Women Challenge Male Philosophers to Make Room in Unfriendly Field

Female Philosophers Shake Up Their Field 1

Dustin Chambers for The Chronicle

At the American Philosophical Association's annual Eastern Division meeting, in Atlanta in December, female philosophers avoided a traditionally male-dominated reception at the hotel by gathering for pizza at the home of a local colleague.

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close Female Philosophers Shake Up Their Field 1

Dustin Chambers for The Chronicle

At the American Philosophical Association's annual Eastern Division meeting, in Atlanta in December, female philosophers avoided a traditionally male-dominated reception at the hotel by gathering for pizza at the home of a local colleague.

America's philosophy professors are having a party, the sort of gathering that has become an institution at the annual meeting of the American Philosophical Association. In a ballroom on the lowest level of a sprawling downtown hotel here, clumps of men sit talking, laughing, and drinking beer at big, round tables.

The association calls the gathering a reception, but everyone here knows it as the "smoker," even though no one is allowed to smoke anymore. It caps the first day of