Feminism in/and Philosophy

A SWIP UK Conference

Venue: All Souls College, Oxford, 27th-29th March 2014

Invited speakers: Michèle le Doeuff, Rae Langton and Jennifer Saul.


“[W]hen you are a woman and a philosopher,” writes Michèle Le Doeuff in Hipparchia’s choice, “it is useful to be a feminist in order to understand what is happening to you”. Like many productive relationships, the relationship between feminism and philosophy has never been easy. Feminists and philosophers alike have claimed that between the two there can be no real dialogue. Radical feminists argue that the history of philosophy is the history of a patriarchal institution, the values of truth and reason no more than tools of subordination. Many philosophers meanwhile dismiss the very idea of ‘feminist philosophy’ as a category error: a conflation of a political project with an epistemic one.

And yet, we now have a rich tradition of feminist philosophy: a tradition that embraces orthodox philosophical values while drawing on the concerns and interests and methods of feminism. But just what is feminist philosophy, and how is it possible? What is it to be a feminist philosopher, beyond being both a philosopher and a feminist? What is it do philosophy as a feminist? And what is to practice feminism through philosophy? How are we to reconcile the demands of theory and practice, the goals of truth and emancipation, the perspectives of the universal and the particular?

This set of questions will be the starting point for the SWIP UK Feminism in/and Philosophy conference. For more information see the conference webpage.

SWIP UK expresses grateful thanks to the organisers of the 2014 conference: Pamela Anderson, Paul Lodge, Amia Srinivasan and the staff of All Soul's College, Oxford.


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