Jaques, Jenny, Richardson: Philosophy in an inclusive key

July 8, 2015


The academic pursuit of philosophy has a serious diversity problem. As recently as 2010, fewer than 30 percent of those earning doctorates in philosophy were women, for example — a lower percentage than that for math, chemistry, or economics. The numbers of racial and ethnic minorities in philosophy are estimated to be even worse.

Now, three philosophy graduate students in MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS) have rolled up their sleeves to tackle this problem. Abby Jaques, Matthias Jenny, and Kevin Richardson have organized a weeklong program that will bring a diverse cohort of undergraduates to the MIT campus this summer, where the students will explore the full range of options for pursuing an academic career in philosophy.

“The overall philosophical profession, just like society at large, is still very much dominated by straight, white, cisgendered [not transgender], able-bodied, middle-class men,” observes Jenny. “Anyone who doesn’t fit all of these criteria often faces significant challenges when trying to enter and thrive in philosophy. This is both an injustice to the majority of people who don’t fit the above criteria and to the detriment of philosophy as a collective intellectual enterprise.” Read the full feature at MIT News Photo: Jon Sachs/MIT SHASS

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