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Are there no women in the history of philosophy?

Believe, Inspire

Project Vox is a website that seeks to reclaim the philosophical work of women.

Do only men philosophize? This could sound like a silly question, but if we quickly review the names of philosophers, from Aristotle to Slavoj Žižek, it would appear to be an exercise that is exclusive to the masculine gender. It may be a foolish question, but perhaps not as foolish as assuming that women do not philosophize.

To remedy this immense deficit in the history of philosophy, Duke University in North Carolina recently launched a website dedicated to women who excelled in said discipline. The fitting name of the project is Project Vox, the intention of which is to “recover the lost voices of women who have been ignored in standard narratives of the history of modern philosophy.”

Until now, the project team has highlighted the philosophical work of four women: Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, Émilie Du Châtelet and Damaris Masham, the four of them authors of notable works in which, in addition to discussing the ideas of their contemporaries such as Descartes, Spinoza or John Locke, they created their own arguments on themes such as religion, the nature of the world, and understanding, among others.

The task of Project Vox is not simple, but without a doubt their efforts contribute to restoring the dialog that has historically relegated the work of women in almost all areas.


Image: Elémens de la philosophie de Newton (1738), Voltaire’s interpretation of Isaac Newton’s Frontispicio.

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