2009 Abstracts Stage 2

The Silent Woman. A Philosophical Study into the Relative Equality Between Men and Women from the 18th Century to the Present Day

Flora Sharpe, 2009, Stage 2

The traditional application of philosophy is intrinsically tied to a set of values, methods and self definitions which excluded women. Because philosophical works attributed to women have been devalued and therefore not included in recognized works, the traditional history of philosophy is a history of men’s ideas. Womanless history, however, is a distortion of the past which serves to justify the status quo, women philosophers are challenging mainstream philosophy to cease evaluating itself according to the standards set by men.

The aim of my investigation is to determine whether Feminism would ever have been necessary if the philosophical works of women were given any credit. I intend to look into the social theories of Rousseau, Locke and Hume. These thinkers preached the idea of equality, yet is there any correlation in the fact when writing of the collective they term it ‘man’? I intend to study the role of women and how if any Feminism has altered this view.

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