April Hall

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

History and Philosophy

First Advisor

Dr. Margaret Crouch

Second Advisor

Dr. Kate Mehuron


In the history of philosophy, there is a shortage, and often a total absence, of women’s voices in the philosophical canon. I take this notable lack of female philosophical contribution not as evidence that women were not ‘capable’ or ‘interested’ in philosophical inquiry, but rather that their contributions are mainly to be found in alternative genres that were more open for women to participate in. I propose that present-day philosophers who are interested in locating the philosophical activities of women would benefit from an exploration of what I am terming “alternative genres.” I shall focus in particular on personal correspondence during the Early Modern period, the novel in the nineteenth century, and feminist cinema in the twentieth century. Each of these forms contributes a richly unique perspective on central philosophical themes and affords contemporary philosophers a venue through which to access the philosophical thought of women writers in these historical periods.