Engendering Origins: Critical Feminist Readings in Plato and Aristotle

Engendering Origins: Critical Feminist Readings in Plato and Aristotle

Engendering Origins: Critical Feminist Readings in Plato and Aristotle

Engendering Origins: Critical Feminist Readings in Plato and Aristotle

Synopsis

This book introduces feminist voices into the study of Platonic and Aristotelian texts that modern Western philosophy has treated as foundational. The book concerns the extent to which Platonic and Aristotelian texts are (un)redeemably sexist, masculinist, or phallocentric.

Excerpt

The idea for an anthology of feminist critical readings in Plato and Aristotle was inspired by my teaching and by my students, especially by Cathy Martin. Following some work Cathy did with me in a course about the history of ancient Greek philosophy at the end of the 1988 spring semester, she told me how upset she was about the history of philosophy curriculum since it was not relevant enough to her life as a woman, let alone a black woman. Cathy did not object to studying the canonical philosophers, but what she wanted most was to (1) examine their views about women; and (2) look at other views and analyze them in relation to views about women.

While Cathy inspired the idea for the anthology, Jeffner Allen coached the development of this idea into a proposal to the press, and an incredible network of women philosophers encouraged me to implement the idea and helped me do so by suggesting possible contributors to the anthology or by contributing to the anthology themselves. The contributors--Eve Browning Cole, Cynthia A. Freeland, Judith Genova, Cynthia Hampton, Susan Hawthorne, Deborah K. W. Modrak, Christine Pierce, Christine M. Senack, Elizabeth V. Spelman, and Nancy Tuana--are the ones who actualized the idea, and I would like to thank each one for their work, for indulging my editorial requests, even the quirky ones, and doing so with a sense of humor, and for the generosity of their spirits.

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