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Philosophical InterventionsReviews 1986-2011$
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Martha C. Nussbaum

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199777853

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199777853.001.0001

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Man Overboard

Man Overboard

HARVEY C. MANSFIELD (2006), Manliness

(p.319) Chapter Twenty-Six Man Overboard
Philosophical Interventions

Martha C. Nussbaum

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews the book Manliness (2006), by Harvey C. Mansfield. The concept of “manliness” is closely related to the one that Plato and Aristotle called andreia, for which the usual English translation is “courage.” Mansfield claims that “all previous societies have been ruled by males,” producing Margaret Thatcher as a sole recent exception. After being confronted with a wide array of attributes of manliness—confidence, aggressiveness, protectiveness, independence, ability to command, eagerness to feel important, love of attention—we think that we are finally getting somewhere when Mansfield offers his own definition of manliness as “confidence in the face of risk.” This definition is problematic, although Mansfield does tell us that his definition will shift as he moves, in later chapters, “from aggression to philosophical courage”. Mansfield argues that manliness is a characteristic that societies rightly value. But modern feminism wants a society that has effaced all distinctions of gender, a society in which men and women have the same traits.

Keywords:   manliness, Harvey C. Mansfield, aggressiveness, confidence, feminism, gender, men, women

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