The Less Noble Sex / Edition 1

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Overview

"This highly-readable work traces a set of beliefs about the nature of woman that have informed, and in turn have been reinforced by, science, religion, and philosophy from the classical period to the nineteenth century.... [T]his book’s analysis lends support to claims that the gender system affected our very conceptions of science." —Journal of the
History of the Behavioral Sciences

"An important book for the educated general public as well as for scholars in many disciplines. Highly recommended." —Library
Journal

"Students and researchers alike will welcome this carefully argued volume that so clearly traces the dominant contours of Western conceptions about women."
—Isis

"Nancy Tuana’s book is brillant. In under two hundred pages she presents a concise account of how women have been perceived in relation to men in the Western world for the past 2,500 years."—American Historical Review

"A
wide-ranging discussion of conceptions of women in science, philosophy and religion from ancient times to the late nineteenth century, Tuana’s book makes it devastatingly clear how powerful and how deeply rooted was the Western idea of women as men’s inferiors."—Women’s Review of Books

"... an unusually readable account of the image of women from the Greeks to the nineteenth century, wedded to a highly interesting argument about the way religion and philosophy affect the direction of the work of scientists, and how the work of scientists is used by philosophers and clergy to give authority to the more abstract world of ideas." —Magill Book Reviews

Provides a framework for understanding the persistence of the Western patriarchal view of woman as inferior.
Tuana examines beliefs that were accepted 'a priori as evidence of women’s inferiority and studies early theories of woman’s nature to illustrate the way scientific literature, was influenced by—and in turn affected—religious and philosophical tenets.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Tuana, a professor of the history of ideas, discusses classical through late 19th-century ideas of women, showing how scientific views and religious or philosophical views have influenced and reinforced one another. Science itself is profoundly affected by culture, as Tuana clearly indicates, making it sexually biased. While the book contains a lot of history, it is organized around themes of woman's perceived imperfection, her inferior reason and moral understanding, her status as lesser creator than man, and her need of male control. An important book for the educated general public as well as for scholars in many disciplines. Highly recommended.-- Carolyn Craft, Longwood Coll, Farmville, Va.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253208309
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/1993
  • Series: Race, Gender, and Science Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

NANCY TUANA, Association Professor of the History of Ideas at the University of Texas at Dallas, has published in the philosophy of science and in feminist theory. She is the author of
Woman and the History of Philosophy and the editor of Feminism and Science.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments

I. Between Man and
Animal

1. In the Beginning
2. The Misbegotten Man

II.
The Weaker Vessel

3. Not in God’s Image
4. The Less Noble
Sex
5. The Hysteria of Woman

III. Creativity’s
Soil

6. Children of the Gods
7. The Weaker Seed

IV. The
Beautiful Evil

8. In Man’s
Control

Postscript
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Indiana University Press

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