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The Female in Aristotle's BiologyReason or Rationalization$
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Robert Mayhew

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780226512006

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226512020.001.0001

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Aristotle on Females: An Assessment of the Biology

Aristotle on Females: An Assessment of the Biology

Chapter:
(p.114) Seven Aristotle on Females: An Assessment of the Biology
Source:
The Female in Aristotle's Biology
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226512020.003.0007

This chapter explores what Aristotle said in his biology about females, what arguments and observations led him to say what he said, and whether there is any evidence that what he said was the result of ideological rationalization. Aristotle writes about several physical differences between males and females, many of which point to the physical inferiority of females, as he observes it. He came to conclusions about living things in the context of his philosophy (and his culture). For the most part, what Aristotle concluded about females was based on the strength of the evidence available to him. At times, he may not have pursued an issue vigorously enough because of ideological assumptions, but generally, his observations of the world were central to his biology.

Keywords:   Aristotle, biology, females, ideological rationalization, physical differences

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