To celebrate, here’s an old post of mine: Of beards and philosophy.
This week was supposed to be Ada Lovelace day, a day when bloggers all over the world blog about women scientists. And then, inexplicable, the day was moved to October. I hope to hell they don’t do that with Christmas. Or my birthday.
In the meantime, I’d written a heartfelt post about Madame du Chatelet, a woman who translated and commented on Newton in the Eighteenth century. In my research on the topic I came across this little ditty by Kant, a philosopher so well respected that you’ll find his name in at least three philosophy department courses in any university.
“A woman who has a head full of Greek, like Mme Dacier, or carries on fundamental controversies about mechanics, like the Marquise du Chatelet, might as well have a beard.”
Well, we know from the numerous texts written about him, that Kant wasn’t terribly experienced with women, so let’s try be gentle when we tell him.
She did have a beard. Just not on her face.
Marcy Lascano’s review of Clarke’s book came out today on Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
Read it here.
This call for papers may be of interest to some you. The first and the last point, particularly (about focusing on a narrow canon and about integrating women) present an opportunity for writing about including women authors in history of philosophy courses.
Contact Alberto Vanzo (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
The cfp is here, and below.
CFP – Teaching Early Modern Philosophy: New Approaches
Socrates had Diotima and Aspasia, The Academy had Axiothea and Lasthenia, the Cynics had Hipparchia, and the Hellenistic Pythagoreans had Perictione I and II, Miya, Theano, and a few more. But the Stoics are the ones who are known as proto-feminists, with hints in Zeno’s Republic and in texts by Musonius Rufus on the equality of the sexes as far as virtue, and the need to study philosophy is concerned.
So where are the Stoic women?
This is a question we may ask during Stoic week, an online project culminating in a one day workshop in London.
Desmond Clarke, one of the two editors of the Cambridge Series in the History of Philosophy, has published an exciting new book: The Equality of the Sexes: Three feminist texts of the seventeenth century. The book contains new translations of the ubiquitous Poulain de la Barre, Marie le Jars de Gournay and Anna Maria van Schurman. Amazon has a ‘look inside’ option, and you can read an extract here.
It might strike some of us as slightly paradoxical that the editor of a series of texts in the history of philosophy had to go to another publisher when he needed to present new texts! Unfortunately, Cambridge texts isn’t great on women philosophers: out of 121 texts, only two are by women (Conway and Cavendish).
In any case it’s fantastic that Oxford is publishing these translations – I for one look forward to reading the book.
This event : Writing Women’s Lives: Auto/Biography, Life Narratives, Myths and Historiography, seems like a very good opportunity to talk feminist history of philosophy!
The deadline for abstract submissions is 30 November.
The symposium will take place at Yeditepe, in Istanbul between 17 and 21 April.
Abstracts can be submitted online here, and there are several possible subject headings for writing about women philosophers.