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SWIP-Analytic: Virginia Aspe Armella and Ma. Elena García Peláez Cruz

March 2 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Sor Juana and the Polemic of Freedom

Abstract: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a poet from 17th century in Colonial Times in Mexico, aside from writing moral and philosohical poems such as her best production: First Dream, explored the topic of freedom and “free understanding”. In this paper, Virginia Aspe traces the philosophical influences that followed sor Juana along in developing this topic. This theological and philosophical path has been bypassed by scholars and gives a full understanding of sor Juana´s work.


Embryological Matter and its Significance in Aristotle´s Theory of Reproduction

Abstract: Aristotle´s theory of sexual generation may be broadly sketched as follows: two principles are needed to form a new being; a male principle, which contributes the form, and a female one which contributes the matter. Since matter is usually defined as a complete passive principle, dependent of the form to exist, scholars have often interpreted the role of the female’s principle, namely the katamenia, in the same way. As a consequence of the alleged ontological primacy of the male principle in the process of generation, the ‘female’ would be, in Aristotelian thought, always and constantly undervalued. Such a simple characterization of what each sex brings to the generation, especially when applied to general issues exceeding the biological or embryological context in which they were originally stated, has thus lead to various misunderstandings regarding the dignity and the importance of the feminine in Aristotle’s thought. But the physiological and metaphysical signification of matter, in a biological context, shows on the contrary that the association of the female principle with matter does not reduce its fundamental role in the process of generation nor compromise in any way feminine partaking of eternity.


March 2
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


5 Washington Place, Room 202
NYC, United States



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