British Women Philosophers

Right IconThis ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Throughout history, there have been many British women philosophers who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great British female philosophers such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Harriet Martineau, Philippa Foot, G. E. M. Anscombe, Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Vote for Your Favourite British Women Philosophers
 1 
Mary Wollstonecraft
7
Birthdate: April 27, 1759
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 10, 1797

Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer, advocate of women's rights, and philosopher. Wollstonecraft, who attracted a lot of attention for her unconventional personal relationships, is widely considered a founding feminist philosopher. Although her unorthodoxy initially attracted criticisms, her advocacy of women's equality became increasingly important during the 20th century. Modern-day feminists cite her works and her life as important influences.

 2 
Iris Murdoch
(Irish & British Novelist Best Known for Her Novels: 'Under the Net', 'The Sea, the Sea' and 'The Bell')
Iris Murdoch
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1919
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: February 8, 1999

One of the most popular Irish-born British novelists, Iris Murdoch is remembered for her psychological novels, which had a good dose of sexuality, philosophy, morality, and comic elements. While she won the Booker Prize for The Sea, the Sea, the Oxford alumnus had also worked for the HM Treasury and the UN.

 3 
Harriet Martineau
(First female sociologist)
Harriet Martineau
3
Birthdate: June 12, 1802
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Norwich, Norfolk, England
Died: June 27, 1876

Regarded by many as the first female sociologist, Harriet Martineau was a prominent 19th-century social theorist, classical economist, and intellectual who penned the iconic work The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte. She was partially deaf and had lost her sense of taste and smell in childhood.

 4 
Philippa Foot
(Philosopher, University teacher)
Philippa Foot
3
Birthdate: October 3, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Owston Ferry
Died: October 3, 2010

Philippa Foot is remembered as a forerunner of what is now known as virtue ethics. Granddaughter of American president Grover Cleveland, Foot laid down the Trolley problem and believed that the morality of any act is related to its rationality. She was also associated with the charitable organization Oxfam.

 5 
Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish
(philosopher, scientist, poet, science fiction writer)
Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish
3
Birthdate: 1623 AD
Birthplace: Colchester, England
Died: December 15, 1673

Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish was an English poet, philosopher, playwright, fiction writer, and scientist. Margaret, who had the audacity to publish her works without using a pen name at a time when female writers remained anonymous, was ahead of her time. Not surprisingly, she was considered eccentric and earned the nickname Mad Madge. Her works gained popularity in the 1980s.

 6 
G. E. M. Anscombe
(British Philosopher)
G. E. M. Anscombe
3
Birthdate: March 18, 1919
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Limerick, Ireland
Died: January 5, 2001

A prominent figure in the philosophical movement of Analytical Thomism, British analytic philosopher G. E. M. Anscombe is remembered for her writings on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophical logic, philosophy of action, and ethics. The term consequentialism was introduced by her in the article Modern Moral Philosophy which has influenced the emergence of contemporary virtue ethics.

 7 
Mary Midgley
(Philosopher, Author, University teacher, Writer)
Mary Midgley
2
Birthdate: September 13, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Greater London

Leading British moral philosopher Mary Midgley, described as a fiercely combative philosopher by The Guardian, was known for her work on ethics, science and animal rights. She worked as senior lecturer in philosophy at Newcastle University and penned over 15 books, including Beast and Man, Animals and Why They Matter, Evolution as a Religion and Science as Salvation.   

 8 
Mary Astell
(Writer, Philosopher, Feminist)
Mary Astell
2
Birthdate: November 12, 1666
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne
Died: May 11, 1731
 9 
Frances Wright
(Writer, Philosopher)
Frances Wright
2
Birthdate: September 6, 1795
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dundee
Died: December 13, 1852
 10 
Gillian Rose
(Philosopher)
Gillian Rose
0
Birthdate: September 20, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 9, 1995
 11 
Catharine Macaulay
1
Birthdate: April 2, 1731
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wye, Kent, England
Died: June 22, 1791