Can Women Think? An attempt to go beyond philosophy-as-difference

Dr. Nicole des Bouvrie, Visiting scholar to the Baha’i Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland

Abstract: The history of (Western) philosophy has been dominated by male thinkers. What does this mean for our understanding of thinking and the structures through which we understand reality, the world around us? Can there even be an alternative way of thinking that does not define itself based on being different? When we acknowledge that thinking and philosophy can only be approached through a method of creating difference, this places us in an ethical dilemma. When we ask what we can know, this is asking for an understanding about the structure that inhibits and inhabits our directionality, the structure that provides us with an ethical realm. The thinking that is based on making distinctions as the method to understand reality, has made difference the basis of the ethical. Is it possible to find a way for those excluded from those in the power to decide what is normal and what is mad, for minorities, for women, to define what it means to think and be? Or is being a woman always going to be defined through an essentially lack of something? In other words, is a thinking woman always an oxymoron? 
About the speaker: Dr. Nicole des Bouvrie is a visiting scholar to the Baha’i Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland. After she finished her PhD in Philosophy, Art and Critical Theory at the European Graduate School in Switzerland, she has worked as a freelance philosopher and as a post-doc researcher at Fudan University, Shanghai, China. She wrote her dissertation about the “Necessity of the Impossible”, thinking about radical change and how the prevalent epistemic structures of power are limiting reality and the possibilities of change. 
This event will be held in the Maryland Room, Marie Mount Hall, University of Maryland

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 3:00pm

The Bahá'í Chair for World Peace
University of Maryland
3101 Chincoteague Hall
7401 Preinkert Drive
College Park, MD 20742

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