By Sarah Borden Sharkey (auth.)
This ebook articulates the theoretical outlines of a feminism built from Aristotle’s metaphysics, creating a new contribution to feminist concept. Readers will detect why Aristotle used to be no longer a feminist and the way he may have turn into one, via an research of Aristotle and Aristotelian culture. the writer exhibits how Aristotle’s metaphysics can be utilized to articulate a very sophisticated and theoretically strong knowing of gender which could supply a hugely useful gizmo for distinctively feminist arguments.
This paintings builds on Martha Nussbaum’s ‘capabilities technique’ in a extra explicitly and punctiliously hylomorphist method. the writer indicates how Aristotle’s hylomorphic version, built to run among the extremes of Platonic dualism and Democritean atomism, can equally be used this day to articulate a view of gender that takes physically changes heavily with out lowering gender to organic determinations.
Although written for theorists, this scholarly but obtainable e-book can be utilized to handle simpler matters and the ultimate bankruptcy explores ladies in universities as one instance. This ebook will attract either feminists with restricted familiarity with Aristotle’s philosophy, and students of Aristotle with constrained familiarity with feminism.
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Extra info for An Aristotelian Feminism
In making this ﬁnal claim, it is worth noting that there are a number of senses of non-malleability or limited alterability. 83 Surely social and cultural forces can have a tremendous inﬂuence over both individual gender development and group understandings of gender, and it is a mistake of more traditional positions to underestimate the shaping power of social and cultural forces. But I am not convinced that these forces can tell the whole story. ) I think that we need to take biological differences into account in understanding gender differences, even while acknowledging that biology is affected and shaped by culture and that biology can be changed.
79 Aristotle himself saw the form as being superior to matter. See, for example, The Generation of Animals 732a5-10. And when this is coupled with his association of the female with matter and the male with form, his denigration of women is furthered. Although form is in some sense superior to matter, matter clearly has some kind of signiﬁcant dignity in the Aristotelian account, and Aristotle’s explicit comments critical of matter does not lead him into the kind of denigration of matter present in most dualist accounts (and certainly important to Plato’s dualism, especially as articulated in the Phaedo).
The debates within the food industry reveal how difﬁcult such judgment calls can be, but they also show that making such distinctions is possible. Full separability is neither possible nor desirable, and the interaction between the social and biological creates challenges—but these are also challenges that we regularly meet, more and less well. If separability is not a requirement of distinctness, then the question for an Aristotelian feminist becomes: How do we recognize the properly biological in contrast to the properly environmental or cultural?