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  • Susan Haack


Dorothy Sayers' Gaudy Night, published in 1936, explores still-topical questions about the relation of epistemological and ethical values, and about the place of women in the life of the mind. In her wry reflections on the radical differences between today's feminist philosophy and Sayers' no-nonsense observation that “women are more like men than anything else on earth,” Susan Haack draws both on this detective story and on Sayers' wonderfully brisk essay, ‘Are Women Human?’



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1 Sayers, Dorothy L., Gaudy Night (1936: New York: Harper Paperbacks, 1995). The passage quoted is from “the extempore prayer of an incoherent curate,” p.334. All subsequent page references in the text are to this edition.

2 Lurie, Alison, Imaginary Friends (1967: New York, Owl Books, Henry Holt and Company, 1998).

3 Butler, Samuel, The Way of All Flesh (1903: New York: Random House, 1998); see also Haack, SusanThe Ideal of Intellectual Integrity, in Life and Literature,’ New Literary History, 36.3, 2005: 359-73.

4 Haack, Susan, ‘Concern for Truth: What It Means, Why It Matters,’ in The Flight from Science and Reason, eds. Gross, Paul R., Levitt, Norman, and Lewis, Martin W., Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 775 (1996): 57-62; reprinted in a book of the same title (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), 57-62.

5 Snow, C. P., The Search (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1934).

6 Sayers, Dorothy L., ‘Are Women Human?’ (1938), and ‘The Human-Not-Quite-Human’ (undated), in Sayers, Unpopular Opinions: Twenty-One Essays (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1947), 129-41 and 142-49.

7 Sayers, ‘Are Women Human?’ (n.6), pp.138-9.

8 Sayers, ‘The Human-Not-Quite-Human’ (n.6), p.142.

9 Sayers, ‘Are Women Human?’ (n.6), p.129.

10 Sayers, ‘Are Women Human?’ (n.6), p.138.

11 Sayers, ‘Are Women Human?’ (n.6), p.137.

12 Sayers, ‘Are Women Human?’ (n.6), p.131.

13 Sayers, ‘Aristotle on Detective Fiction,’ in Unpopular Opinions (n.6 above), 222-36.

14 I was presenting ‘The best man for the job may be a woman … and other alien thoughts on affirmative action in the academy,’ subsequently published in Haack, , Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate: Unfashionable Essays (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 167-87, at NYU Law School, where Habermas was then visiting.

15 Sayers, ‘Are Women Human?’ (n.6), p.141.

16 Reported by Bell, E. T. in The Development of Mathematics (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1949), p.519.

17 Einstein, Albert, ‘On Classical Literature’ (1952), reprinted in Ideas and Opinions by Albert Einstein, ed. Selig, Carl, trans. Bargmann, Sonja (New York: Crown Publishers, 1954), 64-65.


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