The Contributions of Women Philosophers Recovered by the New Project Vox Website

project vox

“If I am con­demned, I shall be anni­hi­lat­ed to noth­ing: but my ambi­tion is such, as I would either be a world, or noth­ing.” — Mar­garet Cavendish (1623–1673)

A phi­los­o­phy can­di­date or fem­i­nist schol­ar ven­tur­ing into Duke Uni­ver­si­ty’s new Project Vox web­site may expe­ri­ence a sen­sa­tion akin to dis­cov­er­ing King Tut’s tomb.

Such trea­sures! Not just a scrap here and a morsel there, but a seri­ous trove of infor­ma­tion about phi­los­o­phy writ by females!

Lady Damaris Masham (1658–1708), Mar­garet Cavendish (1623–1673), Vis­count­ess Anne Con­way (1631–1679), and Émi­lie Du Châtelet were high­ly thought of in their day, and praised by male con­tem­po­raries includ­ing John Locke.

Project Vox seeks to res­ur­rect their over­looked-to-the-point-of-undis­cov­ered con­tri­bu­tions by pub­lish­ing their long out of print texts, some trans­lat­ed into Eng­lish for the first time. Bio­graph­i­cal infor­ma­tion and sec­ondary resources will pro­vide a sense of each philoso­pher as well as her phi­los­o­phy.

Even­tu­al­ly, the site will include a forum where teach­ers can share les­son plans and arti­cles. Male phi­los­o­phy doc­tor­ates cur­rent­ly out­num­ber their female coun­ter­parts by an over­whelm­ing num­ber, but that may change as young women begin to see them­selves reflect­ed in the cur­ricu­lum.

Edu­ca­tors! Edu­cate thy­selves! Project Vox is the Guer­ril­la Girl of ear­ly mod­ern phi­los­o­phy!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Take First-Class Phi­los­o­phy Cours­es Any­where with Free Oxford Pod­casts

Down­load 110 Free Phi­los­o­phy eBooks: From Aris­to­tle to Niet­zsche & Wittgen­stein

44 Essen­tial Movies for the Stu­dent of Phi­los­o­phy

Han­nah Arendt Dis­cuss­es Phi­los­o­phy, Pol­i­tics & Eich­mann in Rare 1964 TV Inter­view

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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