One Hundred Philosophers

517R2V6FEZLWords by Frank Think

The book ‘One hundred Philosophers, A guide to the World’s Greatest Thinkers’, by Peter King only recognises one woman philosopher in human history. King puts this down to the difference between cultures and the process of historical recording, neither of which is straightforward. Even in more enlightened Ancient Greek societies, feminist literature is often seen as a foundation for the works of male philosophers. One of the earliest recorded female philosophers, Perictione, the mother of Plato, possibly wrote two philosophical treaties, ‘On the Harmony of Women,’ which is concerned with duties of women to husbands, family and parents, and ‘On wisdom.’ However, King has only chosen to include Hypatia (c. 370 c.e, – 415 c.e) in his philosophers list. Hypatia, presents the idea that this world is an imperfect copy of what is real and as humans, we seek to know and understand what is real. For many, Hypatia is a beacon of the light of learning in a world often filled with the darkness of ignorance and superstition? King writes that she is recognised for her ability to overcome the social and cultural barriers to attain intellectual success.

One can only wonder if future generations will recognise women philosophers equally as men have been recognised or will men continue to dominate books on philosophy?

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