By Sandrine Berges (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Feminist Perspective on Virtue Ethics
From Cicero they had On Invention (a work on rhetoric) and On Friendship and, through Macrobius, a commentary on Cicero’s The Dream of Scipio. They also had Seneca’s Letters to Lucilius. Through Porphyry, they had some Plato and a discussion of the differences between Plato’s and Aristotle’s metaphysical views. Other than that, twelfth-century philosophers would read the texts of the Fathers of the church: Jerome, Paul, Gregory the Great and Augustine. As well as focusing on texts of logic, rhetoric, grammar, metaphysics and ethical and religious writings, medieval scholars were often familiar with ancient literature, Ovid and Virgil in particular.
In the Calamities, Abelard writes to an unnamed friend who has suffered some misfortune, hoping to console him by telling him of his own, much greater, misfortunes and showing how, in his example, one can overcome the worst calamities. He talks of his scholarly difficulties and disagreement with treacherous colleagues, his torrid affair with Heloise, his secret marriage and ensuing castration when he asked her to rejoin her convent after they were married, more treachery at the schools, the burning of his manuscript and, last, ill health.
Thus, as Seneca does in letter XLVII, the Stoic sage can claim to eat at table with his slaves, as they are just as human as he is and their company is nothing to be ashamed of. I am glad to learn, through those who come from you, that you live on friendly terms with your slaves. This befits a sensible and welleducated man like yourself. “They are slaves,” people declare. Nay, 44 A Feminist Perspective on Virtue Ethics rather they are men. ” No, comrades. ” No, they are unpretentious friends. ” No, they are our fellow-slaves, if one reflects that Fortune has equal rights over slaves and free men alike.
A Feminist Perspective on Virtue Ethics by Sandrine Berges (auth.)