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Geoff Holtzman on the Causes and Effects of Gender Discrimination in Philosophy @ Brooklyn Public Philosophers

Feb 23, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


At long last, Brooklyn Public Philosophers is back for 2015! Coming up on 2/23 at 7:00 P.M., Geoff Holtzman (NYU Polytechnic Institute) will share his work on why philosophy is so male-dominated, and why it’s important that that changes. Here’s a bit more about the talk, in Geoff’s own words:

Rejecting Beliefs, or Rejecting Believers?
The Troublesome Causes and Effects of Excluding Women in the Philosophy Classroom

Why do so few women major in philosophy, and why are there so few female philosophy professors? Some authors have suggested that the dearth of women in philosophy can be attributed to gender differences in philosophical belief. On this view, college-aged women persistently find their intuitions to be at odds with those of their male classmates and their mostly-male professors, and this leads women to feel out of place and to leave philosophy. I think this suggestion is both false and pernicious, and my first aim in this talk will be to debunk this suggestion with data I have been collecting for the past five years. While there may be gender differences in philosophical belief, the evidence of these differences does not explain the paucity of women in professional philosophy.

I will suggest that, in fact, the nature of philosophical debate enables pre-existing gender biases—similar to those that exist in other fields—to take foot in ways they cannot take foot in many other fields in which women have traditionally been underrepresented. This consideration will segue into the second part of the talk, which will concern the social nature of philosophy. Are philosophical claims only about the ways we see the world, or are they sometimes responses to the ways other people see the world and, as such, partly claims about the ways we see those other people?

As usual, we meet in the Info Commons Lab at the central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library (10 Grand Army Plaza). Events are all 100% free and open to the public, and aimed at a general audience.

See you there, I hope!


Feb 23, 2015
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Brooklyn Public Library, Info Commons Lab
10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11238 United States


Brooklyn Public Philosophers