A place called home. Women and philosophy of education

Educational Philosophy and Theory:1-7 (2017)
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Abstract

This paper argues for the active participation of women in philosophy of education and the importance of their sexually differentiated positions in pluralising knowledge. Drawing on the philosophical work of Luce Irigaray it explains how the feminine as other, has been symbolised as a dark epistemological cave from which those seeking universal truths ought to escape. Within such phallogo-centric systems of knowledge, women’s thoughts have been excluded from philosophy, and the feminine became un-representable as philosophical. This scenario raises important political and ethical questions related to women’s place in philosophy of education and calls for deconstructive strategies aimed at using feminised locations to challenge phallogocentrism. The paper argues that a simple inclusion of women’s thoughts or the replacement a masculine-dominated philosophy with feminine ones do not suffice to disrupt the order that establishes what counts as philosophy. It therefore explores how sexual difference can rethink the traditional tenets of philosophy. The idea that women need a place that they can call home for such practices and whether this space can really differentiate knowledge is debatable and controversial. In considering this possibility, however, sexual difference is not considered a subject for thought in philosophy of education but a question that rethinks and engenders it.

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Simone Galea
University of Malta

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