Philosopher Queens (PHI2118.01)

Catherine McKeen

Various stories of women philosophers in antiquity have come down to us. In Plato’s Symposium, for example, Socrates quotes a long speech on love by Diotima of Mantinea, who Socrates describes as a “wise woman” and his teacher. We also have accounts of Aesara, Arete, Aspasia, Hipparchia, Hypatia, and Theano. However, these accounts are all filtered through male-authored texts. We lack reliable primary sources from women philosophers in antiquity. There are current efforts to recover the voices of women and non-gender-conforming thinkers and thus to broaden the philosophical canon. For this course, we will (1) examine such recovery projects in ancient Greek and Hellenistic philosophy, and (2) investigate the intersection of gender and philosophical concerns in antiquity. Likely course readings will include: Sophocles’ Antigone, Euripides’ Medea, Aristophanes’ Assemblywomen and Lysistrata, Plato’s Symposium and Menexenus, selections from Plato’s Republic, selections from Aristotle’s Politics and biology, and Pythagorean, Cynic, Epicurean, and Stoic works.


Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 4
M/Th 10:00-11:50
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: One time only
This course is categorized as All courses, Philosophy.