Women Philosophers

Vote for Your Favourite Women Philosophers

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 1 
Hannah Arendt
(One of the Most Influential Political Theorists of the 20th Century)
Hannah Arendt
22
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.

 2 
Simone de Beauvoir
(French Existentialist Philosopher, Writer, Social Theorist, and Feminist Activist)
Simone de Beauvoir
39
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.
 3 
Hypatia
(Mathematician, Astronomer and Philosopher)
Hypatia
12
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.
 4 
Helena Blavatsky
(Russian Writer and Co-Founder of the 'Theosophical Society')
Helena Blavatsky
8
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.

 5 
Simone Weil
(French Mystic, Social Philosopher and Resistance Activist During World War II)
Simone Weil
8
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. 
 6 
Edith Stein
(Philosopher, Christian Nun and One of the Six 'Patron Saints of Europe')
Edith Stein
6
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.

 7 
Judith Butler
(Philosopher)
Judith Butler
134
Birthdate: February 24, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
 8 
Christina Hoff Sommers
(Author, Philosopher)
Christina Hoff Sommers
12
Birthdate: September 28, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Petaluma, California, U.S.
 9 
Luce Irigaray
(French Linguist, Psychoanalyst, and Philosopher)
Luce Irigaray
9
Birthdate: May 3, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bernissart, Belgium

Luce Irigaray is a Belgian-born French philosopher, feminist, linguist, psychoanalyst, psycholinguist, and cultural theorist. She is best known for her research that examined the role of language in relation to women. Luce Irigaray's 1974 book Speculum of the Other Woman analyzes the texts of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Freud, Descartes, and Hegel through the lens of phallocentrism.

 10 
Martha Nussbaum
(American Philosopher)
Martha Nussbaum
14
Birthdate: May 6, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York, United States
 11 
Friedrich Engels
(German Philosopher Who Developed 'Marxism' Together With Karl Max)
Friedrich Engels
26
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.

 12 
Charles Fourier
(French Philosopher Who was One of the Founders of Utopian Socialism)
Charles Fourier
6
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.

 13 
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.

 14 
Arete
(Greek Philosophy)
Arete
3
Birthplace: Greece
 15 
Juana Inés de la Cruz
(Mexican Writer, Philosopher, Composer and Poet of the 'Baroque Period')
Juana Inés de la Cruz
6
Birthdate: November 12, 1648
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tepetlixpa, 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.

 16 
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.
 17 
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. 

 18 
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
 19 
Philippa Foot
(English Philosopher and One of the Founders of Contemporary Virtue Ethics)
Philippa Foot
3
Birthdate: October 3, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Owston Ferry, England, United Kingdom
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.

 20 
Émilie du Châtelet
(Philosopher)
Émilie du Châtelet
3
Birthdate: December 17, 1706
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 10, 1749
 21 
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.
 22 
Germaine de Staël
(Philosopher)
Germaine de Staël
4
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.

 23 
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
 24 
Elena Cornaro Piscopia
(Philosopher)
Elena Cornaro Piscopia
4
Birthdate: June 5, 1646
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: July 26, 1684
 25 
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.

 26 
Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish
(philosopher, scientist, poet, science fiction writer)
Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish
4
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.

 27 
Mary Daly
(Philosopher)
Mary Daly
4
Birthdate: October 16, 1928
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Schenectady, New York, United States
Died: January 3, 2010
 28 
Carol Gilligan
(Psychologist, Philosopher, Non-fiction writer, Sociologist, Feminist)
Carol Gilligan
5
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.

 29 
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.

 30 
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.

 31 
Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka
(Philosopher)
Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka
5
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.

 32 
Judith Jarvis Thomson
(Philosopher)
Judith Jarvis Thomson
2
Birthdate: October 4, 1929
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: November 20, 2020
 33 
Diotima of Mantinea
(Greek Philosopher)
Diotima of Mantinea
2
Birthplace: Mantineia, Greece
 34 
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
(Academic Scholar)
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
5
Birthdate: May 2, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
Died: April 12, 2009
 35 
Adrian Piper
(Conceptual Artist)
Adrian Piper
5
Birthdate: September 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, New York
 36 
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
 37 
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.

 38 
Akka Mahadevi
Akka Mahadevi
4
Birthplace: Karnataka
 39 
Patricia Hill Collins
(American Philosopher, Sociologist and University teacher)
Patricia Hill Collins
3
Birthdate: May 1, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
 40 
Paul B. Preciado
Paul B. Preciado
5

Born a woman, Paul B. Preciado initially identified himself as a lesbian and later announced his slow transition to being a man. A celebrated author and philosopher, he has penned books such as Testo Junkie, written columns on gender and sexuality, and taught subjects such as gender theory.

 41 
Mary Midgley
(Philosopher, Author, University teacher, Writer)
Mary Midgley
3
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.   

 42 
Elisabeth of the Palatinate
(Philosopher)
Elisabeth of the Palatinate
2
Birthdate: December 26, 1618
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Heidelberg, Electorate of the Palatinate
Died: February 11, 1680
 43 
Cleopatra the Alchemist
(FGreek Philosopher)
Cleopatra the Alchemist
2
Birthplace: Unknown
 44 
Susanne Langer
(Philosopher)
Susanne Langer
2
Birthdate: December 20, 1895
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: July 17, 1985
 45 
Élisabeth Badinter
(Philosopher)
Élisabeth Badinter
3
Birthdate: March 5, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Boulogne-Billancourt, France

An ardent advocate of liberal feminism and also of the rights of women migrant workers, Élisabeth Badinter is an eminent French philosopher. Also a prolific author, she has published several works including L'Amour en plus ear, L'un est l'autre and La fausse route, raising contentious questions through them. Also a staunch supporter of French secularism, she supported Islamic scarf ban  

 46 
Nel Noddings
(Philosopher, University teacher)
Nel Noddings
2
Birthdate: January 19, 1929
Sun Sign: Capricorn
 47 
Patricia Churchland
(Canadian-American Analytic Philosopher)
Patricia Churchland
2
Birthdate: July 16, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Oliver
 48 
Rosi Braidotti
(Australian Philosopher and Feminist Theoretician)
Rosi Braidotti
3
Birthdate: September 28, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Latisana, Italy

Philosopher and Utrecht University professor Rosi Braidotti was born in Italy but moved to Australia at 16. An academic whose research scope includes postmodern feminism and continental philosophy, she has also earned honorary degrees from various universities and the knighthood in the Netherlands. Her books include Nomadic Subjects.

 49 
Ban Zhao
(Chinese Historian, Philosopher, and Politician)
Ban Zhao
2
Birthdate: 0049 AD
Birthplace: Shaanxi, China
Died: 0120 AD

Ban Zhao was a Chinese historian, politician, and philosopher. Remembered for her immense contribution to the Book of Han, Ban Zhao was the first known female historian in the history of China. Widely regarded as China's most popular female scholar, Ban Zhao also had an interest in mathematics and astronomy. She also gained political influence by teaching Empress Deng Sui.

 50 
Mary Astell
(English Protofeminist Writer, Philosopher and Rhetorician)
Mary Astell
2
Birthdate: November 12, 1666
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Died: May 11, 1731