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On the Excellence of Men

On the Excellence of Men

Against the Equality of the Sexes

(p.265) On the Excellence of Men
Three Cartesian Feminist Treatises
Marcelle Maistre WelchVivien Bosley
University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses François Poullain de la Barre's summary of a more complete response to the authority of the Holy Scripture. The view of the equality of the sexes is easier to establish through the rules of Holy Scripture than through those of philosophy, provided that in both cases one does not rely on childhood prejudices but, rather, uses one's own eyes to discover the truth one seeks—being certain that those who read Scripture precisely and without prejudice will find there nothing to give them reason to believe that God has made men more perfect and more capable than women nor, as a consequence, that the former are, in His eyes, more noble and estimable than the latter. This is no doubt how the church fathers proceeded, and St. Clement of Alexandria is one of those who has given the clearest explication.

Keywords:   François Poullain, Holy Scripture, equality, prejudices, truth, church fathers, Clement of Alexandria

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