Sex, Lies, and Bigotry: The Canon of Philosophy

What does it mean for our understanding of the history of philosophy that women philosophers have been left out and are now being retrieved? Find out in Chapter 1 of Springer Book Series Vol. III, "Sex, Lies, and Bigotry: The Canon of Philosophy" by Mary Ellen Waithe.

Thorgeirsdottir, Sigridur and Hagengruber, Ruth (2020): Methodological Reflections on Women’s Contribution and Influence in the History of Philosophy, Basel: Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


“[I]t is either ineptness or simple bigotry that led most historians of philosophy to
intentionally omit women’s contributions from their histories and that such failure
replicated itself in the university curricula of recent centuries and can be remedied
by suspending for the next two centuries the teaching of men’s contributions to
the discipline and teaching works by women only.”

– Mary Ellen Waithe


This book introduces methodological concepts aimed at including women in the canon of the history of philosophy. The history of women philosophers is as long and strong as the history of philosophy, and this holds true not only for the European tradition, as the research of women philosophers of the past shows. The phenomenon of ignoring and excluding women in 19th and 20th century views on the history of philosophy was a result of the patriarchal tradition that ostracized women in general. In this book, leading feminist philosophers discuss methodologies for including women thinkers in the canon and curricula of philosophy. How does the recovery of women thinkers and their philosophies change our view of the past, and how does a different view of the past affect us in the present? Studying a richer and more pluralistic history of philosophy presents us with worlds we have never entered and have never been able to approach. This book will appeal to philosophers and intellectual historians wanting to view the history of philosophy in a new light and who are in favor of an inclusive perspective on that history.

Discover more about the book series here.

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