By Brianna Wiest

In a field that’s been dominated by men for centuries, paying homage to women’s contribution to philosophy is no easy task – simply, it wasn’t socially acceptable to preoccupy oneself with “thinking,” nor would the resources to publish or preserve one’s work be available. This is to say that despite the collection being small, it is only small for unfortunate circumstances – not lack of ability.

“The highest ecstasy is attention at its fullest.”

Simone Weil

“Another problem with people who fail to examine themselves is that they often prove all too easily influenced.”

– Martha C. Nussbaum

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

Hannah Arendt

“To be a good human being is to have a kind of openness to the world, an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control, that can lead you to be shattered in very extreme circumstances for which you were not to blame. That says something very important about the condition of the ethical life: that it is based on a trust in the uncertain and on a willingness to be exposed; it’s based on being more like a plant than like a jewel, something rather fragile, but whose very particular beauty is inseparable from that fragility.”

– Martha C. Nussbaum

“You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals…”

Madame Marie Curie

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

Hannah Arendt

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”

Ayn Rand

“I am too intelligent, too demanding, and too resourceful for anyone to be able to take charge of me entirely. No one knows me or loves me completely. I have only myself.”

Simone de Beauvoir

“We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.”

Iris Murdoch

“Regardless of the staggering dimensions of the world about us, the density of our ignorance, the risks of catastrophes to come, and our individual weakness within the immense collectivity, the fact remains that we are absolutely free today if we choose to will our existence in its finiteness, a finiteness which is open on the infinite. And in fact, any man who has known real loves, real revolts, real desires, and real will knows quite well that he has no need of any outside guarantee to be sure of his goals; their certitude comes from his own drive.”

– Simone de Beauvoir

“It seems to me that good philosophy will always have a place in the investigation of any matter of deep human importance, because of its commitment to clarity, to carefully drawn distinctions, to calm argument rather than prejudice and dogmatic assertion.”

Martha C. Nussbaum

“I say, life and figure are distinct attributes of one substance, and as one and the same body may be transmuted into all kinds of figures; and as the perfecter figure comprehends that which is more imperfect; so one and the same body may be transmuted from one degree of life to another more perfect, which always comprehends in it the inferior.”

Anne Conway

“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”

– Simone de Beauvoir

“Revolutionaries do not make revolutions. The revolutionaries are those who know when power is lying in the street and then they can pick it up.”

Hannah Arendt

“No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.”

Mary Wollstonecraft

“We defend ourself with descriptions and tame the world by generalizing.”

Iris Murdoch

“The world is extremely interesting to a joyful soul.”

Alexandra Stoddard

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