Theano’s Day – tribute to resourceful philosophers

If you haven’t written a post for Theano’s Day please go ahead and write one when you see this, and comment to let us know!

For Theano’s Day, I’ll honor the contributions of women thinkers and researchers who kept their philosophical pursuits alive and lived out their values during tough financial times.

Anna Doyle Wheeler left a bad marriage and made sacrifices afterwards for her daughters’ education, including not having a home of her own and trading services in exchange for room and board with various friends and family members. She translated major French philosophical works of her time into English and also wrote treatises on the nature and value of education and on women’s freedom and rights.

Laura Bassi produced work in physics and fluid dynamics as well as theoretical philosophy. She lived in Italy during the 1700s and raised twelve children together with her husband, so probably had to balance time and money also. She lectured from home at some points when her children were very young.

Christine Pisan was left a near-bankrupt widow with children, and supported herself through help from from family and friends and eventually through freelance writing 😉 She wrote on the nature of virtue and ethics, and created some stylized courtly love poems.

Theano, today’s namesake, was part of a larger group of women and men in the Pythagorean school: Many of their writings survive to this day, and include work in geometry, mathematics, artistic proportion and balance, beauty, and the purpose and meaning of life. Theano had daughters who wrote philosophical documents also, and whose writings form part of the early Pythagorean works.