Abstract

I will examine whether Aristotle’s metaphysical views – more specifically, his views on ontological hierarchy and essence, as they emerge from Categories and Topics – are consistent with the claims he makes in Politics I about men and women. I will show that no easy fit can be found. His metaphysical views imply that all humans are metaphysically equal, as it were: there are no dependence relations or essential differences among them. In Politics I, however, Aristotle privileges men over women and associates their different place in a social hierarchy with a difference in essence.