"Aristotle on Essence and Gender: Why Should Men Rule?”
Riin Sirkel (University of Vermont)

May 26, 2022, 4:30pm - 6:00pm
The New England Symposium on Ancient Philosophy

Amherst Center
United States


Amherst College

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The May meeting of The New England Symposium on Ancient Philosophy will take place on Thursday, May 26, 2022 from 4:30 to 6:00 pm EDT.

It will be devoted to a discussion of Riin's Sirkel's "Aristotle on Essence and Gender: Why Should Men Rule?”

Here is her abstract:   

  • I will examine whether Aristotle’s metaphysical views – more specifically, his views on ontological hierarchy and essence, as they emerge from Categories and Topics – are consistent with the claims he makes in Politics I about men and women. In Aristotle’s account, ontological hierarchy is based on the natures of things involved. I will propose that he aims to make a similar essentialist move in Politics I when developing his views on household hierarchy and defending the rule of men over women. Yet, his attempt to base the household hierarchy on essential differences between men and women runs into difficulties. If the difference between them is essential, then the rule of men is on a firm basis, but there is a conflict with Aristotle’s views on essence. If they are essentially the same, then there is no such conflict, but it is unclear why men should rule the household and do so permanently. As we will see, there is no easy way out of this difficulty.

At the meeting, Riin will give a short introduction to her paper and then we will turn to discussion.

The discussion will presuppose that participants have read Riin's paper in advance of the session. The paper and Zoom link will be distributed to participants via email a week or two before the meeting.  To allow yourself time to complete the readings, please register at least 48 hours in advance.  

You can register for this and other events on our website at https://www.newenglandsymposiumonancientphilosophy.com/.

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May 25, 2022, 9:00am EST

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