The world of philosophy is rapidly expanding. New technological advance gives us quicker, broader, more complete access to new knowledge. We read Hannah Arendt on our phones. We study Edith Stein on our tablets. Voice-activated technology takes notes and posts them to cloud storage while we drive. New historical information about women’s contributions is generating new knowledge, warranting reconsideration of the standard histories of the discipline.

But one thing about human nature has not changed: our ability to comprehend succinct, but concise philosophical concepts, like “thinking”. And thus was born the idea for this encyclopedia: to create a living, growing work filled with new information from an ancient discipline, adapted to up to date technology.

We gave this challenge to eminent scholars around the globe: in 100-300 words explain a concept as it was developed by a woman philosopher. Append to each essay a short bibliography of the most relevant articles and books in which that philosopher’s concept is developed or discussed.

Most encyclopedias are arranged according to philosopher such as Aquinas, Kant, Marx, or by division of philosophy such as aesthetics, or logic. Others are arranged by school of philosophy such as Epicureanism, or Zen. Some are arranged by concepts, ideas and theories such as justice, number or rationalism. But NONE offer a comprehensive list of entries about the ideas women philosophers have developed. The Encyclopedia of Concise Concepts by Women Philosophers  is unique.

We begin with more than a hundred philosophic concepts as they were developed by women from antiquity through the turn of the 21st century. As we regularly update and expand its contents we will begin to provide links to sources where available. This encyclopedia will be accessible for free online, through university libraries world-wide, through national libraries, and in the online collection of the Paderborn University Library Digital Collection through which it is curated.

The Encyclopedia of Concise Concepts by Women Philosophers launches its first body of articles in 2018. Our authors are the world’s acknowledged experts in their subject. Every few months we will be adding new articles about concepts developed by women philosophers.


The Encyclopedia of Concise Concepts by Women Philosophers is an online open-access platform where precise concepts originating in or significantly advanced by a deceased woman philosopher are given in concisely analytical entries (usually in no more than 300 words), written by recognized experts. The entries pass a blind peer-review in order to be published in the Encyclopedia. Each article will be continuously updated with links to the sources cited by scholars. Those articles, books, etc. will be digitally archived by Paderborn University so that they will not expire or break.

The Encyclopedia is fully indexed and searchable by keyword and by unique Digital Object Identifier (DOI) obtained by Paderborn University so that each entry counts as a refereed publication for the purposes of authors seeking promotion, tenure, academic appointment or funding.

You are invited to contribute by submitting your proposal here.