Thu, May 26|
Riin Sirkel, "Aristotle on Essence and Gender: Why Should Men Rule?”
Are Aristotle’s metaphysical views – especially his views on essence– consistent with his claims about men and women in Politics I? If humans are essentially the same, then why should men rule the household and do so permanently? As we will see, there is no easy answers.
Time & Location
May 26, 2022, 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM EDT
About the event
Riin's 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.