Professional philosophy news

Men dominate history and philosophy

In the Chronicle. H/T: Feminist Philosophers.

Last year in philosophy, women made up 21 percent of faculty members and just under 17 percent of full professors, according to the American Philosophical Association.

“Philosophy, in the English-speaking world, has migrated closer to the sciences, and places a high premium on technical skills, logic, and dividing problems into lots of small pieces,” [Brian] Leiter says.

And while many science and mathematics disciplines have been working to attract women, “philosophy hasn’t been particularly self-conscious in developing measures to counteract the problem,” he says.

Sally Haslanger, a professor of philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says the factors that may hold women back include “implicit associations linking philosophy with masculinity, both in the minds of instructors and students,” not enough good mentoring, and “cold and alienating environments” in many philosophy departments.


2 responses to “Men dominate history and philosophy

  1. Anonymous October 29, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    So Leiter thinks the reason women aren’t well-represented in philosophy is that it’s too technical for them? That illustrates Haslanger’s point nicely.

    • Jimmy Macintosh October 30, 2012 at 4:24 am

      I’m not sure you can make that judgement from the information you are given. I can read the main article and still interpret him as being supportive of the idea that we should stop thinking of ‘technical skills, logic; in ‘masculine’ terms as Haslanger puts it.


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