Are gender roles and differences fixed, once and for, all by biology? Or is gender socially constructed and culturally variable?
Women in Philosophy
15 September 2017
What explains the fact that women makeup only 25% of British philosophy departments? Note that the numbers aren’t so different for American universities. MIT philosopher Sally Haslanger reports that even "As recently as 2010, philosophy had a lower percentage of women doctorates than math, chemistry and economics."
In a debate on the topic, philosopher Mary Warnock says we should not think the reason for this gender disparity is that women dislike philosophy because of "its supposedly adversarial style, its devotion to winning an argument rather than seeking truth or consensus.” Nor does she think the inbalance shows conscious bias toward women in the field.
Responding to Warnock, philosopher Julian Baggini argues that while there may not be a conscious bias, unconscious bias may be responsible for the discrepancy. Philosophers have an "inflated sense" of their own reasoning abilities, and assume they are immune from gender bias because, “Logic is gender-neutral, philosophy is logical, ergo philosophy is gender-neutral.”
Why do you think there are so few women in philosphy? Do you agree with Warnock's or Baggini’s explanations for gender imbalance in philosophy departments?
Read The Guardian debate between the two here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/25/philosphy-women-warnock-baggini-debate.