By Sandrine Berges (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Feminist Perspective on Virtue Ethics
Those who believe that the sage will never seek the help or company of others but isolate himself from the world are mistaken: “The wise man is self-sufficient. This phrase, my dear Lucilius, is incorrectly explained by many. ” Seneca is very aware that a good life is lived in the world and that it requires developing a number of appropriate relationships within one’s community. His understanding of what it means to be human is really, in that sense at least, not that different from that of the Greeks: a human being flourishes not in isolation but as part of a couple, a family, a circle of friends and a political community.
This befits a sensible and welleducated man like yourself. “They are slaves,” people declare. Nay, 44 A Feminist Perspective on Virtue Ethics rather they are men. ” No, comrades. ” No, they are unpretentious friends. ” No, they are our fellow-slaves, if one reflects that Fortune has equal rights over slaves and free men alike. (pp. 300–303) He goes on to recommend that masters should share their table with slaves, as they would with friends or family; that is, not hold out an open invitation to all of one’s slaves but to those whose company we value, just as we would invite some of our neighbours but not all.
However, it could just as simply be the case that they were in fact participating in those prejudices and that they were not prepared to admit that women could use philosophy to become full citizens. The fact that none of the female writers we know of from classical and Hellenistic Greece were associated with Stoicism seems to support this hypothesis. 4 On the mother’s side: Perictione and epistemic injustice It is not the case that nothing at all remains of ancient women philosophers’ writings.
A Feminist Perspective on Virtue Ethics by Sandrine Berges (auth.)