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Monday, August 19, 2013

A Star Philosopher Falls, and a Debate Over Sexism Is Set Off

By JENNIFER SCHUESSLER
The New York Times
Published: August 2, 2013

Ever since Socrates’ wife was painted as a jealous shrew by one of his pupils, women have had it tough in philosophy.

Thinkers from Aristotle to Kant questioned whether women were fully capable of reason. Today, many in the field say, gender bias and outright sexual harassment are endemic in philosophy, where women make up less than 20 percent of university faculty members, lower than in any other humanities field, and account for a tiny fraction of citations in top scholarly journals.

While the status of women in the sciences has received broad national attention, debate about sexism in philosophy has remained mostly within the confines of academia. But the revelation this summer that Colin McGinn, a star philosopher at the University of Miami, had agreed to leave his tenured post after allegations of sexual harassment brought by a graduate student, has put an unusually famous name to the problem, exposing the field to what some see as a healthy dose of sunlight.

The entire story is here.
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