Power, Pedagogy, and the "Women Problem": Ameliorating Philosophy

  • Hilkje Charlotte Haenel


Being a member of a minority group makes it harder to succeed in academic philosophy. Research suggests that students from underrepresented groups have a hard time in academic philosophy and often drop out instead of pursuing a career in philosophy, despite having the potential to become excellent philosophers. In this paper, I will argue that there is a specific way of thinking about traditional conceptual analysis within analytic philosophy that marginalizes underrepresented groups. This has to do with what kinds of analyses we philosophers think are worthy of conducting and with who we think are worthy of pursuing such analyses. I will then show why this is particularly worrisome for the profession of philosophy as an institution geared towards the love of knowledge and argue that it should be in our interest as philosophers to find ways to prevent this marginalization of underrepresented groups. Finally, I will provide an example of how to do philosophy differently that does not exclude members of underrepresented groups and suggest ways in which the teaching of analytic philosophy can directly counter the discriminatory practices of academic philosophy.