HomeIDEYA: Journal of Humanitiesvol. 9 no. 1 (2007)

Ungendering Philosophy: Seeking the Lost Androgyny in Philosophy

Leni Dlr. Garcia

Discipline: Philosophy, Humanities



“Ungendering Philosophy” attempts to show that the philosophical endeavor has always been, since its origins in Ancient Greece, a male preoccupation. Thus, it defined its goal and its process as masculine, and has always excluded women and any feminine engagement from it. This is done, first, through a re-examination of the battle between philosophy and poetry in Plato, and then through the tracing of the connections between poetry and dance, in the latter’s role in ancient feminine religious rites.


This paper also tries to show, however, that in spite of philosophy.s attempt to purge itself of poetry and its influences, it still inevitably follows the procedure of ancient Mystery Rites because it identifies its goal as enlightenment. In this archetypal quest for enlightenment, philosophy takes on the role of the hero, questing for the goddess of wisdom, Sophia. Because of this, philosophy is rightly engaged in as a male discipline and, therefore, subject to the limitations of masculine thinking.