Marguerite Deslauriers

Academic title(s): 


Contact Information

855 Sherbrooke St. W.
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 2T7

Email address: 
marguerite.deslauriers [at]
Leacock 943
Office hours: 

Fall term 2018: Monday 11:00-13:00

Research areas: 
Feminist Philosophy
Ancient Philosophy

Marguerite Deslauriers works in ancient philosophy and the history of feminist philosophy.  She studied philosophy and classics at McGill (B.A. 1977) and the University of Toronto (Ph.D. 1987). In 1986 she was appointed to York University, before joining the Philosophy Department at McGill in 1988. In 1990 she received the H. Noel Fieldhouse Award for Distinguished Teaching at McGill. She founded McGill's Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies (IGSF) in 2009, and was its first Director. 

Current research: 


Areas of interest: Aristotle (metaphysics, biology, and political and moral philosophy), the history of philosophical conceptions of sexual difference, and Renaissance and Early Modern feminist treatises, especially the work of Lucrezia Marinella and Marie de Gournay.

I am the Principal Investigator for a project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC):

Equality and superiority in Renaissance and Early Modern pro-woman treatises, Insight Grant 2014-19 (with Laura Prelipcean, Concordia University and Andrew Piper, McGill University).  For more information on the project, the team of researchers and students, and the texts visit our website:

I also participate in three collaborative research projects:

New Narratives in the History of Philosophy, 2015-2018.  (SSHRC Partnership Development Grant: PI Lisa Shapiro, Simon Fraser University)   

Early Modern Conversions:  Religions, Cultures, Cognitive Ecologies, 2013-2018  (SSHRC Partnership Grant: PI Paul Yachnin, McGill University)

Réseau québécois en études féministes (RéQEF), 2014-2017 (FQRSC Regroupement stratégique: PI Francine Descarries, UQAM)

My primary research projects currently are a monograph on sexual difference in Aristotle's biology and political philosophy, and a series of articles on 16th and 17th century feminist treatises.

Selected publications: 



The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle'sPolitics,co-editor with P. Destrée, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.


Aristotle on Definition, in the series Philosophia Antiqua, Leiden: Brill, 2007.


"Marie de Gournay and Aristotle," forthcoming in Feminist History of Philosophy:  The Recovery and Evaluation of Women's Philosophical Thought, eds. Eileen O'Neill and Marcy P. Lascano. Dordrecht: Springer.

"Marinella and her Interlocutors: hot blood, hot words, hot deeds," Philosophical Studies 1:13, DOI 10.1007/s11098-016-0730-3.

“Political Rule over Women in Politics I," in Aristotle's Politics: A Critical Guide, eds. T. Lockwood and T. Samaras, Cambridge University Press, 2015, pp. 55-75.

"Plato on Sexual Difference and Sexual Reproduction," in Platonic Inspirations, eds. J. Opsomer and M. Beck, in the series Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (Series 1), Leuven University Press, 2013.

"Political Unity and Inequality" in The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle's Politics, eds. M. Deslauriers and P. Destrée.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp. 117-143.

"Lucrezia Marinella", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <>.

"Women, Education and Philosophy," in  Companion to Women in the Ancient World, eds. Sharon L. James and Sheila Dillon. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012, pp. 343-353.

“Sexual Difference in Aristotle’s Politics and his Biology,” in Classical World:  (Special Issue) Bodies, Households and Landscapes: Sexuality and Gender in Graeco-Roman Antiquity, 102: 3, 2009, pp. 215-30.

“One Soul in Two Bodies:  Marie de Gournay and Montaigne” in Angelaki: journal of the theoretical humanities, Special Issue:  Recoupling Genre and ‘Gender’, ed. Moira Gatens, 13:2, August 2008, pp. 5-15.

“The Argument of Aristotle’s Politics, Book I”, Phoenix 60: 3-5, 2006, pp. 48-69.

“Two Conceptions of Equality:  MacKinnon, Wollstonecraft and Rousseau on Natural Inequality,” Canadian Journal of Political Science 37:4 (December 2004), pp. 1-23; short-listed for the John McMenemy Prize for the best article in the CJPS, 2004.

“The Virtues of Women and Slaves,” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Volume XXV, Winter, 2003, pp. 213-231.

“How To Distinguish Aristotle’s Virtues,” Phronesis, Volume XLVII, no. 2, 2002, pp. 101-126.

“Sex Difference and Essence in Aristotle’s Metaphysics and Biology,” in Re-reading the Canon: A Series Devoted to Feminist Interpretations of Major Philosophers: Aristotle, ed. Cynthia Freeland, Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998, pp. 138-67.

“Aristotle’s Four Types of Definition,” Apeiron Volume 23, no. 1, 1990, pp. 1-26.

Selected talks and presentations: 

"The Conceptualization of Masculine Power as Unjust: Tyranny in 17th C Venice," keynote address at the conferenceBridging the Gender Gap through Time, Faculty of Law, King's College, London, February 22-23, 2018.

“Agency and Material Causation: Bartolomeo Goggio and Lodovico Domenichi on the Female in Aristotle’sGeneration of Animals,” at the conference European and Venetian Renaissance, University of Padua, Italy, December 12-15, 2017.

"Doubt and Scepticism in Renaissance Pro-Woman Arguments," at the conferenceWomen and Early Modern Philosophy &Science, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Vercelli (Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici) Italy, May 11-12, 2017.

"The Reception of Aristotle in Lucrezia Marinella'sLa nobiltà et l'eccellenza delle donne co'diffetti et mancamenti de gli uomini(Venice, 1601)," Thursday Seminar, Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Florence, Italy, May 4, 2017.

"Using and Disputing Authority in the 16th Century" for the panel Education and Women's Epistemic Authority, 1500-1800, at Rethinking Philosophy's Past 1300-1800, Columbia University, February 17-18, 2017.

"L’égalité des sexes: toujours la même, toujours différente," paper presented as part of Nuit de Philosophie, UNESCO, Paris, November 18, 2016.

"Aspects of Aristotle in du Châtelet's Dissertation sur la nature et la propogation du feu," at the conference Exploring the Philosophy of Émilie du Châtelet, Center for Science and Society, Columbia University, New York, NY, June 1-3, 2016.

"Lucrezia Marinella and Marguerite Buffet on the Sameness of Souls," at the conference Women and Philosophy: History, Values, Knowledge, 16th Syposium of the Internation Association of Women Philosophers (IAPh), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, July 7-10, 2016.

"Lucrezia Marinella on Tyrannical Rule," at the conference Women Philosophers on Autonomy, Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey, May 5-6, 2016.

"Sexual Difference and Tyranny: Aristotle Interpreted by Lucrezia Marinella" for the panel Aristotle, Feminism and Ontology, at the annual conference of the Ancient Philosophy Society, Portland, Maine, April 28-31, 2016.

"The Reception of Aristotle's Politics in Lucrezia Marinella's La nobiltà et l'eccellenza delle donne co'diffetti et mancamenti de gli uomini (Venice 1600/1601)," at the conference 2400 Years - Aristotle Today: The Political Philosophy of Aristotle, Dipartimento di Filosofia, Sociologia, Pedagogia e Psicologia Applicata, Università degli Studi di Padova, Padua, Italy, April 7-9, 2016.

"Friendship with Men in Renaissance Feminist Arguments" as part of the panel, Friendship and Community in Early Modern Works on/by Women, at the Renaissance Society of America annual conference, Boston, March 31-April 2, 2016.

"Nature and Custom in the Education of Women: Mario Equicola (1470-1525) and Marie de Gournay (1565-1645)" at the Workshop on the History and Philosophy of Education, Department of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, October 23-25, 2015.

"Temperature, Virtue and Politics in Arguments for and against Women," as part of the panel, Virtue and Politics in Early Modern Works on Women, Canadian Society for Italian Studies (CSIS) Annual Meeting, Sorrento, Italy June 19-21, 2015

"Courage: définitions et distinctions," presentation at the conference Aristote:la définition en pratique (éthique et politique), Université Paris 1: Panthéon Sorbonne (Groupe de Recherche Antiquité, Moyen-Age, Transmission Arabe; Sphere: Sciences, Philosophie, Histoire, UMR 7219; IUF), June 11-12, 2015.

"Marinella and her Interlocutors," as part of the panel Women in Modern Philosophy, Pacific APA, Vancouver, BC, April 2, 2015.

"Physiological Accounts of Women's Superior Conduct in Some Sixteenth Century Italian Pro-Woman Treatises," as part of a panel, Conduct Literature Texts for and about Women in Early Modern Italy: Between Description and Prescription (Helena Sanson, organizer), Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, New York, NY March 27 2014.

"Constitutional Rule over Women in Politics I," at the conference, Aristotle's Politics: Critical Appraisals, Department of Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder, February 22, 2014.

"Pleasure and Time in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics X," Department of Philosophy, Duke University, April 5, 2013.


Courses 2018-19

Fall term:

  • PHIL 242 Introduction to Feminist Theory
  • PHIL 301 Philosophical Fundamentals

Winter term: 

  • PHIL 345 Greek Political Theory
  • PHIL 651 Seminar in Ancient Philosophy