Issue N° 1: Squaring the circle

Women Philosophers’ Journal - Current Issue: Squaring the circle

© UNESCO/Sophie Legrain - Flickr / Gwen’s River City Images

November 2011

For its first Issue, the Journal is taking the bull by the horns: it questions its very conditions of possibility. What happens – philosophically and politically speaking – when one attempts to craft a Women Philosophers’ Journal? Apparently nothing that challenging: the subject matter is philosophy and the authors are women from all over the world. It is very simple indeed, and yet so complex that the theme of this first Issue should be ‘Squaring the circle’.

For the International Network of Women Philosophers lays on the presumption that the universal needs to be complicated, questioned and worked upon, its Journal should be able to offer truly inclusive platform to all women philosophers in the world as well as to allow differentiated questionings. Here a number of aporias arose as the Journal was being crafted:

  • This is a philosophy journal, but not a philosophy journal in the usual sense of the term. It is not only philosophers who write for it – but then who else? Philosophy is not the only subject matter – but then what else? Contributions are not judged only according to academic criteria – but then what are the other criteria?
  • It is a journal produced by women, but it is not a gender journal; its purpose is not to analyze the relations between the sexes (gender). It is a journal produced by women, but not only women write for it; men are also invited to contribute.
  • It is a global journal, but given that philosophy is a cultural and historical product of the ‘masculine Occident’ (‘phallocentrism’, Derrida called it), what is the relevance of an international journal of philosophy? Is there not a certain ‘racism’ in deciding to undertake such an enterprise?

Fundamentally, the question the journal asks is whether this experiment will give rise to an alternative way of thinking. In other words: Will the Women Philosophers’ Journal be subversive or, quite simply, politically correct?

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