Why Don’t Philosophers Tell Their Mothers’ Stories? Philosophy, Motherhood, and Imaginative Resistance

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter begins and ends with phone calls with my mother. It was inspired by a conversation with her that convinced me there is something philosophically interesting about my observation that male philosophers don’t reflect on motherhood. I make my case for this claim and reflect on my conversation with my mother in this chapter. More specifically, I develop a theory about why male philosophers find it difficult to philosophize about maternity. I intended to put it into practice by encouraging my mother to talk about her experiences of maternity with me. I found, however, that I needed to revise my conclusion after my wife became pregnant, which coincidentally occurred shortly after I finished a first draft of this chapter. This chapter ends not with an image of me talking with my mother but of overhearing frequent conversations about maternity between my wife and mother, conversations that led me to revise my perspective on the obstacles that keep male philosophers from appreciating women’s experiences of pregnancy and motherhood. I reflect on these conversations in the last section.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhilosophical Inquiries into Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Mothering
Subtitle of host publicationMaternal Subjects
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781136511233
ISBN (Print)9780415891875
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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