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lecture jan 19

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Political Science
Sophia Moreau

POL 200: January 19, 2011 Modes of political argument in Pizan’s The Book of the City of Ladies. I. The City as Metaphor-both removes women from their primary source of identity in the family, but leads them to focus on their actions in the present II. Disputation III. Paradiastole- redescription of perceived weaknesses so as to have them perceived anew as strengths IV. Exempla Argument of the lecture: Pizan’s text is multi-layered in terms of its argument. While she demonstrates to us that women have performed well in positions of political power, she also suggests that ultimately this is not the goal to which we should ask all women to aspire. Indeed, her political project is much more radical, suggesting that we reassess what types of roles and activities are indeed most beneficial to the establishment and sustaining of collective life. A proper and wider vision of justice must not only acknowledge that we cannot in principle exclude certain classes of people from positions of power and privilege as they can show the capabilities to succeed there. More deeply, justice requires that we rethink the frameworks that identify what positions and activities are most valuable to political communities. Greatest honours are due not to kings, legislators and founders, but to those who have developed the practical skills and crafts without which civilization would be impossible. How do we judge peoples contributions? She has to deal with the presuppositions of her times Wants to restore a sense of dignity to women - public roles for women in the church - she needed to develop an arguments to escape heresys - places arguments in orthodox Christian traditions city as a metaphor: city of ladies, how does it function? - literary device: trope - image that allows for women to rethink their identities, reinterpret themselves - serves as an inspiration for noble action - the city of ladies/god, serve as a virtual community -
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