CFP: "What is a Woman?"

Submission deadline: March 13, 2020

Conference date(s):
January 21, 2021 - January 22, 2021

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Conference Venue:

Departement of Philosophy, University of Hamburg
Hamburg, Germany

Topic areas



SWIP-Hamburg Workshop in Feminist Philosophy

Topic: “What is a Woman?”

University of Hamburg, Institute of Philosophy, 10 July 2020

If the aim of the feminist movement is the amelioration of the social position of women, feminism needs to presuppose an understanding of what women are – and how they may be distinguished from men. At least since Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1949) the question “What is a Woman?” has been debated in feminist philosophy. It is widely agreed that an answer to this question should avoid biological determinism, thereby vindicating the distinction between the (biological) sex and the (social) gender of a person. The sex/gender distinction, in turn, has led to much debate how to understand the two concepts, in particular that of gender, and critiques of this distinction altogether. This workshop aims to bring together philosophers working in both the analytic and continental tradition, and those with an interest in discussing the question from a historical perspective.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

- conceptual engineering as a method to ameliorate the concept “woman”

- the challenge of how to do justice to the identities of trans women within a concept of woman

- the (phenomenological) concept of the lived body (Leib) as an alternative to both sex and gender

Confirmed speaker:

Esa Díaz-León, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Barcelona

Submitting a proposal:

1. Please send an abstract as an attachment in MS Word (250 words, excluding bibliography) prepared for blind review.

2. Include in the body of the email relevant contact information: the author(s), department(s) and affiliation(s), and email address.

3. The abstract including contact information should be sent by March 13th, 2020 to the following email address:

The workshop is part of a two-day event. The first part will be the first SWIP-Hamburg Annual Lecture to be delivered by Professor Esa Díaz-León (Barcelona) on the topic “What is a Woman?” on the 9th July 2020 at the University of Hamburg.

This event is organised by the Hamburg branch of SWIP (Society for Women in Philosophy) Germany. See:


Kira Meyer, Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin (Research Associate), Institute for Philosophy, University of Hamburg

Esther Neuhann, Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin (Research Associate), Institute for Philosophy, University of Hamburg

Costanza Porro, Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin (Research Associate), Institute for Philosophy, University of Hamburg

Christine Straehle, Professor for Practical Philosophy, Institute for Philosophy, University of Hamburg

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