WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH – Maria Gaetana Agnesi

A history in half.

We need the legacy of women philosophers.


“And they may be fully persuaded, that what one lady is able to write, other ladies are able to imitate, or, at least, to read and unterstand. With not much more pains and industry than what they must be at, to be expert at Whist or Quadrille, they may become mistresses of this science ; which they will find to be much more innocent, more diverting and agreeable, and to have infinitely more amusing variety than those, or any other games whatever.”

Agnesi, M. G. (1801). Analytical Institutions in Four Books: Originally Written in Italian (Vol. 1). Taylor and Wilks.




Maria Gaetana Agnesi rose to fame in her lifetime as a child prodigy in her native Milan. Later she became known mostly for her 1748 Instituzioni Analitiche, a calculus textbook, that caught the attention of mathematicians throughout Europe, including Leonhard Euler. This work earned her an honorary place in the Academy of Sciences of Bologna.


Interest aroused? More information about Agnesi and many other female philosophers and scientists can be found in our Directory. It gives an overview of women philosophers and scientists from approx. 2300 BCE to the 21st century. Currently, there are more than 280 names of women philosophers listed and the entries will be periodically updated with biographical information and sources for further research.

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