Gender and defence of women in Christine de Pizans Thought

Ilse Emilia Paakkinen

Tutkimustuotos: OpinnäyteVäitöskirjaMonografia

Kuvaus

In this study I analyse Christine de Pizan's (1364/1365-1430/1431) ideas on gender and the legal allegories in her defence of women, especially in the Cité des dames. The method of this study is philosophical analysis, which focuses on the analysis of basic terms, concepts and argumentation. The first chapter deals with the historical background of the conceptions of gender that influenced Christine. The most influential were the Aristotelian-Scholastic conception of gender, according to which women are defective men, and the Augustinian conception of gender, which emphasizes the equal rational capacities of the sexes, but also women s subservient role in the social hierarchy.



The second chapter concerns Christine s conception of gender, including the origins of gender, the function of gender and gender change. Christine's conception is based on an ontological dualism, according to which material bodies are reflections of divine ideas. As a form, gender is a universal idea in the divine mind. As a body, gender is a particular, material reflection of the universal form of a man or a woman. Christine's conception of the function of gender is based on the complementary characteristics of women and men. She thought that the humoral complexion of material bodies is gendered, which affects their characteristics. The possibility of gender change is based on Christine's idea that gendered characteristics are also a result of habituation, where learning new practices changes the humoral complexion of the body.



The third chapter concerns Christine's ideas on law and the legal allegories in her defence of women in Cité des dames. Christine's legal allegories are based on the Thomistic fourfold division of law as eternal, natural, human and revealed divine law. The first book of Cité des dames, where Christine sets the foundational stones and builds a protective wall with the help of Lady Reason, symbolizes natural law and human law. The second book, in which Christine builds houses with the help of Lady Rectitude, symbolizes divine law. Establishing the citizenship of women symbolizes drawing the constitution of the city of ladies. The third book, where Christine appoints the Virgin Mary as the Queen with the help of Lady Justice, symbolizes the Thomistic conception of a just ruler.



My main argument is that, according to Christine, the understanding of the nature of women is connected to the understanding of God's law. Because law is God's plan of government, which contains the ideas of created things, including the ideas of a woman and a man, gender is a part of God's law. Therefore, in a society where the importance of women is not recognized, the interpretation of law is also faulty. This requires the simultaneous reinterpretation of both gender and law in order for society to be equitable.
Alkuperäiskielienglanti
JulkaisupaikkaHelsinki
Kustantaja
Painoksen ISBN978-951-51-1855-4
TilaJulkaistu - 2016
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG4 Tohtorinväitöskirja (monografia)

Tieteenalat

  • 611 Filosofia
  • 615 Historia ja arkeologia

Lainaa tätä

Paakkinen, I. E. (2016). Gender and defence of women in Christine de Pizans Thought. Helsinki: University of Helsinki.
Paakkinen, Ilse Emilia. / Gender and defence of women in Christine de Pizans Thought. Helsinki : University of Helsinki, 2016. 353 Sivumäärä
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title = "Gender and defence of women in Christine de Pizans Thought",
abstract = "In this study I analyse Christine de Pizan's (1364/1365-1430/1431) ideas on gender and the legal allegories in her defence of women, especially in the Cit{\'e} des dames. The method of this study is philosophical analysis, which focuses on the analysis of basic terms, concepts and argumentation. The first chapter deals with the historical background of the conceptions of gender that influenced Christine. The most influential were the Aristotelian-Scholastic conception of gender, according to which women are defective men, and the Augustinian conception of gender, which emphasizes the equal rational capacities of the sexes, but also women s subservient role in the social hierarchy. The second chapter concerns Christine s conception of gender, including the origins of gender, the function of gender and gender change. Christine's conception is based on an ontological dualism, according to which material bodies are reflections of divine ideas. As a form, gender is a universal idea in the divine mind. As a body, gender is a particular, material reflection of the universal form of a man or a woman. Christine's conception of the function of gender is based on the complementary characteristics of women and men. She thought that the humoral complexion of material bodies is gendered, which affects their characteristics. The possibility of gender change is based on Christine's idea that gendered characteristics are also a result of habituation, where learning new practices changes the humoral complexion of the body. The third chapter concerns Christine's ideas on law and the legal allegories in her defence of women in Cit{\'e} des dames. Christine's legal allegories are based on the Thomistic fourfold division of law as eternal, natural, human and revealed divine law. The first book of Cit{\'e} des dames, where Christine sets the foundational stones and builds a protective wall with the help of Lady Reason, symbolizes natural law and human law. The second book, in which Christine builds houses with the help of Lady Rectitude, symbolizes divine law. Establishing the citizenship of women symbolizes drawing the constitution of the city of ladies. The third book, where Christine appoints the Virgin Mary as the Queen with the help of Lady Justice, symbolizes the Thomistic conception of a just ruler. My main argument is that, according to Christine, the understanding of the nature of women is connected to the understanding of God's law. Because law is God's plan of government, which contains the ideas of created things, including the ideas of a woman and a man, gender is a part of God's law. Therefore, in a society where the importance of women is not recognized, the interpretation of law is also faulty. This requires the simultaneous reinterpretation of both gender and law in order for society to be equitable.",
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Gender and defence of women in Christine de Pizans Thought. / Paakkinen, Ilse Emilia.

Helsinki : University of Helsinki, 2016. 353 s.

Tutkimustuotos: OpinnäyteVäitöskirjaMonografia

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T1 - Gender and defence of women in Christine de Pizans Thought

AU - Paakkinen, Ilse Emilia

PY - 2016

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AB - In this study I analyse Christine de Pizan's (1364/1365-1430/1431) ideas on gender and the legal allegories in her defence of women, especially in the Cité des dames. The method of this study is philosophical analysis, which focuses on the analysis of basic terms, concepts and argumentation. The first chapter deals with the historical background of the conceptions of gender that influenced Christine. The most influential were the Aristotelian-Scholastic conception of gender, according to which women are defective men, and the Augustinian conception of gender, which emphasizes the equal rational capacities of the sexes, but also women s subservient role in the social hierarchy. The second chapter concerns Christine s conception of gender, including the origins of gender, the function of gender and gender change. Christine's conception is based on an ontological dualism, according to which material bodies are reflections of divine ideas. As a form, gender is a universal idea in the divine mind. As a body, gender is a particular, material reflection of the universal form of a man or a woman. Christine's conception of the function of gender is based on the complementary characteristics of women and men. She thought that the humoral complexion of material bodies is gendered, which affects their characteristics. The possibility of gender change is based on Christine's idea that gendered characteristics are also a result of habituation, where learning new practices changes the humoral complexion of the body. The third chapter concerns Christine's ideas on law and the legal allegories in her defence of women in Cité des dames. Christine's legal allegories are based on the Thomistic fourfold division of law as eternal, natural, human and revealed divine law. The first book of Cité des dames, where Christine sets the foundational stones and builds a protective wall with the help of Lady Reason, symbolizes natural law and human law. The second book, in which Christine builds houses with the help of Lady Rectitude, symbolizes divine law. Establishing the citizenship of women symbolizes drawing the constitution of the city of ladies. The third book, where Christine appoints the Virgin Mary as the Queen with the help of Lady Justice, symbolizes the Thomistic conception of a just ruler. My main argument is that, according to Christine, the understanding of the nature of women is connected to the understanding of God's law. Because law is God's plan of government, which contains the ideas of created things, including the ideas of a woman and a man, gender is a part of God's law. Therefore, in a society where the importance of women is not recognized, the interpretation of law is also faulty. This requires the simultaneous reinterpretation of both gender and law in order for society to be equitable.

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Paakkinen IE. Gender and defence of women in Christine de Pizans Thought. Helsinki: University of Helsinki, 2016. 353 s.