Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia

Italian Philosopher


Elena was the first woman to receive a doctorate for her graduate studies in philosophy. In 1678 she defended her thesis against a group of professors. Her thesis was probably on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics and Physics.

The thesis argument, however sealed her fate. For this concluded her studies, ending her career as a student, because there were no places for advanced studies for women, and there were certainly no teaching positions open to women in Padua, Italy. The University of Padua did not offer another Ph.D. to a woman for seventy more years.

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