Alison Stone

Mar 11, 2023

Women Philosophers in Nineteenth-Century Britain

Oxford University Press 2023

Many women wrote philosophy in nineteenth-century Britain, and they wrote across the full range of philosophical topics. Yet these important women thinkers have been left out of the philosophical canon and many of them are barely known today. 

The aim of Women Philosophers in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Oxford UP, 2023) is to put them back on the map. It introduces twelve women philosophers - Mary Shepherd, Harriet Martineau, Ada Lovelace, George Eliot, Frances Power Cobbe, Helena Blavatsky, Julia Wedgwood, Victoria Welby, Arabella Buckley, Annie Besant, Vernon Lee, and Constance Naden. Alison Stone looks at their views on naturalism, philosophy of mind, evolution, morality and religion, and progress in history. She shows how these women interacted and developed their philosophical views in conversation with one another, not only with their male contemporaries. The rich print and periodical culture of the period enabled these women to publish philosophy in forms accessible to a general readership, despite the restrictions women faced, such as having limited or no access to university education. Stone explains how these women became excluded from the history of philosophy because there was a cultural shift at the end of the nineteenth century towards specialised forms of philosophical writing, which depended on academic credentials that were still largely unavailable to women.

Alison Stone is a British philosopher. She is a Professor of European Philosophy in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University, UK.

Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube channel.

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Morteza Hajizadeh

Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube channel. Twitter.

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