Presenting Women Philosophers

Edited by Cecile T. Tougas and Sara Ebenreck
Book Cover

PB: $37.95
EAN: 978-1-56639-761-2
Publication: May 00

HC: $87.50
EAN: 978-1-56639-760-5
Publication: May 00

280 pages
7 x 10

Women's unique outlook on life reveals itself in philosophical thought throughout the ages


Western philosophy has long excluded the work of women thinkers from their canon. Presenting Women Philosophers addresses this exclusion by examining the breadth of women's contributions to Western thought over some 900 years. Editors Cecile T. Tougas and Sara Ebenreck have gathered essays and other writings that reflect women's deep engagement with the meaning of individual experience as well as the continuity of their philosophical concerns and practices. Arranged thematically, the collection ranges across eras and literary genres as it emphasizes the intellectual significance of written work by key figures—for example, Hildegard of Bingen's visionary writings, Iris Murdoch's fiction, Hannah Arendt's historical narratives, and the oral storytelling in black women's literary tradition. The collection also brings to light the philosophical importance of little-known work by such writers as Mme de Sablé and Mme de Condorcet. This wide-ranging collection offers non-philosophers an introduction to women's thought but also promises to engage advanced students of philosophy with new research on unrecognized contributions.

Table of Contents

Series Foreword – Elizabeth K. Minnich
Introduction – Sara Ebenreck and Cecile T. Tougas

Part I. The Loss and the Recovery of Women's Voices
Introduction – Sara Ebenreck
1. Why Have There Been So Few Women Philosophers? – Gerda Lerner
2. Introduction to A Voice from the South – Mary Helen Washington

Part II. Naming Reality-Differently
Introduction – Sara Ebenreck
3. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179): A New Medieval Philosopher? – Helen J. John, S.N.D.
4. Ednah Dow Cheney's (1824-1904) American Aesthetics – Therese B. Dykeman
5. Jane Addams's (1860-1935) Feminist Ethics – Marilyn Fischer
6. Moral Wisdom in the Black Women's Literary Tradition – Katie Geneva Cannon
7. Susanne K. Langer's (1895-1985) Conception of "Symbol": Making Connections Through Ambiguity – Beatrice K. Nelson
8. Hannah Arendt (1906-1975): On the Relation of Thinking and Morality – Elizabeth K. Minnich
9. Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) and Susan Griffin (1943- ): Storytelling-Toward a Feminist Metahistory – Shari Stone-Mediatore
10. Finding New Roots as a Woman Philosopher – Sara Ebenreck

Part III. Philosophical Friendships
Introduction – Cecile T. Tougas
11. Heloise (1101-1164) and Abelard – Mary Ellen Waithe
12. Elisabeth, Princess Palatine (1618-1680): Letters to René Descartes – Andrea Nye
13. Gloria Anzaldúa's (1942- ) Borderlands / la Frontera and René Descartes's Discourse on Method: Moving Beyond the Canon in Discussion of Philosophical Ideas – Lisa A. Bergin
14. Mary Astell (1666-1731): A Pre-Humean Christian Empiricist and Feminist – Jane Duran
15. Harriet Taylor Mill's (1807-1858) Collaboration with John Stuart Mill – Jo-Ellen Jacobs
16. Poems from Fifty Forms for Fifty Philosophies – Veda A. Cobb-Stevens
17. Philosophical Friendship, 1996: A Postscript – Cecile T. Tougas

Part IV. Love, Feeling, and Community
Introduction – Cecile T. Tougas
18. Christine de Pizan (1364-1430) and Jehanne d'Arc: "Above All the Heroes Past" – Tracy Adams
19. Madame de Sablé's (1599-1678) Moral Philosophy: A Jansenist Salon – John J. Conley
20. A Woman-Centered Philosophy: An Alternative to Enlightenment Thought (1700-1750) – Ann Willeford
21. Madame de Condorcet's (1764-1822) Letters on Sympathy – Karin Brown
22. Iris Murdoch's (1919-1999) Concept of Love and The Bell – Patricia J. O'Connor
23. Why I Have Worked on This Book for Several Years – Cecile T. Tougas


About the Author(s)

Cecile T. Tougas, formerly an Assistant Professor of Philosophy, is a teacher of Latin and Algebra at Ben Franklin Academy in Atlanta.

Sara Ebenreck is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

In the Series

  • The New Academy edited by Elizabeth Kamarck Minnich

    The accelerated growth of interdisciplinary programs is just one indicator of the radical changes that have occurred within the academy during the past thirty years. Women's studies, peace studies, disability studies, environmental studies, queer studies, postcolonial studies, gender studies, ethnic studies (together and separately), cultural studies, and many more, have become established sites of inquiry. Much is owed to past generations of writers and thinkers whose voices were silenced, only now to be welcomed by academia. Considering this shifting of borders and expansion of domains, books in The New Academy, a series edited by Elizabeth Kamarck Minnich, explore conceptual tools developed by recent scholarship to extend, reconfigure, and comment upon intersections and divisions among established and emerging fields of academic study. Moving beyond rhetoric and jargon, the series engages the growing readership for critical and creative, inclusive and reconciling scholarship.