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Aristotle on Family - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 314
Family/equal rights/Aristotle/Keyt/Miller: Political rule in Aristotle's view is (...) the proper form of rule of a husband over his wife - as long as the husband is permanently ensconced as ruler (Pol.
I. 12.1259a37-blO). The rule is political since women have the same deliberative capacity as men, but it should be permanently in the hands of the husband since woman's reason in Aristotle's view is akuron 'without authority' (Pol. I.13.1260a13). This raises one question about Aristotle's concept of political rule and another about his views of women.
Keyt/Miller: How can rule be political if one person is permanently ruled by another? And in justifying such permanent rule of husband over wife, what can Aristotle mean when he says that woman's reason is 'without authority'? Without authority over what - over her emotions
(the intrapersonal interpretation) or over men (the interpersonal interpretation)?
Literature: (Not surprisingly there is a large literature on Aristotle's treatment of women. For a sample see Fortenbaugh, 1977(1); Saxonhouse, 1982(2); Smith, 1983(3); Swanson, 1992(4); Bar On, 1994(5).) >Governance/Aristotle, >Constitution/Aristotle.

Pol: Aristotle Politics

1. Fortenbaugh, William (1977) 'Aristotle on slaves and women'. In Jonathan Barnes, Malcolm Schofield and Richard Sorabji, eds, Articles on Aristotle. Vol. Il, Ethics and Politics. London: Duckworth.
2. Saxonhouse, Arlene W. (1982) 'Family, polity, and unity: Aristotle on Socrates' community of wives'. Polity, 15: 202-19.
3. Smith, Nicholas D. (1983) 'Plato and Aristotle on the nature of women '. Journal of the History of Philosophy, 21: 467-78.
4. Swanson, Judith A. (1992) The Public and the Private in Aristotle's Political Philosophy. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
5. Bar On, Bat-Ami, ed. (1994) Engendering Origins: Critical Feminist Readings in Plato and Aristotle.
Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Keyt, David and Miller, Fred D. jr. 2004. „Ancient Greek Political Thought“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications


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The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004


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