Philosophy Without Women: The Birth of Sexism in Western Thought (Athlone Contemporary European Thinkers S.)

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9780826458490: Philosophy Without Women: The Birth of Sexism in Western Thought (Athlone Contemporary European Thinkers S.)
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For most of its history, western philosophy has regarded woman as an imperfect version of man. Like so many aspects of western culture, this tradition builds on foundations laid in ancient Greece. Yet the first philosophers of antiquity were hardly agreed on first principles. Songe-Muller shows how the Greeks made intellectual choices that would prove fateful for half of humankind.

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"A marvellous book. It explains better than any other I know how sexist ideology arose in Western culture and why that sexism still is fundamental to contemporary culture, not least to our understanding of philosophy and reason. Lucid and clear, Philosophy Without Women exemplifies philosophical reason at its best."

"A marvellous book. It explains better than any other I know how sexist ideology arose in Western culture and why that sexism still is fundamental to contemporary culture, not least to our understanding of philosophy and reason. Lucid and clear, Philosophy Without Women exemplifies philosophical reason at its best." Toril Moi, Duke University

Synopsis:

For most of its history, western philosophy has regarded woman as an imperfect version of man. Like so many aspects of European culture, this tradition builds on foundations laid in ancient Greece. Yet the first philosophers of antiquity were hardly agreed on first principles. Vigdis Songe-Muller examines the differences between Presocratic monists like Parmenides, and implicit pluralists such as Anaximander, and shows how the Greeks made intellectual choices that would prove fateful for half of humankind. The text re-evaluates Greek mythology, throws a harsh new light on the invention of democracy, and exposes Platonic harmony to be an ideal driven by a peculiarly masculine fear of death. It was a fear that could only be overcome by denying the significance of difference, and at times even the rightful existence of that which embodied difference. For the Greek man, the difference that mattered was nowhere more frighteningly apparent than in woman.

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