The Less Noble Sex: Scientific, Religious, and Philosophical Conceptions of Woman's Nature
Indiana University Press, 1993 - 224 pages
This book looks at five major beliefs about woman's nature generally accepted by Western philosophers, theologians, and scientists from the classical period to the nineteenth century. These are that: woman is less perfect than man, woman possesses inferior rational capacities, woman has a defective moral sense, man is the primary creative force, and that woman is in need of control.
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Philo embraced the Platonic doctrine that sense - perception must be under the
control of reason , arguing that sense - perception is an inferior faculty that would
give rise to disorders of the soul if it were not ruled by the faculty of reason .
In the context of numerous scientific “ proofs ” of woman ' s inferior rational
capacities , the belief that woman possessed an inferior or , at best , different
moral sense was a logical inference . Scientific argument concerning woman ' s
A sense of justice requires transcendence of envy , he explained , and woman ' s
lack of a penis results in a sense of envy that she is incapable of fully controlling .
57 Thus , woman is tied to the instincts and feelings and only man is capable of ...
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Tuana, a professor of the history of ideas, discusses classical through late 19th-century ideas of women, showing how scientific views and religious or philosophical views have influenced and ... Read full review
Between Man and Animal
The Weaker Vessel
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