Women in the History of Philosophy (PHIL*3210) | College of Arts

Women in the History of Philosophy (PHIL*3210)

Code and section: PHIL*3210*01

Term: Fall 2019

Instructor: Patricia Sheridan


This course will examine the works of several early modern women philosophers. Each of these women made an original contribution to the dominating philosophical debates of their time.  These women are noteworthy not only for the fact that they wrote philosophy under adverse conditions, but also for the fact that their writings challenged the views of some of the most important thinkers of their time.  We will begin with a consideration of women’s lives in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries—this will provide important context for appreciating not only the small numbers of women writing in this period but also the philosophical accomplishments of those who did write.  We will follow by examining, in turn, the relevant arguments of major seventeenth and eighteenth century thinkers and the critical responses of the women philosophers under consideration. This course aims to provide you with an appreciation both for the dominating debates of the early modern period and for the contributions women made to those debates.


"Course Outline"

The University of Guelph resides on the land of the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon, a covenant between Indigenous nations to live peaceably on the territories of the Great Lakes region. We recognize that today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and acknowledging them reminds us of our collective responsibility to the land where we learn, live and work.