chapter  13
24 Pages

Philosophy and Women: Thinking About Women

Let's begin with a dictionary definition: Philosophy is "the search, by logical reasoning, for understanding of the basic truths and principles of the universe, life and morals, and of human perception and understanding of these" (Oxford American Dictionary). Although Socrates, roughly 2500 years ago, argued that this search could never be ultimately successful due to the limitations of the human mind, many philosophers since his time believed that they had discovered and systematized these basic truths. This was particularly true of Western Enlightenment philosophers such as Rene Descartes, Benedict de Spinoza, and Immanuel Kant. A definition more appropriate in our modern world is that philosophy is "the love of wisdom." The first definition implies that some philosophers possess these basic truths, while the second calls only for philosophers to pursue wisdom, remaining humble about the limits of the human mind to know reality.