Feminists have been trying to find their place in different fields of life, and the article is about understanding the exclusion of women and their opinion from philosophy. The author has pointed out how female philosophy is not universal, and most of the philosophical thinking and courses taught are heavenly about male philosophers. The article by Gary is exciting and holds a very different insight into philosophy trends and what has been taught in schools. There might be different responses to Gary’s article, and some might think that philosophy and some other fields of study might not be gender oriented and have a neutral perspective as a human. For instance, the Kant philosophy of morality is not gendered specific but rather a whole approach about right and wrong. Another example is whether in pure science field there can be a feminist physicist or feminist biologist. However, I have recently read an article on feminist glaciology which is quite striking and might ultimately put across a point that there is a need for gender perspective on most fields of study. The history of philosophy indicate men heavenly dominated that field of philosophy, and classical philosophy ideas were disproportionately gender based. The pluralist philosophy has dominated the field of philosophy, but now the continental philosophy is moving beyond and merging with other areas such as communication and linguistics. Females already have been philosophers since the earlier times, but neither were they acknowledged, nor their work was studied or taught in academia. Some of the female philosophers faced the issues of language where their work was in their native language but never got translated into English. For example, María Zambrano was a Spanish philosopher and essayists. According to her work, philosophical problems were not merely technical but more of mysterious and symbolic. However, her work was not a part of a college course or the discussion on philosophy. The work of early female philosophers needs to have recognition.
The world of philosophy is changing, and more of feminist philosophy has extended on analytical philosophy. The article has shed light on how the feminist’s idea is mostly based on traditional roles of women in society. The example of care as ethical value but the feminism philosophy has developed with regards to men moral value (Gutting). For example, the women in the society have been grown up with the idea that care is inherent to women and they are responsible for caring the family. Whereas men are regarded as careless, autonomous and not emotional. That is why women are considerate when it comes to the ethical idea of care. In many traditional communities, women are solely responsible for taking care of their family. The new wave feminist philosophy is towards the idea that men are in a superior position in the philosophy and the society as well. The blog “what is it like to be a woman in philosophy” is managed by a group which is aiming to do something about the women in philosophy (“What Is It like to Be a Woman in Philosophy?”). The work of women in the philosophy and their daily situation has been narrated in the blog with different stories. For example, it shows the experience of being a single woman and how men treat her during the philosophy class. Also, linking everything to the extreme of feminism can be another aspect of women role in the society. Throughout life, women have been considered as subordinate no matter how good they are and how talented they are. For example, the way philosophy is placed regarding moral values and social rules requires a feminism aspect of philosophical thinking. If the primary purpose of philosophy is to describe the reality and study the basis of knowledge and existence, then I believe that ignoring the reality of women from several decades make the reality and philosophy itself incomplete. Another example is that philosophy is about social life and existence so excluding women from the field of philosophy or under-representation can indicate that philosophy is incomplete (Langton). In other words, with the inclusion of women and their opinion philosophy would become strong and grow beyond because of the difference in thought process and the way both genders (male and female) approach things, concepts and idea of reality. Concepts or fields of studies which have identity or inclusion issue cannot grow after an absolute limit but having a diverse approach to thinking can be beneficial.
There are specific points in the article where the author have been little skeptical. For example, the example he quoted from metaphysical view is mind/matter, essential/contingent, self/other are considered as dichotomous, but I think these relationships are not dichotomous and if they are then on what basis they are categorized to make one superior over the other. Also, the blog post from April 7th, 2017 stated the experience of women in a philosophy class where the first point is women are being sexualized. However, being sexualized has nothing to do with a philosophy class because women are being sexualized regardless of class and place. Also, the comment that you are underrepresented in the discussion is not relating to being in philosophy class because whether or not you are in philosophy class any minority group will be under-representative. However, it is important to understand women might be underrepresented in philosophy and their work might not be portrayed as much as the work of men but linking each event which happens in philosophy class does not represent why feminism is required in philosophy. Also, the article might be a good insight, but it is not explicitly developed throughout as the reader can be lost in the bulk of information provided which can be confusing to the reader who has not read the work of most of the philosopher.
In conclusion, feminism and women are necessary for philosophy and their approach to understand the existence can be beneficial. Women are often under-represented in the field of philosophy and departments of philosophy so to change the trend it is crucial that work of women philosopher from the past and present is being taught and celebrated in the classrooms. Philosophy is about society, self and others so in general women are discriminated and subordinated in the community. However, it is also essential to understand that some aspects of philosophy can be gender neutral and not everything that happens in the philosophy class can be the result of underrepresentation of women in philosophy. The article by Gary can be used as good insight, but there is lack of coherence and solid argument because till the end the reader is confused whether the author is discussing women in philosophy or women, philosophy, and academia.
Gutting, Gary. “Feminism and the Future of Philosophy.” The New York Times, 18 Sept. 2017. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/18/opinion/feminist-philosophy-future.html.
Langton, Rae. “Feminism in Philosophy.” The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy, Oxford University Press on Demand, 2005, p. 231.
“What Is It like to Be a Woman in Philosophy?” What Is It like to Be a Woman in Philosophy?, https://beingawomaninphilosophy.wordpress.com/. Accessed 17 Feb. 2018.