Equality and Superiority: Reconciling sameness and difference in Renaissance pro-woman works
2016 - 2017 (April-June)
Marguerite Deslauriers is Professor of Philosophy at McGill University. She is the author of Aristotle on Definition (2007) and co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to Aristotle's Politics (2013). Her published work includes articles on ancient and Renaissance philosophy, most recently with a focus on Italian Renaissance polemical treatises arguing for the superiority of women over men, and on their influence on pre-Cartesian French feminists.
This project analyzes the recurring arguments in a set of 15th and 16th century works that assert the worth of women, claiming both that the rational soul is identical in men and women, and that women are superior (intellectually and morally) to men. The aims of the project are to recover and demonstrate the philosophical importance of these arguments, to identify their sources in ancient philosophy, and to consider the methods and strategies of persuasion employed by the authors.