chapter  1.2
10 Pages

Woman as Body: Ancient and Contemporary Views

WithElizabeth V. Spelman

What philosophers have had to say about women typically has been nasty, brutish, and short. A page or two of quotations from those considered among the great philosophers constitutes a veritable litany of contempt. This chapter refers to the conceptual connections between a philosopher's views about women and his expressed metaphysical, political, and ethical views. It also refers to conceptual relations internal to the texts themselves, and not to relations between the texts and their political and historical contexts. The chapter focuses on the works of Plato, to discover what connections there are between his views about women and his views about the philosophical issues. The chapter wants to suggest why it is important for feminists not only to question what these philosophers have said about women, but also what philosophers have had to say about the mind/body distinction.