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Gender and Philosophical Intuition

Wesley Buckwalter

University of Waterloo - Department of Philosophy

Stephen Stich

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

September 26, 2010

In recent years, there has been much concern expressed about the under-representation of women in academic philosophy. Our goal in this paper is to call attention to a cluster of phenomena that may be contributing to this gender gap. The findings we review indicate that when women and men with little or no philosophical training are presented with standard philosophical thought experiments, in many cases their intuitions about these cases are significantly different. In section 1 we review some of the data on the under-representation of women in academic philosophy. In section 2 we explain how we use the term 'intuition'. and offer a brief account of how intuitions are invoked in philosophical argument and philosophical theory building. In the third section we set out the evidence for gender differences in philosophical intuition and mention some evidence about gender differences in decisions and behaviors that are (or should be) of considerable interest to philosophers. In the fourth section, our focus changes from facts to hypotheses. In that section we explain how differences in philosophical intuition might be an important part of the explanation for the gender gap in philosophy. The fifth section is a brief conclusion.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 39

Keywords: Gender, Intuitions, Philosophical Methodology, Philosophical Education

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Date posted: September 27, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Buckwalter, Wesley and Stich, Stephen, Gender and Philosophical Intuition (September 26, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1683066 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1683066

Contact Information

Wesley Buckwalter (Contact Author)
University of Waterloo - Department of Philosophy ( email )
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Stephen Stich
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey ( email )
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~stich/
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