The idea for an anthology of critical feminist readings in the history of modern Western philosophy developed from the idea for an anthology of critical feminist readings in Plato and Aristotle. The former idea was inspired by students' complaints about the irrelevance of a history of ancient Greek philosophy course that is gender-blind. Because a history of Western philosophy curriculum usually consists of courses in ancient Greek philosophy and Modern Western philosophy, and because the relevance of the latter may also benefit from integrating a gendered analysis, it seemed appropriate to develop not only a volume of critical feminist readings of the former but to go on and develop a volume of critical feminist readings of the latter.
As with the Plato-Aristotle volume, in the case of this volume too, Jeffner Allen coached the development of an idea into a proposal to the press, and an incredible network of women philosophers encouraged me to implement the idea and helped me do so by suggesting possible contributors to the anthology or by contributing to the anthology themselves. The contributors, of course, are the people who actualized the idea and I would like to thank each one--Susan R. Bordo, Lisa M. Heldke, Jane Kneller, Wendy Lee- Lampshire, Lynda Lange, Marcia Lind, Sarah A. Bishop Merrill, Margaret Nash, Amy Newman, Kelly Oliver, Elizabeth Potter, Robbin May Schott, Ofelia Schutte, Kristin Waters, and Cynthia Willett--for their work, for indulging my editorial requests, even the quirky ones, and doing so with a sense of humor, and for the generosity of their spirits.