Women Philosophers

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Throughout history, there have been many women philosophers who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great female philosophers such as Simone de Beauvoir, Mary Wollstonecraft, Rosa Luxemburg, Peter Kropotkin, Edith Stein.The women philosophers featured in this list are from United States, United Kingdom, Canada & Australia and many more countries.
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 1 
Simone de Beauvoir
(French Existentialist Philosopher, Writer, Social Theorist, and Feminist Activist)
Simone de Beauvoir
28
Birthdate: January 9, 1908
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 14, 1986
French author and existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir is best remembered for her feminist treatise The Second Sex and her novels The Mandarins and She Came to Stay. Her literary contributions also include essays, biographies, and her autobiographical works. She won the Prix Goncourt and the Jerusalem Prize.
 2 
Hannah Arendt
(One of the Most Influential Political Theorists of the 20th Century)
Hannah Arendt
13
Birthdate: October 14, 1906
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Linden - Mitte, Hanover, Germany
Died: December 4, 1975

Hannah Arendt was a political theorist. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most prominent political thinkers, Hannah Arendt's articles and books have had a significant influence on philosophy and political theory. Her life and work inspired the 2012 biographical drama film, Hannah Arendt. Her work has also inspired several biographies written by popular authors.

 3 
Judith Butler
(Philosopher)
Judith Butler
15
Birthdate: February 24, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
 4 
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.

 5 
Hypatia
(Philosopher)
Hypatia
11
Birthdate: 0350 AD
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: February 29, 0415
Hypatia was a Hellenistic Neoplatonist philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer who lived during the 4th and 5th centuries. She also taught and served as a counselor. She is remembered for her commentary on Diophantus's Arithmetica. She was later murdered and became a symbol of feminism and of opposition to Catholic ideals.
 6 
Ayn Rand
(Writer and Philosopher Known for Her Best-Selling Novels ‘The Fountainhead’ and ‘Atlas Shrugged’)
Ayn Rand
33
Birthdate: February 2, 1905
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: March 6, 1982

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American philosopher and writer. Apart from publishing two best-selling novels, Ayn Rand is credited with developing a philosophical system called Objectivism. Over the years, Ayn Rand has been a major influence among American conservatives and libertarians. Some of the famous personalities influenced by her include Amber Heard, Vince Vaughn, Jimmy Wales, Ayelet Shaked, and Mary Ruwart.

 7 
Rosa Luxemburg
(Revolutionary Socialist, Marxist Philosopher & Anti-War Activist)
Rosa Luxemburg
13
Birthdate: March 5, 1871
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zamosc, Poland
Died: January 15, 1919
Polish Marxist and socialist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg was a member of parties such as the SPD, the USPD, and the KPD. Luxemburg was an anti-war activist and taught economics and Marxism at SPD's Berlin training center. She was assassinated by the Freikorps troops during the German Revolution
 8 
Susan Sontag
(Writer and Filmmaker, Best Known for her Essay 'Notes on 'Camp')
Susan Sontag
6
Birthdate: January 16, 1933
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: December 28, 2004
Susan Sontag is best known for her essay anthologies such as Against Interpretation and her novels such as In America. She wrote about diverse issues such as human rights, photography, AIDS, and leftist beliefs, and also visited war-torn areas. The National Book Award-winning author was also openly bisexual. 
 9 
Helena Blavatsky
(Russian Writer and Co-Founder of the 'Theosophical Society')
Helena Blavatsky
5
Birthdate: August 12, 1831
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dnipro, Ukraine
Died: May 8, 1891

Russian philosopher Helena Blavatsky, or Madame Blavatsky, was one of the co-founders of the Theosophical Society. She popularized the slogan “There is no religion higher than truth.” She was inspired by the Arya Samaj and later converted to Buddhism. She also wrote books such as The Secret Doctrine.

 10 
Simone Weil
(French Mystic, Social Philosopher and Resistance Activist During World War II)
Simone Weil
6
Birthdate: February 3, 1909
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 24, 1943
Paris-born philosopher and activist Simone Weil could speak in Sanskrit and Greek as a student. Called The Martian by her classmates, due to her peculiar nature, she died of cardiac failure at 34, refusing to eat more than the people of German-occupied France, in spite of being diagnosed with tuberculosis. 
 11 
Juana Inés de la Cruz
(Early feminist author and philosopher who studied everything around her and argued forcefully that all women should be allowed to do the same)
Juana Inés de la Cruz
5
Birthdate: November 12, 1648
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nepantla de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Mexico
Died: April 17, 1695

Mexican nun Juana Inés de la Cruz was one of the finest authors of the Latin American colonial era. Initially the lady-in-waiting of Mexico’s viceroy, she later took her vows. She built a huge library and penned masterpieces such as the poem Primero sueño and the religious drama El divino Narciso.

 12 
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.

 13 
Friedrich Engels
(German Philosopher Who Developed 'Marxism' Together With Karl Max)
Friedrich Engels
22
Birthdate: November 28, 1820
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Barmen, Germany
Died: August 5, 1895

Friedrich Engels was a German philosopher, political scientist, and revolutionary socialist. Along with Karl Marx, Engels helped develop Marxism, which has had a profound impact on fields like philosophy and anthropology. Engels is credited with helping Marx publish Das Kapital, a foundational theoretical work in politics, economics, and materialist philosophy. He also co-authored influential political documents like The Communist Manifesto.

 14 
Edith Stein
(Philosopher, Christian Nun and One of the Six 'Patron Saints of Europe')
Edith Stein
4
Birthdate: October 12, 1891
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wrocław, Poland
Died: August 9, 1942

Edith Stein was a German Jewish philosopher who studied at the University of Freiburg and completed her dissertation on empathy. Always interested in Catholicism, she read the autobiography of the mystic Teresa of Ávila and converted to Christianity, and became a Discalced Carmelite nun. She was killed in the Auschwitz concentration camp and is canonized as a martyr.

 15 
Christina Hoff Sommers
(Author, Philosopher)
Christina Hoff Sommers
6
Birthdate: September 28, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Petaluma, California, U.S.
 16 
Luce Irigaray
(Philosopher, linguist, Feminist)
Luce Irigaray
5
Birthdate: May 3, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bernissart, Belgium
 17 
Émilie du Châtelet
3
Birthdate: December 17, 1706
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 10, 1749
 18 
Martha Nussbaum
(Philosopher, Writer, University teacher)
Martha Nussbaum
9
Birthdate: May 6, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
 19 
Zinovia Dushkova
3
Birthdate: July 19, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kongaz, Moldova

Zinovia Dushkova is a Russian poet, historian, philosopher, and author. A prominent writer, Dushkova's works have been translated into seven languages. In 2015, she was honored with the 20 Years of Gagauzia Medal. In 2017, Zinovia Dushkova’s book, The Call of the Heart, was honored at the Nautilus Book Awards with a silver medal in the United States of America.

 20 
Julia Kristeva
(Bulgarian-French Author and Academic Whose Themes Surrounded on Feminism, Semiotics, and Psychoanalysis)
Julia Kristeva
10
Birthdate: June 24, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sliven, Bulgaria

Bulgarian-born French author and literary critic Julia Kristeva is also a professor at the University Paris Diderot. Her writings, such as the Female Genius trilogy, are centered around feminism, semiotics, and psychoanalysis. She has also pioneered semanalysis and has been recognized with honors such as Commander of the Legion of Honor.

 21 
Pema Chodron
(American Tibetan Buddhist)
Pema Chodron
5
Birthdate: July 14, 1936
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Pema Chodron is an American Tibetan Buddhist and an ordained nun. Born as Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in New York, she began studying with Tibetan Buddhist Lama Chime Rinpoche as a young woman. She eventually became a fully ordained nun or bhikṣuṇī. She is the author of several dozen books and audiobooks. She is the principal teacher at Gampo Abbey. 

 22 
Charles Fourier
(Philosopher, an influential early socialist thinker and one of the founders of utopian socialism)
Charles Fourier
4
Birthdate: April 7, 1772
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Besançon, France
Died: October 10, 1837

French social theorist Charles Fourier is regarded as one of the pioneers of utopian socialism. Apart from advocating social reconstruction based on phalanges, or Fourierism, he is also credited with coining the term feminism with respect to women’s rights. The Social Destiny of Man remains one of his notable works.

 23 
Hildegard of Bingen
(German Writer, Composer, Philosopher and Mystic Considered to be One of the Best-Known Composers of Sacred Monophony)
Hildegard of Bingen
2
Birthdate: 1098 AD
Birthplace: Bermersheim vor der Höhe, Germany
Died: September 17, 1179

Hildegard of Bingen was a German writer, composer, Christian mystic, visionary, philosopher, polymath, and Benedictine abbess of the High Middle Ages. Apart from being the most-recorded composers of sacred monophony in modern history, Hildegard of Bingen is also widely regarded as the founder of scientific natural history.

Saint Teresa of Avila
3
Birthdate: March 28, 1515
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Gotarrendura
Died: October 4, 1582

Teresa of Ávila, also known as Saint Teresa of Jesus, was a Spanish noblewoman who later turned into a Carmelite nun. She was posthumously named a Doctor of the Church. She co-established the Discalced Carmelite Order. Her written works include The Interior Castle and her own autobiography.

 25 
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.

 26 
Héloïse
(French Nun and Wife of the Theologian and Philosopher 'Peter Abelard')
Héloïse
3
Birthdate: 1101 AD
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 16, 1164
French nun Héloïse was also a philosopher, writer, and abbess and was a renowned "woman of letters". She was noted as a  philosopher of love and friendship. In 1147, she was granted the rank of prelate nullius, approximately the level of a bishop. Her surviving letters are considered a foundation of French and European literature and inspiration for courtly love.
 27 
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.

 28 
Germaine de Staël
(Philosopher)
Germaine de Staël
3
Birthdate: April 22, 1766
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: July 14, 1817

Germaine de Staël was a French political theorist and woman of letters. She is best remembered for her collaboration with the popular  Swiss-French political thinker Benjamin Constant. Germaine, who was way ahead of her time, is widely regarded as a precursor of feminism.

 29 
Hélène Cixous
(French Feminist Writer and Philosopher Best Known for Her Article ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’)
Hélène Cixous
4
Birthdate: June 5, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oran, Algeria

Hélène Cixous is a professor, poet, playwright, rhetorician, literary critic, philosopher, and French feminist writer. She is best known for writing an article titled The Laugh of the Medusa, which earned her popularity and established her as a thinker in post-structural feminism.

 30 
Grace Lee Boggs
(Author & Social Activist - Key Figure in the 'Asian American Movement')
Grace Lee Boggs
3
Birthdate: June 27, 1915
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Died: October 5, 2015
 31 
Anna Comnena
(Greek Princess & Scholar)
Anna Comnena
3
Birthdate: December 1, 1083
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Porphyra Chamber, Great Palace of Constantinople, Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
Died: 1153 AD
Daughter of Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus, Anna Komnene is best remembered for writing Alexiad, a genuine treatise of the life and times of her father. She had written the book while imprisoned at the Kecharitomene Monastery, after a failed attempt to depose her brother, John II Komnenos.
 32 
Mary Parker Follett
(Social Woker)
Mary Parker Follett
4
Birthdate: September 3, 1868
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Quincy, Massachusetts, United States
Died: December 18, 1933
 33 
Elena Cornaro Piscopia
4
Birthdate: June 5, 1646
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: July 26, 1684
 34 
Carol Gilligan
(Psychologist, Philosopher, Non-fiction writer, Sociologist, Feminist)
Carol Gilligan
4
Birthdate: November 28, 1936
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City

Carol Gilligan is an American psychologist, ethicist, and feminist. She is renowned for her work on ethical relationships and ethical community. She also serves as a professor of Applied Psychology and Humanities at New York University. Considered the chief architect of the ethics of care, Gilligan was named in the 25 most influential people list by Time magazine in 1996.

 35 
Maria Gaetana Agnesi
(First Woman to Write a Mathematics Handbook and the First Woman Appointed as a University Mathematics Professor)
Maria Gaetana Agnesi
3
Birthdate: May 16, 1718
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: January 9, 1799

Italian mathematician Maria Gaetana Agnesi, daughter of an affluent silk trader, was well-versed in a number of languages as a child. Most of her work was regarding algebra, calculus, and the Witch of Agnesi. She was also the first female academic to write a math book and to teach math.

 36 
Gayle Rubin
(Cultural anthropologist best known as an activist and theorist of sex and gender politics)
Gayle Rubin
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1949
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: South Carolina, United States

Gayle Rubin is a cultural anthropologist known for writing on a wide range of topics, such as feminism, sadomasochism, prostitution, homosexuality, pedophilia, and pornography. She studied at the University of Michigan and was part of early feminist groups. After earning her Ph.D. in anthropology, she began her academic career. She is also associated with several feminist journals. 

 37 
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.

 38 
Mary Daly
(Philosopher)
Mary Daly
4
Birthdate: October 16, 1928
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Schenectady, New York, United States
Died: January 3, 2010
 39 
Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka
4
Birthdate: February 28, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Marianowo, Mazovia, Poland
Died: June 7, 2014

Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka was a Polish American phenomenologist and philosopher. She is credited with founding the World Phenomenology Institute (WPI) where she remained as the president until her death in 2014. Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka also contributed immensely to the popular book series Analecta Husserliana, serving as its editor since its inception in 1968.

 40 
Alice Miller
(Psychologist)
Alice Miller
4
Birthdate: January 12, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland
Died: April 14, 2010

Apart from being a renowned psychologist, Alice Miller became an international sensation with her debut book, The Drama of the Gifted Child, a bestseller. A Holocaust survivor, who had lost her father in a Jewish ghetto, she analyzed child abuse, including education, violence, and parental abuse.

 41 
G. E. M. Anscombe
(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.

 42 
Judith Jarvis Thomson
2
Birthdate: October 4, 1929
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: November 20, 2020
 43 
Diotima of Mantinea
(Philosopher)
Diotima of Mantinea
2
Birthplace: Mantineia, Greece
 44 
Adrian Piper
(Conceptual Artist)
Adrian Piper
4
Birthdate: September 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, New York
 45 
Iris Marion Young
(Political scientist, Philosopher, University teacher)
Iris Marion Young
2
Birthdate: January 2, 1949
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City
Died: August 1, 2006
 46 
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
(Academic Scholar)
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
4
Birthdate: May 2, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
Died: April 12, 2009
 47 
Ingeborg Bachmann
(Austrian Poet and Author Best Known for Her Novel 'Malina')
Ingeborg Bachmann
2
Birthdate: June 25, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Klagenfurt, Austria
Died: October 17, 1973

Ingeborg Bachmann completed her PhD and worked as an editor and scriptwriter before plunging into full-time writing. The Gruppe 47 member was known for depicting the trauma of women characters who had failed in relationships. She is best remembered for her poems and her lyrical novel Malina.

Akka Mahadevi
4
Birthplace: Karnataka
 49 
Patricia Hill Collins
(Philosopher, Sociologist, University teacher, American Sociological Association Distinguished Scholarly Book Award)
Patricia Hill Collins
3
Birthdate: May 1, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Philadelphia
 50 
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.