I read your paper with much interest. I don't know enough to proclaim the differences of which you speak as biological, but I do think that there are indeed many cultural messages that are absorbed, sometimes tacitly, with regard to the kinds of "thinking styles" that are "appropriate" to male and female. I think that there is an enormous amount of research that needs to be done about how culture, pedagogy, and perhaps biology might interrelate and affect the ways in which different people process the information in the world around them. But we'll most likely find that the neat male-female division doesn't work as well as we might think, because there are so many variables even within the dimension of sex: sexuality, gender identification, and orientation, for example, might have differential effects of which we are not fully aware, and the effects might vary considerably when placed in the larger context of each individual's life, upbringing, psychology, etc.
This is not an uninteresting subject to me because for years I fought the "analytic" tendency of many people in Objectivism who had a visceral negative reaction to the kinds of "holistic" methods that I identified as crucial to Rand's "dialectical" orientation [in Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical]. (I often define dialectics as "the art of context-keeping.") Anecdotally, I can tell you that my exposition seemed to connect with more women than men, and more "creative" types than with the conventional "instrumentalist" inhabitants of the planet Mars.
Interestingly, Rand may have smiled when Mises called her the "most courageous man in America," and she was actually attacked by many feminists and women philosophers because she seemed to embrace the male "orientation": "analytic," "deductive," "rationalistic," "phallo-centric."
But I do believe that Rand went way beyond that kind of instrumentalism. People like Nathaniel Branden in The Disowned Self, and Leonard Peikoff in "Understanding Objectivism" have done a good job at showing the error of treating Objectivism as a form of rationalism. She was among the most "dialectical" of philosophers, with an emphasis on system-building, and fully contextual thinking that sought to transcend the analytic-synthetic division. She also offered important insights into the subconscious integrations at work in human creativity, and these were on practical display in the remarkably integrated works of fiction that she herself created. (In fact, I often tell my own students that those who focus on Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology as the first and last word of epistemology in Rand's philosophy get it all wrong: they need to "chew" Rand's fiction as well as all of Rand's insights on the "tacit" dimensions of consciousness---in her essays on aesthetics, and in her various lectures on fiction and nonfiction writing.)
Ironically, it was partially because of my own "dialectical" presentation of Rand's work that I was invited by Penn State Press to co-edit with Mimi Gladstein, Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand. There was something about the "dialectical" ("contextualist," "integrationist") emphasis that seemed to appeal to people in women's studies. Whatever one's view of that volume or of feminism, I do think that these are dimensions in Rand that often get obscured by those who present her philosophy in more "analytic" or "deductivist" terms.
Granted, all of this is still within a scholarly/academic context, but it seems relevant to some of the distinctions you raise in your article.
(Edited by sciabarra on 4/07, 3:57pm)