Women Philosophers and “Political Correctness”, within the framework of World Philosophy Day 2010

©Ruedi Baur
Poster for the International Celebration of World Philosophy Day 2010 at UNESCO

Can we be both a woman and a philosopher? This question addresses balances of power, which vary greatly from culture to culture but are a real force in today’s societies. The question here is the predominance of masculine values in the very act of thinking about thought. It is then directly that the Network of Women Philosophers can have the ambition, or give the impression, of disturbing or disrupting.
Gender has become a central issue in a number of societies; something which is “politically correct” not to be ignored. Leaving room for women philosophers is therefore a politically correct minimum requisite, though enforcing this remains difficult. In fact, is the Network of Women Philosophers not itself a mere “politically correct” initiative? Is this not already a way of making the Network less disturbing?

With this in mind, we would like to examine in this conference the concept of political correctness itself. Applying it to a field of study combining intellectual work and the issue of gender is not so simple. In particular, it inevitably brings up the issue of standards: are the intellectual standards – so well (excessively?) integrated and interiorized by some of us – preventing us from seeing and thinking? Can academic discourse be women’s discourse? Do other forms of discourse, more philosophical than academic, exist? What is to be considered an acceptable deviation from the rule? Which rule? While it is politically correct to demand neither gender nor intellectual conformity, what criteria must we reinvent as a consequence? What “alternative” philosophical discourses can we accept? And who does the term “we” represent? Despite efforts already made, a philosophically and politically “incorrect” way of thinking probably still needs to be invented?

Access will be upon presentation of an invitation and ID. To receive the invitation, please write to worldphilosophyday@unesco.org, or call +33 (0)1 45 68 43 47.


Type of Event Category 8-Symposium
Start 18.11.2010 08:00 local time
End 18.11.2010 11:00 local time
Date to be fixed 0
Focal point Goucha, Moufida
Organizer UNESCO
Contact Human Security, Democracy and Philosophy Section, worldphilosophyday@unesco.org, tel.: +33 (0)1 45 68 43 47
Country France
City Paris 07 SP
Venue UNESCO Headquarters
Street 125, avenue de Suffren
Room Room II
Permanent Delegation Contact
Major Programme
Language of Event English, French
Estimated number of participants 100 participants and visitors
Official Website International Network of Women Philosophers / Réseau International des Femmes Philosophes
Link 1 World Philosophy Day 2010 / Journée mondiale de la philosophie 2010
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