersectionality—in order to think about the path ahead. We argue that, once we have done so, it becomes clear that the slow pace of improvement over the last few decades is unacceptable and more radical steps need to be taken. First, we outline the current state of women in philosophy focusing on three areas: levels of employment, publishing, and sexual harassment. Then we turn to representation and intersectionality respectively. We conclude by arguing that many women and people of colour have been arguing for a more radically diverse philosophy for many years. What we are facing is a lack of ambition on the one hand and problem of attention on the other.


representation; intersectionality; exclusion; employment; publishing; sexual harassment

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