The Stolen History—Retrieving the History of Women Philosophers and its Methodical Implications

Part of the Women in the History of Philosophy and Sciences book series (WHPS, volume 3)


Women who are deprived of their histories can be compared to people who have lost their memories. They are unable to build a personal identity. This analogy may be the leading paradigm for my paper, which is primarily dedicated to epistemological questions. Throughout the last 40 years, many scholars have dedicated their endeavors to conserving the writings of women philosophers. Now we have access to valuable sources that show that the history of women philosophers stretches back as far as the history of philosophy itself. Using the history of women philosophers as a methodical approach to philosophy is a unique and indispensable means to widen and to change philosophical insights. Re-reading the history of philosophy and including the ideas of women philosophers, however, does not only add some more narratives but challenges the methodology of philosophy. The history of philosophy that we are traditionally educated in the western world is simply not true to the facts. Thus, I demand a rewriting of the history of philosophy that takes into account the ideas that are incorporated in the writings of women philosophers and that have been denied by the narratives and fabric of sexualized and patriarchally influenced thought.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for the History of Women Philosophers and ScientistsPaderborn UniversityPaderbornGermany

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