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Introduction. Women-pnenomenolgists: Hedwig Conrad-Martius, Edith Stein, and Gerda Walther

Journal: Horizon. Studies in Phenomenology (Vol.10, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 355-359

Keywords : Phenomenology; women; Hedwig Conrad-Martius; Edith Stein; Gerda Walther;

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The resurgence of interest in early phenomenology and the history of the phenomenological movement has brought to light the fact that several women took part in it and contributed to its development. Though their names are often unknown in the context of academic and international studies, there is no doubt that at least three women phenomenologists have received increasing attention in the last years: Hedwig Conrad- Martius (1888–1966), Edith Stein (1891–1942), and Gerda Walther (1897–1977). These philosophers share several common traits. Firstly, they were among the first women in Germany to study at grammar school (Gymnasium) and then at university, and to write a dissertation. Moreover, the three belonged to the first generation of phenomenologists active during, and immediately after, Edmund Husserl's time. Stein and Conrad-Martius studied with Husserl and Adolf Reinach in Göttingen; in 1916 Stein followed Husserl to Freiburg and defended her dissertation under his supervision. Also, Walther took courses with Husserl in Freiburg and studied with Alexander Pfänder, one of the main proponents of the phenomenological tradition in Munich. However, all three phenomenologists encountered a fundamental barrier in the difficulty to find a university where they could write a Habilitation, an essential condition when applying for academic positions.

Last modified: 2022-01-12 01:20:14