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An Unconventional History of Western Philosophy: Conversations Between Men and Women Philosophers Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0742559240 ISBN-10: 0742559246

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 572 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (January 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742559246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742559240
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,214,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This ground-breaking work has the potential to have a profoundly positive impact on philosophy as a discipline. Contemporary philosophers are nearly always engaged in dialogues with the past, and this book will help them to engage with female as well asmale historical figures. It will enhance our appreciation of women?s capacity for rigorous philosophical thought, enlarge our understanding of the parameters of philosophy itself, and promote a new perspective on the discipline as a co-operative, gender-inclusive enterprise. For the first time, teachers and students of philosophy are being offered a truly accurate and balanced introduction to the history of their subject... (Jacqueline Broad)

Karen Warren's anthology provides a unique opportunity to integrate women philosophers into the history of philosophy by setting individual women philosophers into conversation with the men who have previously constituted philosophy's history. The numerous supporting materials will make this collection especially useful, most notably the first rate commentaries that have been commissioned for this volume. (Margaret Atherton)

Finally all the makings of a student-friendly, fully gender-inclusive history of philosophy course—primary and secondary literature by men and women philosophers from the Greeks to the twentieth century—and all rolled into one attractive book. It's a pity we had to wait centuries for this book. Still, it was worth the wait. (Janet Kourany)

For those of us who were trained to teach the philosophical canon, this extraordinary anthology is both unsettling and liberating. It is unsettling because it provides the clearest possible challenge to the view that we can offer our students the best account of our discipline simply by adding a female voice to the traditional list of important male philosophers. It is liberating because, having decided that we need to teach our courses differently, this anthology makes truly inclusive teaching practical. In addition to pairing selections from female and male philosophers, the volume includes compelling introductory comments by Professor Warren, and a dream team of some of the most distinguished feminist commentators. A revolutionary book. (Deane Curtin, Ph.D.)

An Unconventional History of Western Philosophy is an extraordinary resource. This landmark study of the development of Western thought is an exceptionally thoughtful, well-organized, informative, and above all important book, which accomplishes what needed to be done decades ago, namely, to document the significant role played by women thinkers throughout the history of Western philosophy. Highly recommended for everyone interested in a deeper understanding of why we think the way we do. (Zimmerman, Michael E.)

This ground-breaking work has the potential to have a profoundly positive impact on philosophy as a discipline. Contemporary philosophers are nearly always engaged in dialogues with the past, and this book will help them to engage with female as well as male historical figures. It will enhance our appreciation of women’s capacity for rigorous philosophical thought, enlarge our understanding of the parameters of philosophy itself, and promote a new perspective on the discipline as a co-operative, gender-inclusive enterprise. For the first time, teachers and students of philosophy are being offered a truly accurate and balanced introduction to the history of their subject. (Jacqueline Broad)

What a liberating way to think about the history of Western philosophy! The hitherto barely audible voices of women are here brought into robust dialogue with their great male contemporaries. This book will be enlightening and provocative for teachers as well as for students. (Matthews, Gareth B.)

A finely crafted and long awaited addition to courses in philosophy that successfully resolves the 'woman question' in the history of philosophy. Warren has skillfully fashioned a series of dialogues—between women and men philosophers as well as contemporary and past philosophers—that provides an excellent foundation for students to better understand the nature of philosophy and give them the skills they need to fully engage philosophical texts, while at the same time coming to appreciate the significance of the contributions of women to philosophy. (Tuana, Nancy)

Perhaps the most important development in Western philosophy during the past fifty years has been the reconception of philosophy arising from the feminist critique. Critical reconsiderations of the field have extended well beyond gender to include race, class, sexual orientation, violence, environmentalism, and more, focused on interconnections among longstanding presumptions. Unfortunately, academic philosophy has been slow to mainstream lost, ignored, and marginalized philosophic sources. Karen Warren's Unconventional History makes an important corrective step, providing students and scholars with revisionary dialogues to replace the more typical historical monologue. Professor Warren has carefully paired men and women philosophers to reveal the subtleties and complexities of multiple perspectives on traditional philosophic issues. Warren's work fills a void long overdue for filling. (Duane L. Cady, Ph.D.)

An Unconventional History is so thorough and substantial in style and content that it could be the backbone for major programs in philosophy and women's studies. Highly recommended. (Choice)

This collection is an important corrective to conventional presentations of Western philosophy that write women out of its history. Juxtaposing prominent thinkers, male and female, throughout major periods of the development of the discipline, students will be provided a more complete picture of the history of philosophy. (Ellen K. Feder)

About the Author

Karen J. Warren is professor of philosophy at Macalester College. She is a pioneer in ecofeminist philosophy and is the author of Ecofeminist Philosophy: A Western Perspective on What It is and Why It Matters.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Craig Chalquist, PhD, author of TERRAPSYCHOLOGY and DEEP CALIFORNIA on January 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Professor Karen J. Warren brings together and sets into conversation fifteen pairs of Western philosophers, including Augustine and Hildegard, Abelard and Heloise, Descartes and Princess Elisabeth, Hobbes and Macaulay, Leibniz and Conway, Rousseau and Wollstonecraft, and Sartre and Beauvoir. Excerpts from key texts by these philosophers allow the reader to compare insights between women and men who philosophize. Reading this book made me more aware of how thoroughly we must revise the Western canon; I look on my shelves at the Sixty Great Books collection and feel amazed at how few women show up there.

In some cases--Dewey and Addams for example--men and women enriched each other's thought. In others, the women supply exactly what's missing from a man's philosophy. Reading the questions posed by Princess Elisabeth to Descartes, questions he was unable to answer, stirs amazement that she anticipated so many criticisms we now take for granted. Today many of us see Descartes' thought as dualistic, disembodied, and disconnected from the world, but she saw it first, and told him so.

Indispensable collection for the serious philosopher.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mark S. Carlson on July 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
The book juxtaposed better known male philosophers, with often less well known women thinkers. I found the women often showed more emotional groundedness in their philosophical stances. The men sometimes came off as ivory tower types who didn't live their own perspective in the nitty gritty of their own lives. But this is no mere "feminist reconstruction" of the past. I found the editor and the writers of individual chapters to be honest and fair in what they wrote. This is exactly what I was looking for to help flesh out the early lectures in a History of Psychology course I was teaching. Very interesting.
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