“Women, Spirit, and Authority in Plato and Aristotle”
Patricia Marechal, Dept. of Philosophy, University of California, San Diego
— In this talk, I provide an interpretation of Plato’s repeated claims in Republic V that women are “weaker” (asthenestera) than men. Specifically, I argue that Plato thinks women have a psychologically propensity to get easily dispirited, which makes them less effective in implementing and executing their rational decisions. This interpretation achieves several things. It qualifies Plato’s position regarding women and their position in the polis. It provides the background against which we can interpret Aristotle’s claim in Politics I, that women possess a deliberative capacity that is not authoritative (akuron). It expands our understanding of the nature and role of spirit (thumos) in these authors. And, finally, it gives us insight into a kind of moral-psychological success that Plato and Aristotle consider central to both personal and political agency.
This event is open to the public.
UNLV Department of Philosophy