Philosophy inclusion. It doesn’t necessarily have to be

Philosophy is this great subject that has been around since
the beginning of time. Though not acknowledged as ‘philosophy’ at the time,
people questioned things and that is philosophy, asking questions. It is the
study of knowledge and never-ending questions that once answered is no longer
philosophy but a science. Whenever one thinks of philosophy the first name that
pops up is Socrates or Aristotle, but rarely do you ever hear of a woman figure
in the world of philosophy. The history of women in philosophy and current
attitudes society has for women in this field and ultimately their goals, are
topics I will be discussing. (FIX INTRO & THESIS)

 

Philosophy is a mostly male dominated field, making it very difficult
for women who want to pursue this as a career to stand out. Dating back to my high
school days whenever philosophy was brought up the teacher would only discuss
male philosophers such as Aristotle and not once was a woman mentioned. To be
completely honest at the time I did not see what was wrong with that but this
course made me realize that women have been ignored or belittled in this field
for the mere fact that they are woman. It wasn’t until the 80s that interest in
woman philosophers intensified due to a publication of History of Women
Philosophers, edited by Mary Ellen Waithe. That itself speaks volumes, male
philosophers were recognized centuries ago but it wasn’t until the late 80s
that woman started being recognized as philosophers.

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Waithe states in the book that it is a “reclamation that
seeks to enfranchise women who have been wrongly excluded” (Tyson Sarah). What does
she mean by that, well essentially reclamation efforts argue that women should
be included in the history of philosophy because they already meet established
criteria for inclusion. It doesn’t necessarily have to be feminist philosophy
because the philosophical topics and theories of the women philosophers are
every bit as diverse and interesting as are those which characterize ‘traditional’
male philosophers. (Tyson Sarah). It is somehow assumed that if you’re a woman
then you must only discuss topics such as feminism, but there are so many other
topics woman want to discuss but get blind sighted because of their gender.  Essentially women philosophers have been
around for as long as male philosophers have and yet the recognition is
lacking. It’s sad to think that society failed to recognize some amazing women’s
theories or arguments merely because they were women.

Has society changed over the last couple of decades in terms
of acknowledging more woman in the field of philosophy? Sadly, the answer is
still no. Women are still not being acknowledged or treated fairly for their
accomplishments, essentially that can be said about majority of career fields. There
is this stigma that women won’t bring much to the table in terms of discussions
based merely on the fact that they’re woman. The American Philosophical
Association has made vigorous efforts to increase the proportion of women in philosophy
and to root out all forms of bias and discrimination. It is a big step in today’s
society, considering a decade or so ago this would be unheard of. Especially since
back then women didn’t have much of a say in things, nowadays that is more or
less the case. Woman want to be heard, hence why the whole issue of feminism is
still a taboo, many male philosophers feel uneasy when claims such as the poor
treatment of women in philosophy is brought up. “Societies have often directed
women toward subordinating their interest to others and as a result women tend
to be particularly sensitive to care as an ethical value” (NY TIMES). “Feminists
personal and political rage against injustice could create an atmosphere
inimical to fruitful philosophical reflection. Looking at the significant
achievement of feminist philosophers, feminism promises to improve not only the
climate for women but also philosophical thinking itself (NY TIMES).

How exactly are women treated in this field dominated by
white men? Like most the answer is not very well. “A number of philosophers
attribute the underrepresentation of women in philosophy largely to bias
against women or some kind of wrongful discrimination” (Sesardic nerven). Majority
of the men realize that there is a wrongful discrimination towards woman and