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Camilla Pitton

Philosophy, University of Warwick

Thesis title:

The Mimetic Feminine: Re-examining and Critiquing Sexual Difference

My research revolves around feminist philosophy, understood as the transformation of philosophy into a feminist praxis. My thesis critically investigates the concept of sexual difference[1] as an implicit and yet enduring category within the Western philosophical canon.

My primary contention is that the dichotomy between genders (as traditionally conceptualised) and the unfavourable perception of women subtly influence various canonical philosophical frameworks that, on the surface, appear neutral. This acknowledgment forms the basis of my research questions: (1) how can sexual difference be destabilised as a philosophical principle? And (2) how can philosophy become less patriarchal?

By working through these questions, my research carries out three key philosophical interventions. Firstly, it sheds light on the role patriarchal conceptions of gender play within Western philosophy, underscoring the importance of investigating the foundational pillars that sustain patriarchal thought rather than exclusively addressing its symptomatic manifestations. Secondly, I explore and flesh out the conditions of existence of a genuinely feminist form of philosophy: whether and how philosophy can distance itself from its patriarchal underpinnings. Thirdly, this work serves as a critical examination of proposals that have emerged in the wake of ‘philosophies of difference,’ which have gained prominence in contemporary continental and feminist discussions. Particularly, by problematising their reliance on the notion of ‘constitutive exclusion,’ my thesis urges for a more nuanced response to established philosophical narratives.

Research Area

  • Philosophy


Pitton, Camilla. 2023. "The Limitations of Duality: Reexamining Sexual Difference in Feminist Philosophies of Nature," Feminist Philosophy Quarterly, vol. 9, issue 4. (forthcoming in December 2023).

Batho, David, Pitton Camilla. 2018. "What is Moral Distress? Experiences and Responses Green Paper." The Ethics of Powerlessness. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.25797.76003. URL: https://powerlessness.essex.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/MoralDistressGreenPaper1.pdf


‘The re-constitution of negation in feminist politics and contemporary French thought’, at “The History of Political Thought and Contemporary Philosophy Symposium”, 2023, University of Warwick.

‘Re-examining Irigaray’s philosophy of nature: objections to the ‘duality’ interpretation’, at the “Society for European Philosophy Conference”, 2022, Newcastle University.

‘The mimetic negative: negative determination and meta-philosophical plurality’, at “The London Conference of Critical Thought”, 2022, Birkbeck University.

‘Reconfiguring feminine negativity: from repression to affirmative production’, at the “Unlearning Nihilism” conference, 2022, New Centre for Research and Practice and Royal Holloway University of London.

‘Mimesis as a feminist technology: from Irigaray’s copying woman to simulation’, at “The Mimetic Turn: Final International Conference on Homo Mimeticus”, 2022, KU Leuven.

'The (lost) Futures of Techno-Feminism’, at “The Futures of Feminism” workshop, 2021, Tilburg University.

Public Engagement & Impact

2022: Organiser of the “Posthuman Bodies and Embodied Posthumanisms” conference, University of Warwick and Nottingham Trent University.

2022: Organiser of the conference “Continental Philosophy and Global Challenges: Historical perspectives through practical engagements”, University of Warwick.

2021: Organiser of the conference “Continental Philosophy and its Histories”, University of Warwick.

2019: Organiser of the conference “What is Philosophy? Past, Present and Future”, University of Warwick.

Research roles

2017-2018    Research assistant for The Ethics of Powerlessness project at the University of Essex .

2017             Research assistant for The Essex Autonomy Project at the University of Essex.