Volume 19, No. 1, 2023 Special issue on Women in Philosophy: Past, Present and Future



  • Ontological Pluralism and Ontological Category
    Ataollah Hashemi and Davood Hosseini

    Article 1 | Pages: (A1)-16 | Abstract | DOI: 10.31820/ejap.19.1.8

    Ontological pluralism is the view that there are different ways of being. Historically, ways of being are aligned with the ontological categories. This paper is about to investigate why there is such a connection, and how it should be understood. Ontological pluralism suffers from an objection, according to which ontological pluralism collapses to ontological monism, i.e., there is only one way to be. Admitting to ontological categories can save ontological pluralism from this objection if ways of being ground ontological categories.


  • Introduction
    Elly Vintiadis (guest editor)


    This article is an introduction to the special issue on Women in Philosophy: Past, Present and Future. Over the past decade, there has been increased attention given to the underrepresentation of women in academic philosophy, as well as the lack of diversity in philosophy more broadly. While there has been some progress in the demographics of philosophy, as evidenced by recent surveys and empirical studies, women are still significantly outnumbered by men and disparities persist. This special issue aims to address the ongoing problem of inclusion in philosophy by exploring the contribution of women in the field. The contributors have been given freedom to write on topics they consider important, with the hope of stimulating further discussion and generating new ideas for addressing this issue.
  • Vowing Moral Integrity: Adrian Piper’s Probable Trust Registry
    Anita L. Allen 

    Article 2 | Pages: (SI2)-28 | Abstract | DOI: 10.31820/ejap.19.1.1

    The artist and analytic Kant scholar Adrian Piper has been aptly described as “one of the most important and influential cultural figures of our time. The award-winning work of installation and participatory performance art, Probable Trust Registry: Rules of the Game #1-3, implicitly poses philosophical questions of interest to contractarian philosophy and its critique, including whether through an art installation one can execute a genuine, morally binding commitment to be honest, authentic, and respectful of oneself. Especially for audiences who closely identify with her experiences, Piper’s artwork, like that of other important artists, has powerfully catalytic ethical potential. Motivated by admiration for the artist and a perceived conflictual relationship between women of color and conventional discourses of moral solidarity, I offer three different ways to understand Piper’s Probable Trust Registry. I suggest that Piper’s thought-provoking artwork, which implicitly nods at John Rawls and Charles Mills, can be interpreted as asking its audiences to agree to selections from a menu of rules that, in the alternative, embrace universal moral imperatives, predict future moral integrity, or vow moral integrity.
  • Women Philosophers in Communist Socialism: The Case of Croatian Women Philosophers in Years 1945–1989
    Luka Boršić and Ivana Skuhala Karasman 

    Article 3 | Pages: (SI3)-22 | Abstract | DOI: 10.31820/ejap.19.1.2

    The text presents an analysis of the situation with women philosophers in Croatia during the communist socialist period (1945 – 1989). The analysis is concentrated on two aspects: receiving doctorate degrees in philosophy and publications. Our analysis shows that during that period, women philosophers were proportionally approximately on the level of today’s women philosophers in western countries, including present-day Republic of Croatia by both criteria, i.e. the number of doctors of philosophy and the number of publications. Communist socialism was beneficial for women philosophers in two ways. First, administratively, it removed obstacles from women’s employment at universities and scientific institutes. Second, communism and socialism, being themselves philosophical and socio-philosophical doctrines, offered a set of new topics, investigations, and elaborations for further development. These factors made it possible that in Croatia, which at the time was economically and educationally much less developed than most of today’s western countries, proportionally the same number of women philosophers had an academic post as today in the western world (including today’s Croatia). We also analysed seven major philosophical journals published at the time and found that between 1945 and 1989, in percentage, 15,4% of the texts were authored by women. The proportion of women authorship is 0,2. This is an impressive number if we think that at that time the proportion of women authorships was higher than in today’s JSTOR, bearing in mind the differences in publication procedures then and now.
  • Where are The Women: The Ethnic Representation of Women Authors in Philosophy Journals by Regional Affiliation and Specialization
    Sherri Lynn Conklin, Michael Nekrasov, and Jevin West 

    Article 4 | Pages: (SI4)-46 | Abstract | DOI: 10.31820/ejap.19.1.3

    Using bibliographic metadata from 177 Philosophy Journals between 1950 and 2020, this article presents new data on the under- representation of women authors in philosophy journals across decades and across four different compounding factors. First, we examine how philosophy fits in comparison to other academic disciplines. Second, we consider how the regional academic context in which Philosophy Journals operate impacts on author gender proportions. Third, we consider how the regional specialization of a journal impacts on author gender proportions. Fourth, and perhaps most interestingly, we consider the impact of author hereditary origin, a proxy for author ethnicity, on gender representation, and we examine the breakdown of author hereditary origin across Philosophy Journals between 1950 and 2020. To our knowledge, this is the first work to offer an estimate for author ethnicity and gender in philosophy publications using a large-scale data set. We find that women authors are underrepresented in Philosophy Journals across time, across disciplines, across the globe, and regardless of ethnicity.
  • Multidimensionalism, Resistance, and The Demographic Problem
    Ian James Kidd 

    Article 5 | Pages: (SI5)-30 | Abstract | DOI: 10.31820/ejap.19.1.4

    Linda Martín Alcoff and others have emphasised that the discipline of philosophy suffers from a ‘demographic problem’. The persistence of this problem is partly the consequence of various forms of resistance to efforts to address the demographic problem. Such resistance is complex and takes many forms and could be responded to in different ways. In this paper, I argue that our attempts to explain and understand the phenomenon of resistance should use a kind of explanatory pluralism that, following Quassim Cassam, I call multidimensionalism. I describe four general kinds of resistance and consider varying explanations, focusing on those focused on vices and social structures. I argue that vice-explanations and structural- explanations are both mutually consistent and mutually entailing. If so, there is no need to choose between vice explanations and structural explanations or any other kinds of explanation. We can and should be multidimensionalists: using many together is better.
  • Women in Philosophy: What is to be Done? Interrogating The Values of Representation and Intersectionality
    Rebecca Buxton and Lisa Whiting

    Article 6 | Pages: (SI6)-28 | Abstract | DOI: 10.31820/ejap.1).1.6

    It is clear that philosophy has a “woman problem”. Despite the recent acceptance of this fact, it is less clear what ought to be done about it. In this paper, we argue that philosophy as a discipline is uniquely well-positioned to think through the marginalisation suffered by women and other minorities. We therefore interrogate two values that already undergird conversations about inclusion— representation and intersectionality—in order to think about the path ahead. We argue that, once we have done so, it becomes clear that the slow pace of improvement over the last few decades is unacceptable and more radical steps need to be taken. First, we outline the current state of women in philosophy focusing on three areas: levels of employment, publishing, and sexual harassment. Then we turn to representation and intersectionality respectively. We conclude by arguing that many women and people of colour have been arguing for a more radically diverse philosophy for many years. What we are facing is a lack of ambition on the one hand and problem of attention on the other.
  • Being-from-Birth: Pregnancy and Philosophy
    Suki Finn 

    Article 7 | Pages: (SI7)-32 | Abstract | DOI: 10.31820/ejap.19.1.7

    Women are underrepresented in philosophy. And pregnancy is under-researched in philosophy. Can a connection be made between the two? I will argue that whilst the counterfactual of ‘had women historically been better represented in philosophy then pregnancy would have been too’ may be true, it is not necessarily the case that we can now, in the present day, expect (or desire) a correlation. In order to understand the gap between these two areas of underrepresentation, one need only adopt a non- essentialist understanding of women so as to recognise that not all women experience pregnancy or are interested in pregnancy (philosophically or otherwise). Nevertheless, given the historical silence(ing) of women in philosophy on the topic of pregnancy, it is important now to redress that imbalance by tackling both issues of underrepresentation simultaneously. To demonstrate further I refer to the difference between representational diversity and substantive diversity (which is related to the more commonly known distinction between descriptive representation and substantive representation). This will be the topic of the first section of the paper. Then, in the second and third sections of the paper I will explore the underrepresentation and misrepresentation of women in philosophy, regarding not only the lack of women numerically speaking but also how women, as a general ‘kind’, are (misogynistically) described in philosophy historically. I will then apply the same treatment to pregnancy in the fourth and fifth sections of the paper, exploring both its underrepresentation as a topic of philosophical endeavour and misrepresentation within society at large. The analysis contains a review of the literature, and cites statistical quantitative data and qualitative grounded interviews, to provide evidence for my claims. I will end by hypothesising about the relationship between these under- and mis- representations, and will provide musings on the future for women and pregnancy in philosophy.
  • Is Consciousness Gendered?
    Sophie-Grace Chappell 

    Article 8 | Pages: (SI8)-13 | Abstract | DOI: 10.31820/ejap.19.1.8

    We can ask whether there anything it is distinctively like to be female or male (a question about sex). And we can ask whether there anything it is distinctively like to be feminine or masculine (a question about gender). I think the answer to both these questions is “Obviously yes”. Why yes? And why obviously? Consciousness is gendered, and obviously gendered, because the political realities of what it is like to be masculine, and what it is like to be feminine, are distinctively different. Moreover, consciousness is sexed too, and obviously sexed, because the physical realities of what it is like to be male, and what it is like to be female, are distinctively different. And that is why the answer to our two questions is not just “Yes”, but “Obviously yes”.