Department of Philosophy



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The Department of Philosophy Colloquium Series is pleased to present

The Graham Kennedy Memorial Lecture

given by

Dr. Rachael Wiseman, University of Liverpool

The Golden Age of Female Philosophy?  Anscombe, Foot, Midgley and Murdoch

Thursday, September 20, 4:00 pm, Watson Hall 517

A reception will follow at the University Club, Stuart Street

Abstract: Iris Murdoch, Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, and Mary Midgley met and became friends at Oxford University as Undergraduates. The four began their studies in 1938, just before the outbreak of WWII. When war was declared, many of the University dons and male students were enlisted in war work. As a result these women enjoyed a university environment that was, for the first time, predominantly female. In this talk I will introduce their philosophy and consider how important the wartime conditions were to its development. I will also reflect upon the broader implications of admitting into the cannon an all-female philosophical school.

Bio: Dr. Wiseman is a Lecturer at University of Liverpool. She works at the intersection of philosophy of mind, action and ethics and publishes on Wittgenstein and Anscombe. With Clare MacCumhaill (Durham University) she co-directs the In Parenthesis project, which explores the work and friendships of four women philosophers who met at Oxford during WWII: Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley and Iris Murdoch ( Before joining the department at Liverpool, she studied at University College London and University of York and was an Addison Wheeler Research Fellow at Durham.


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