Feminist View

By: Maureen Carlos
(page 99-104).

First, what is "feminism?"
- Feminism is "the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities" (Merriam-Webster, 2017).
Merriam-Webster. (2017). Definition of FEMINISM. Retrieved March 3, 2017, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feminism
Word Cloud (1).png

Feminism in Philosophy:
- Feminists believe that the Traditional picture of human nature is sexist and is discriminatory towards women.

First, let us rewind and go back to our dear friend, Plato:

- Plato associated the soul with reason,
he then opposes the soul with the body and desires.

- Plato believes that the "pure" soul should rule over
the "impure" body and that the body should turn away from desires.

- This made feminists believe that Plato made the assumption that the soul and reason are superior and should rule, while the body, desires, and emotions are inferior and should obey the soul and reason.

Here comes Aristotle!

- Aristotle gave Plato's rationalist view a sexist bias.
- Aristotle associated reason with men
and believed that women do not share fully in reason.
Therefore men should rule over women.
- Aristotle believed that reason is only fully operational with men.
- Women and Children do not have full reason,
thus they are like our bodily appetites and emotions.
- Like appetites and emotions, women and children should,
therefore obey the full reason of men.


- Feminist argued that the rationalist view of human nature associated men
with traits that are superior in order to set humans apart from all other beings.

Feminists believe that religious version of the rationalist view adapted Aristotle's idea.

"The male is more dominant than the female [...]
for the female is incomplete and in subjection and belongs
to the category of the passive rather than the active.
[...] the rational which belongs to mind and reason is of the masculine gender,
the irrational, the province of sense, is of the feminine.
Mind belongs to a genus wholly superior to sense as man is to woman."
Philo, Special Laws, in Philo, vol. 1, trans. F.H. Colson and G.H. Whitaker, Loeb Classical Library (London: Heinemann, 1929). 125.

"Then You took man's mind, which is subject to none but you and needs to imitate no human
authority, and renewed it in Your own image and likeness.
You made rational action subject to the rule of the intellect, as woman is subject to man."
Augustine, Confessions, quoted in Genevieve Lloyd, "The Man of Reason," in Women, Knowledge, and Reality: Explorations in Feminist Philosophy, ed. Ann Garry and Marilyn Pearshall (Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1989), 111-128.

These examples clarifies the issue that the rationalist view and the Judeo-Christian view based on it are sexist and biased against women.

- Feminists believe that only men have full reason according to the rationalist view, while women are associated with desires and feelings.
- This view resulted to the idea that because men are the only ones with full reason,
that means that only men can be fully human and that women are incomplete because of their emotions.
- The rationalist and the religious view accepting this idea and concept imply that men should rule over women which justifies oppression.
- Rationalist view also implies that male quality is good while female qualities are bad,
- Male rationality results to:
- Attaining knowledge.
- Attaining truth.
- Eternal salvation.
- Meanwhile, the appetites and emotions "pollute" us,
thus preventing us to think clearly, attain truth and knowledge, and possibly prevents us from eternal salvation.



Genevieve Llyod:
-Born at Cootamundra, New South Wales in October 16, 1941.
- Studied philosophy at University of Sydney and at Somerville College, Oxford.
- She was awarded with a Doctor of Philosophy on "Time and Tense."
- She lectured at the Australian National University or ANU from 1967-1987.
- During her time at ANU, she developed an idea and she wrote The Man of Reason. This is her most influential idea.
- She was appointed to the chair of philosophy at the University of New South Wales in 1987 and she became the first female of philosophy appointed in Australia.
- She was appointed Professor Emeritus when she retired.

If the rationalist view is incredibly sexist, why do we not throw it out? Lloyd argued that this action is not as simple and easy as one might think.
(Her full quote can be found on page 103 in the textbook).

Lloyd suggested that one way of rejecting the rationalist view is to insist that women have as much reason as men, but she also points out that we only insist on this idea if we agree that reason or the "male" trait is as superior as the rationalist view says it is.

Lloyd also suggested that the "female" traits of emotions and feelings are just as valuable as reason -which is a male trait.

Lloyd, Genevieve (1941-) from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.