Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Höffe I 69
Inequality/Aristotle/Höffe: Although Aristotle defined humans through language and reason, he did not grant them legal and political equality. On the contrary, he justifies the inequalities of his time, the lack of equal rights for women.
Women: Women in Athens are legally dependent on a guardian, usually the father or husband; business is supervised by the guardian, there is no inheritance entitlement, but a rich heiress ("heiress's daughter") may pass on her inheritance, though only to her sons. In legal terms, however, they are free. In addition, they are entitled to receive care and enjoy protection in the event of bad treatment. Already [the] legal institution of the heir's daughter, (...) should have motivated Aristotle
Höffe I 70
to become sceptical about the allegedly lower political competence of women. Anyway, he acknowledges that women make up "half of the free [!]"(1).
Slavery: Slaves working in mines and handicraft enterprises, in private households and on agricultural goods are legally even worse off than the Helots ("serfs"), who are important for the Spartan economy.
Helots: Although they are excluded from land and political rights and are obliged to pay tribute to their masters, they live in a fixed place. Slaves, however, bought or captured in war, can be resold. In addition to their even lower legal status, they are not settled, i.e. they are homeless.
AristotleVsAlkidamas: Aristotle [claims] that there are people who deserve the slave status(2).



1. Politika I 13, 1260b19
2. Politika I 4–7


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Höffe I
Otfried Höffe
Geschichte des politischen Denkens München 2016


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-08-11
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