Pick up a philosophy text book, and it’s likely that the vast majority of the thinkers between the covers will be guys. Even in 2019, you can still get through an entire philosophy degree, and be able to count the number of female philosophers you’ve studied on one hand. Google “Top 10” or even “Top 100” lists, and if you’re lucky, you might find a few women dotted in here and there. Peruse YouTube videos that highlight great thinkers, and there still won’t be a whole lot of women included. Yup, looking at philosophy through a historical lens, it appears that girls just didn’t do it much.
Well, this is Women’s History Month, and we are here to proclaim that if you take a closer look at who has done what over the past few millennia, you’ll find a surprising number of female thinkers have helped us get where we are.
Did you know that the one of the first astrolabes was created by Hypatia of Alexandria, who also happened to run the very famous Library of Alexandria, while she taught math, astronomy and logic? What about Hildegaard of Bingen, who wrote on musical theory and botanical medicine? There are human rights pioneers like Mary Wollstonecraft and Harriet Taylor Mill, and education advocates like Anna J. Cooper and Sor Juana. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and it hasn’t stopped.
In 2019, there are women and girls asking big questions around the world, and influencing politics, science, technology, and art. Modern female thinkers are taking a journey back through history books and creating books, videos,websites and other media to bring often overlooked women in philosophy back into the light, while blazing new trails in thought.
We’d like to give a high-five to all the little girls out there who take on big questions. We’d also like to thank the parents, teachers, and community members who nurture this natural curiosity. All of you are the reason why we made the narrator in the ThinkAboutIt series an intrepid girl with a passion for critical thinking. You’re the reason we’ve included famous female thinkers from throughout history and around the world in our books. It’s always been our mission to bring as many thinkers as possible into the discussion as possible, and we’ve been thrilled and honoured to meet and talk with them at book fairs, conferences and workshops.
Here’s to the young female thinkers who will continue to make history!