Just to respond to afew of Jyl's points.
(1) We practice philosophy according to a sort of lawyers-in-courtmodel. This practice has its downside. It encourages aggression, whichoften impedes rather than promotes progress. And it leads people oftento defend views that they do not strongly believe in, and certainlywouldn't, if they reflected honestly and outside of the context ofthe good fight that they are enjoying. This also can impedeprogress.
Sometimes we'd do better to admit that none of us understands thesubject matter very well - because it is so extremely difficult, notbecause we are thick - and tried to muddle along together.
(2) The combative nature of the practice, and the aggression that thisencourages, have indeed caused very talented philosophers not to enterthe profession. Some of these are men. But I strongly suspect thatmore are women.
If that empirical suspicion of mine were correct, thenthat wouldprovide one among several good reasons for philosophers to consideradopting different and more co-operative modes of interaction.
(3) I think that women tend to favour co-operative modes ofinteraction to combative ones and that in that respect women aresuperior to men.
(4) But then this issue really is very difficult, and, hey, what do Iknow?