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Instructor: Mariska Leunissen. This course meets T 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. in CW 208.

This class is a research reading group on my draft book manuscript, Facts, Evidence, and Observation: Aristotle’s Natural Scientific Study of Women and Motherhood, in which I reconstruct Aristotle’s methods for establishing the facts concerning gynaikeia (‘women’s things’), such as pertaining to women’s menses, pleasure during sex, knowledge of conception, experiences during pregnancy and childbirth, and the maternal bond with their children. We will be discussing main themes from Aristotle’s theory of scientific method, his practice in the natural treatises and his biological corpus in particular, as well as his use of sources – mainly early medical, sometimes tragic – concerning facts not perceptible to him as a male observer. We will read chapters of my book supplemented by other key publications on the study of women and motherhood in Antiquity. Some background in ancient philosophy is recommended; all texts will be read and discussed in translation.


PHIL graduate students: Please refer to #9 in our Handbook for further information regarding distribution requirements.

Permission of the instructor is required to enroll in this course. PHIL grad students are exempt from this enrollment requirement.