By Sandrine Berges (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Feminist Perspective on Virtue Ethics
41 The gender-specific aspects of Perictione’s text seem to be imposed by circumstances rather than essential to her thought. Indeed, we have a glimpse into a more gender-neutral view of justice when she says that women might benefit the city if they are virtuous, provided they are allowed to rule. , virtuous in the same manner) by stating that laws punish women for faults that are excused in men. Perhaps the main difference between Hipparchia and Perictione is that whereas Hipparchia’s philosophy was lived – though it engaged only herself and her immediate circle – Perictione’s was written and thus was meant to advise more women over a longer period of time than the mere example of one’s own life would achieve.
29 And even when that development is complete and one has achieved the heights of wisdom, the twelfthcentury Stoic may understand the importance of practising one’s virtues through friendship. 30 Indeed, in the Collationes, he goes so far as to claim that acts themselves are indifferent; that is, they have no moral value, positive or negative, and all the value is carried by the intention. 31 For Abelard, moral goodness is very much a property of one’s internal landscape rather than of one’s interaction with one’s community.
Notwithstanding the fact that these writings come from Hipparchia’s husband (at best, since they are not attributed to Crates himself but to Pseudo-Crates), they still paint a more acceptable picture of what it would have meant for a woman in ancient Greece to be virtuous, one Origins Revisited 25 that combats rather than accommodates contemporary prejudices about femininity. 3 The stoics and the women: a very passive feminism Like Plato and the Cynics but unlike Aristotle, the Stoics argued from the starting point that human nature, not male nature, contained the seeds of virtue.
A Feminist Perspective on Virtue Ethics by Sandrine Berges (auth.)