Visiting lecturer speaks about women in philosophy

One of the county’s leading experts in the philosophy of physics came to Eastern Michigan University on April 7. Dr. Laura Reutshe spoke in Pray-Harrold on what it is like to be a woman in the field.

Reutshe’s work relates the philosophy of quantum theory to feminism. Quantum theory is the theoretical foundation of modern physics that explains nature and behavior of matter and energy on atomic and subatomic levels. The lecture dove deeply into quantum theories as well as their relationship with feminism.

According to Reutshe, evaporating gender and improving philosophy are both important projects in the field due to a climate within philosophy that doesn’t promote for less unreasonable self-confidence in the field.

Reutshe, after explaining her role as a philosopher of physics, a role she was looked at differently for by prominent philosopher of physics and philosophers, stated this about the gender dynamics in philosophy.

“It interacts with prevailing gender dynamics that women are less successful at this [philosophy],” Reutshe said.

Quantum physics and feminism are rarely associated. But through Reutshe’s theory, they are. She made a sophisticated argument by asking a series of rhetorical questions to the audience.

Reutshe asked the audience what is it like to be a human being in philosophy. She explained that being a human being in philosophy is “not always so hot.” The discipline can select for unreasonable self-confidence.

She also proposed whether or not feminist points can be made with the right technical tools or made more powerful by a claim that technical words better convey a feminist argument.

According to Reutshe this creates a sort of phenomenon that makes the information worth understanding and the frameworks of such feminist points promote their purpose.

The History and Philosophy department at EMU hosts on the Philosophy Speaker Series in Pray-Harold throughout the semester, Reutshe was the last speaker for this semester. The departments plan to schedule more for the fall semester.

Dr. Laura Reutshe is the department chair of the Department of Philosophy and a professor at the University of Michigan. She has published one book, “Interpreting Quantum Theories.”

Her book discusses different quantum theories and how they attract philosophical attention. The book won her the Lakatos Award in Philosophy of Science, an award given for outstanding contributions to the field of the Philosophy of Science.

Reutshe is not only well known for her outstanding work in philosophy of physics and philosophy of science, but is also known among her peers for her quirky presentation and publication titles like “Aristotle, the Forgotten Feminist.” There she discusses feminist epistemology using Aristotelian vocabulary.

She told the audience Quantum Physics theories motivate a way of thinking about the content of physical theories and that the context matters.

“It’s mattering can be made visible through inquiry that begins with questions,” Reutshe said.


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