In Defence of Different Voices

Helen Beebee, Anne-Marie Mccallion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Louise Antony draws a now well-known distinction between two explanatory models for researching and addressing the issue of women’s underrepresentation in philosophy – the ‘Different Voices’ (DV) and ‘Perfect Storm’ (PS) models – and argues that, in view of PS’s considerably higher social value, DV should be abandoned. We argue that Antony misunderstands the feminist framework that she takes to underpin DV, and we reconceptualise DV in a way that aligns with a proper understanding of the metaphilosophical framework that underpins it. On the basis of that reconceptualisation – together with the rejection of her claim that DV posits ‘cognitive’ differences between women and men – we argue that Antony’s negative assessment of DV’s social value is mistaken. And, we argue, this conclusion does not depend on endorsing the relevant feminist metaphilosophical framework. Whatever our metaphilosophical commitments, then, we should all agree that DV research should be actively pursued rather than abandoned.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-177
Number of pages29
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2020


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