Aristotle on Female Animals: A Study of the Generation of by Sophia M. Connell

By Sophia M. Connell

Aristotle's account of girl nature has got in most cases detrimental remedy, emphasising what he says adult females can't do. construction on fresh examine, this publication comprehensively revises such readings, commencing the advanced and optimistic position performed through the feminine in Aristotle's idea with a selected specialise in the longest surviving treatise on copy within the old corpus, the iteration of Animals.

It offers new interpretations of the character of Aristotle's sexism, his thought of female and male interplay in iteration, and his account of inherited gains. It additionally discusses more than a few extra normal concerns that can and may be re-examined in gentle of Aristotle's account of lady animals: his method, hylomorphism, teleology and psychology.

Aristotle on girl Animals might be useful to all these attracted to Aristotle's philosophy and the heritage of gender.

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Extra resources for Aristotle on Female Animals: A Study of the Generation of Animals (Cambridge Classical Studies)

Sample text

11b25–8). Contraries are opposites which either admit intermediaries or not. For instance, white and black have the intermediate state of greyness, whereas odd and even do not have anything in-between. In the latter case, one or other opposite must adhere in a given subject. ‘For example, both health and disease may be said to be naturally present in the bodies of all living things, and in consequence one or the other must be present in animal bodies’ (Cat. 16 The term ‘privative’ (sterêsis) indicates the absence of something possessed (hexis).

Aristotle’s world is characterized by hierarchical dualisms – that is, polar opposites within which one side rules over the other; for him Soul rules over body, Reason over emotion, male over female, and so on. For him, Pure Mind (‘Nous’ only possible for males) is connected with ‘divine’ Soul, which is supreme of all earthly things. 24 The general idea is that by assigning males the formal role in generation, Aristotle also associated men with knowledge and rationality; likewise by assigning females the material role he condemned women to an emotional and irrational state (Haraway 1988, 592).

56 It is important to discern what Aristotle means when he says that the female’s deliberative faculty is akuros. And because of their expertise, classical scholars can give a more nuanced account of the term. But critics of feminist scholars do not stop there; most are keen to claim in addition (ii) that to approach an ancient text (such as Aristotle’s Politics) with feminist questions in mind is inappropriate. 57 Part of the argument seems to be that feminist questions are problematically anachronistic.

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