Thinking women

Female philosophers have often written about familiar everyday themes. In Issue 18 you can read a tribute to six of these female thinkers. In this blog you can read more about Patricia de Martelaere.

Patricia de Martelaere (1957-2009) studied philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, and was a professor at the Catholic University of Brussels. Not only was she a researcher, she also wrote novels, essays, poems, and is known for her 2005 novel Het onverwachte antwoord (The Unexpected Answer).

De Martelaere used to publish a lot about Western philosopher David Hume (1711-1776), but she gradually became more interested in Eastern philosophy. She felt deeply that this held the answer to the question how we should live. According to her, we make life unnecessarily complicated with our endless thinking and worrying about it, and the best thing is to just learn to accept it. “Loneliness is a problem but the opposite, lack of privacy, is also a problem,” she said in one of her rare interviews. “Love is a problem, but so is lack of love. What should you eat? What should you not eat? Maybe you should become a vegetarian? If we could be less excessive in our worrying, mourning, crying and falling in love, we might also be less plagued by depression, heartbreak, you name it.”

  • You can read more about Patrica de Martelaere and other female thinkers in Issue 18. In this issue you can also find a Female Philosophers Poster with illustrations from Marenthe Otten

Text Sjoukje van de Kolk Illustration Marenthe Otten