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Sisters of the Brotherhood: Alienation and Inclusion in Learning Philosophy

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  • © 2023

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  • Combines pedagogical considerations to a critical feminist analysis of philosophy
  • Helps philosophers analyze their own teaching practices
  • Provides data on the underrepresentation of women in philosophy
  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

Part of the book series: SpringerBriefs in Philosophy (BRIEFSPHILOSOPH)

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About this book

This open access book explores the gendered reality of learning philosophy at the university level, investigating the ways in which women and minority students become alienated from the social practices of a male-dominated field, and examining pedagogical solutions to this problem. It covers the roles and the interactions of the professor and student in the following ways: (1) the historical situation, (2) the affective, social and bodily situation, and (3) the moral situation.

This text analyzes women’s passion for philosophy as a quest for truth, as well as their partial alienation from the social practices of philosophy. It demonstrates that recognition, generosity, and care are central ingredients of good learning and teaching experiences. Providing case studies of experimental courses in philosophy, the book discusses a variety of pedagogical approaches that might increase the inclusiveness of a philosophical education: novel and more gender-balanced ways of interpreting the history of philosophy, problem-based learning as a means of emancipating the student from the traditional master–disciple relationship, body awareness practices as a way of challenging the “disembodying” tendencies of philosophy, and a pluralism of methods to address the needs of different kinds of learners. Thanks to these features, the book is particularly useful for philosophy professors at the university level, but it also provides insights for all readers who feel puzzled about the persistent underrepresentation of women in philosophy.

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Table of contents (6 chapters)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

    Erika Ruonakoski

About the author

Dr. Erika Ruonakoski is Experienced Researcher at the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of Jyväskylä (Finland). She is Co-author of Human and Animal in Ancient Greece: Empathy and Encounter in Classical Literature (2017) and Author of numerous articles on Simone de Beauvoir’s philosophy. Her research interests include existential phenomenology, feminist philosophy, animal philosophy, phenomenology of the body, and the limits and possibilities of philosophy.

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