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Area: History of Philosophy

| O'Neill |


O’Neill,# E. (1998). Disappearing Ink: Early Modern Women Philosophers and Their Fate in History. In Philosophy in a Feminist Voice: Critiques and Reconstructions; J. A. Kournay (ed) Princeton: Princeton University Press

Kw: Women Philosophers

It has now been more than a dozen years since the Eastern Division of the APA invited me to give an address on what was then a rather innovative topic: the published contributions of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century women to philosophy. In that address, I highlighted the work of some sixty early modern women. I then said to the audience, "Why have I presented this somewhat interesting, but nonetheless exhausting . . . overview of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century women philosophers? Quite simply, to overwhelm you with the presence of women in early modern philosophy. It is only in this way that the problem of women's virtually complete absence in contemporary histories of philosophy becomes pressing, mind-boggling, possibly scandalous." My presentation had attempted to indicate the quantity and scope of women's published philosophical writing. It had also suggested that an acknowledgment of their contributions was evidenced by the representation of their work in the scholarly journals of the period and by the numerous editions and translations of their texts that continued to appear into the nineteenth century. But what about the status of these women in the histories of philosophy? Had they ever been well represented within the histories written before... (First Paragraph)