Particularly hard to take in a woman

Richard Carrier has a great extended interview with Susan Haack.

One sample:

But I’m also sure that many of the “difficulties and annoyances” of my life in philosophy have arisen, not simply because I’m a woman, but because of other characteristics of mine—though I suspect people find some of these particularly hard to take in a woman. For one thing, I’m very independent: rather than follow philosophical fads and fashions, I pursue questions I believe are important, and tackle them in the ways that seem most likely to yield results; I am beholden to no clique or citation cartel; I put no stock in the ranking of philosophy graduate programs over which my colleagues obsess; I accept no research or travel funds from my university; I avoid publishing in journals that insist on taking all the rights to my work; etc., etc.

Read the whole thing.



  1. F says

    Yeah, being a woman just makes it worse. Assuming you aren’t dismissed simply for being a woman in the first place.

  2. says

    It is a wonderful interview, though it did not address in detail questions of women’s place in philosophy, which one gathers from several details is less important to Haack than the quality of philosophy done by either women or men. Reading some of her work it seems obvious that Haack has serious questions about some women in philosophy, especially those who think there is a place for a peculiarly feminist epistemology — which, on the face of it, makes very little sense. One of the things that really attracted me about the interview is that she so bluntly, sometimes quite volubly, disagreed with the interviewer. This doesn’t often happen. Haack is distinct in this way, in giving no quarter where questions of truth are concerned, which is why her work is so valuable.

  3. says

    Yes. Haack is one of my original influences toward a strong suspicion of “feminist epistemology”. Janet Radcliffe Richards is another. There’s a chapter of Why Truth Matters on the subject.

  4. Caryn says

    She doesn’t have questions about “women in philosophy” per se – she has questions about feminist epistemology, as do many feminists who are epistemologists, whether they are men or women.

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