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Aristotle on Sexual Difference

Metaphysics, Biology, Politics

Marguerite Deslauriers

Aristotle on Sexual Difference

Aristotle on Sexual Difference

Metaphysics, Biology, Politics

Aristotle on Sexual Difference

 

Aristotle on Sexual Difference is a book about Aristotle's understanding of the differences between male and females, and men and women. It considers what he says about biological differences between the sexes, and about psychological differences that he thinks justify different political roles for men and women.


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Beschrijving Aristotle on Sexual Difference

Aristotle's remarks about the differences between the sexes have become infamous for their implications for
the social status of women. In his observations on female biology, Aristotle claims that "the female nature is,
as it were, a deformity." In describing women's role in the public sphere, he claims that women are naturally
subordinate because, while they possess a deliberative faculty, that capacity is "without authority." While both
claims express the "inferiority" of female bodies/women relative to male bodies/men, it is not self-evident that
the defects Aristotle identifies in female biology have cognitive or moral manifestations that would justify the
rule of men over women in political life. Marguerite Deslauriers here aims to construct a coherent picture of
Aristotle's views on sexual and gender-based difference from these remarks and to show the extent to which
his views on female biology and women's role in politics are causally connected.

Without exculpating Aristotle from charges of misogyny, Deslauriers contextualizes his explanations of the
role and origin of female animals in his biology and the role of women in his political philosophy; she shows
how Aristotle developed these views and the importance they hold for his wider philosophical commitments.
She then explores how Aristotle might have seen the link between the physiology of sex and the bearing it has
on political life. She ultimately argues that in Aristotle's conception of sexual difference in biology and
politics, there is a tension between his view of the inferiority of female bodies and women and his
commitment to the idea that females and women are valuable both for generation and for the political life
characteristic of human beings. In this tension she finds a difference between Aristotle and his predecessors:
while previous accounts associate sexual difference with affliction, Aristotle sees sexual difference as a
benefit, both to a species and a political community. This volume will be of interest to philosophers and
students interested in ancient philosophy, feminist philosophy, as well as those studying moral and political
philosophy.


ISBN
9780197606186
Pagina's
352
Verschenen
NUR
730
Druk
1
Uitvoering
Hardback
Taal
Engels
Uitgever
OUP USA

Filosofie