A Feminist Perspective on Virtue Ethics by Sandrine Berges (auth.)

By Sandrine Berges (auth.)

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The hypothesis is no longer simply that the authors changed their names but that they were forgers who wrote fake treatises and letters signed by famous or not so famous Pythagoreans and sold them to collectors. There is little, if any, evidence quoted to back up this hypothesis. We have no record, for instance, of somebody buying such a text and finding out it was a fake or of people being arrested for fabricating fake Pythagorean texts. It seems that, again, what we have is a prime example of epistemic injustice resulting in the exclusion of female authors from the history of philosophy.

Some are attributed to the neo-Pythagoreans of the first century AD and others to the end of the Sicilian Pythagoreans in the third century BC. It is unclear why a corpus of texts of such diverse provenance should have ended up together in his anthology, the Florilegium, except that they must have struck Stobaeus Origins Revisited 27 somehow as thematically or ideologically unified and close enough to what we know of Pythagorean philosophy. This collection, it seems, ought to be valued if only because it is the largest collection of philosophical writings by women in antiquity.

She suggests that maybe her life should be acceptable to God, as she does not cause scandal by behaving as she wishes she could, and begs Abelard to stop praising her for her virtue but to watch over her instead and help her stay good. Abelard’s second reply is less patient than the first. He reminds her that it was he who was castrated, not her, and that he has dealt with it by renewing his faith and that that ought to be good enough for her; he also wishes she would stop complaining about the past.

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