In this episode, Haley Brennan talks with Kathryn Sophia Belle, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Penn State University and founder of the Collegium of Black Women Philosophers, about Black Feminist critiques of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex. We talk about her forthcoming book on the topic, with chapters on Claudia Jones, Lorraine Hansberry, Maria Stewart, Anna Julia Cooper, and Audre Lorde among others. We also talk about the philosophical-historical origins of the concept of intersectionality and the triple oppression thesis, what it looks like to offer alternative accounts to Beauvoir’s, and creating the spaces and projects that you need in academic philosophy.
In this episode, Olivia Branscum speaks with Nic Bommarito, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Simon Fraser University. We discuss the French philosopher Simone Weil (1909-1943), focusing especially on what she has to teach us about the moral value of attention and the true uses of education. Nic and I also talk about his work in Tibetan Buddhist thought and his experiences studying figures and traditions that have been excluded from mainstream histories of philosophy.
In this episode, Olivia Branscum speaks with Nastassja Pugliese, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. We talk about the life, work, and reception of the nineteenth-century Brazilian philosopher, Nísia Floresta Brasileira Augusta (born Dionísia Gonçalves Pinto in 1810). Nastassja and I talk about Nísia’s philosophy of education, her enlightenment critique of slavery and colonialism, and the common misconception that Nísia translated the work of Mary Wollstonecraft. Though only one of Nísia’s essays has been translated into English, listeners can find some of her writings in French and Italian, and should keep an eye out for Nastassja’s forthcoming introduction to Nísia with Cambridge University Press.
In this episode, Haley Brennan talks with Alison Stone, professor in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University. We discuss the work of British women philosophers of the 19th century, including Frances Power Cobbe, Ada Lovelace, and Harriet Martineau. We cover a range of topics that these philosophers worked on, including animal rights, feminism, ethics, and philosophy of mind. In addition to these topics, we talk about the correspondence that these woman had with each other, the influence they had on political movements in 19thc Britain, and where and how to look to find the philosophical writings of women in the period. We also discuss the way that perceived philosophical importance and impact varies across time and place, and how this affects which philosophers we research and teach today.
In this episode, Olivia Branscum speaks with Professor Gary Ostertag, Affiliated Associate Professor at the City University of New York and Chair of the philosophy department at Nassau Community College. We discuss the life, context, and achievements of Emily Elizabeth Constance Jones, an early analytic philosopher who was working at the same time as people like Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell. Gary and Olivia also talk about the positive philosophical value of writing about other people’s ideas, and the question of what it means to point out that Jones may have anticipated the work of Frege. Gary closes by offering some suggestions for where to start with reading Jones’s work.
Petru Rosu provided research for this episode.
In this episode, Haley Brennan talks with Chike Jeffers, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Dalhousie University and Canada Research Chair in Africana Philosophy, about the history of Africana Philosophy. We talk about the work of, and what it is like to work on, figures including Anna Julia Cooper, W.E.B Du Bois, Edward Blyden, and Léopold Senghor. In the course of talking about these figures, we discuss the value of language to philosophy, identity, and culture, connections between the Africana tradition and current philosophical theories of race and oppression, the importance of being critical about why and how philosophical methods are appropriate for evaluating these texts, and what it means to read someone as a philosopher.
In this episode, Haley Brennan talks with Dalia Nassar, senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. We discuss the works of several German women philosophers in the late 18th and 19th centuries, including Germaine de Staël, Rosa Luxemburg, and Karoline von Günderrode. The women we discuss wrote on a wide range of topics: idealism, phenomenology, feminism, labour movements, workers’ rights, socialism, and environmental ethics. In addition to these topics, we talk about why it is that these women, who published and were discussed in their own time, have not received modern philosophical attention, the accessibility of their philosophical writings, the importance of being aware of the full range of philosophers writing and corresponding in Germany in the 19th century, and the variety of benefits that come from including the works of these philosophers in classes on German philosophy in the 19th century.
In this episode, Olivia Branscum talks with Christina Van Dyke, professor emerita of philosophy at Calvin University, about women philosophers in the medieval Latin west. We discuss the contemplative and mystical traditions of philosophy in the middle ages, which focused on an engaged, practical search for truth rather than the abstract arguments that dominated other philosophical traditions. Many women medieval philosophers – such as Julian of Norwich, Angela Foligno, Catherine of Siena, Hadewijch, Margaret Ebner, and Hildegard von Bingen – were writing in the contemplative and mystical traditions, so recovering their work involves learning about different philosophical forms and genres. We also talk about the value of being yourself when pursuing academic philosophy.
In this episode, Haley Brennan talks with Sergio Gallegos Ordorica, assistant professor at John Jay College, about the Mexican philosopher Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. We talk about how Sergio became interested in studying Sor Juana as a philosopher, how that study can be complicated by a background in analytic philosophy, some of Sor Juana’s views on love, shame, and the self, and how her identity as a Mexican women shaped her philosophy, including her views on how philosophy can be done absent institutional structures.