Toronto Metropolitan University

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Arete of Cyrene and the Role of Women in Philosophical Lineage

posted on 2023-10-26, 15:07 authored by Katharine O'ReillyKatharine O'Reilly

Arete of Cyrene was daughter and disciple of the founder of the Cyrenaic school and mother and teacher of the figure who codified its principles. Our sources emphasize her as a link in the intellectual chain connecting the school it its Socratic roots, to the detriment of preserving her own philosophical ideas. In this chapter, I make a case for her philosophical contribution to the Cyrenaics, as revealed in a careful reading of the few sources we have. I follow this with methodological reflections on how we might access a figure like Arete. I argue that this task requires and licenses the adoption of severed methodological strategies related to an added open-mindedness to source material. I reflect on how these methodological points contribute to a wider project of recovering the thought of marginalized figures.