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Complete WritingsLetterbook, Dialogue on Adam and Eve, Orations$
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Isotta Nogarola

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780226590073

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226590097.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 03 December 2021

The Great Gender Debate (1451)

The Great Gender Debate (1451)

Chapter:
(p.138) VII The Great Gender Debate (1451)
Source:
Complete Writings
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226590097.003.0010

Isotta Nogarola, an Italian-born French author and Ludovico Foscarini, a Venetian governor, debated the question in 1451 of whether Adam or Eve had committed the greater sin when they ate of the Tree of Knowledge and were expelled from Paradise. Quoting Aristotle, Foscarini argues first that ignorance is no excuse and second that pride was the cause of Eve's sin. Nogarola argues throughout that the female is by nature more fragile, more inconstant, and more ignorant than the male and that therefore she is not responsible for her actions. Two arguments point to Nogarola's final authorship. The first rests on an analysis of the arguments presented—Nogarola is the driving force, it is she who repeatedly raises new perspectives to challenge very old perceptions. The second rests on Foscarini's words to invite Nogarola to compose a polished literary work based on the views the two had exchanged.

Keywords:   Ludovico Foscarini, Tree of Knowledge, Adam and Eve

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