This article considers Kant's polemic against Plato, the letter writer, in order to investigate the role of letters in the production of philosophy. It begins with a close reading of Kant's essay against Johann George Schlosser, then takes up Derrida's engagement with Kant's concept of the tone of philosophy, and then turns to a discussion of three female philosophers who used the letter, whether real or fictitious, to engage in the production of philosophy. Something even stronger is argued, namely, that in the genre of the philosophical letter there is something sui generis that renders it, as a locus of the material production of philosophy, vitally humanizing, individualizing, and generously inviting. Many who were traditionally excluded from the calling of philosophy, because of their gender, found in the genre of the letter a way both to discover their philosophical voice and to share in the joy of thinking with another.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes