Stoicism, Feminism and Autonomy (pages 9-22)

Scott Aikin, Emily McGill-Rutherford

ABSTRACT: The ancient Stoics had an uneven track record with regard to women’s standing. On the one hand, they recognized women as fully capable of rationality and virtue. On the other hand, they continued to hold that women’s roles were in the home. These views are consistent, given Stoic value theory, but are unacceptable on liberal feminist grounds. Stoic value theory, given different emphasis on the ethical role of choice, is shown to be capable of satisfying the liberal feminist requirement that autonomy must be respected. In turn, a model for Stoic feminism is proposed.

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