Women have virtually always engaged philosophical questions via various philosophical methods; but it is only within the last thirty years that philosophy done from an explicitly feminist perspective has emerged as a distinct approach to such questions.
Feminist philosophy has been path-breaking in at least three ways:
- First, it has identified and examined the philosophical implications of gendered, classed, and ethnic biases of conventional philosophical questions, positions, and arguments.
- Second, as a result of this attention to issues such as gender and class, feminist philosophy has posed new philosophical questions and has transformed many of the traditional issues of philosophy.
- Third, feminist philosophy has introduced new subjects for philosophical consideration—subjects such as the conflicts between rights-based and care-based approaches to morality; the expansion of maternal thinking to issues such as war and state welfare systems; the gendered, classed, and ethnic dimensions of various social institutions and practices, such as science, public education, law, and religion.