Marguerite Deslauriers

Academic title(s): 


Marguerite Deslauriers
Contact Information

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

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

Summer 2023: by appointment

Research areas: 
Feminist Philosophy
Ancient Philosophy

Marguerite Deslauriers is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at McGill.  Her research is in ancient philosophy and the history of feminist philosophy, with a focus on Aristotle and on Renaissance feminism.  In 2017 she was Robert Lehman Visiting Professor at Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies.  She founded McGill's Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies (IGSF) in 2009, and was its first Director. Her most recent work is Aristotle on Sexual Difference: Metaphysics, Biology, Politics (OUP 2022).  Her other books are Aristotle on Definition, in the series Philosophia Antiqua (Brill 2007), and The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle's Politics, co-edited with Pierre Destrée, (CUP 2013).

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.

Her primary research projects currently are an edited volume of translations of early feminist works (with Lara Harwood-Ventura): Equality and Superiority: Texts from Renaissance and Early Modern Europe (under contract with Oxford University Press), and a monograph, Lucrezia Marinella, in the series Cambridge Elements: Women in the History of Philosophy, ed. Jacqueline Broad (under contract with Cambridge University Press).

She is a co-investigator in three collaborative research projects:

Extending New Narratives in the History of Philosophy (PI Lisa Shapiro), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grant, 2020-27.

The philosophical foundations of women’s rights: a new history, 1600-1750 (with Jacqueline Broad, PI, Monash University and Deborah Brown), funded by the Australian Research Council, 2019-22 (extended).

Gender in Renaissance and Early Modern Philosophy (co-applicant, with Martina Reuter, PI,University of Jyväskylä) funded by the Academy of Finland, Academy Project, 2022-2026.  

She was the Principal Investigator for a project funded by SSHRC: Equality and superiority in renaissance and early modern pro-woman treatises, Insight Grant 2014-19.  One of the results of this research is a website on which searchable transcriptions of the texts, and information about the authors and their contexts, can be found:

Selected publications: 


Book cover: Aristotle on Sexual Difference: Metaphysics, Biology, PoliticsAristotle on Sexual Difference: Metaphysics, Biology, Politics, Oxford University Press, 2021 (in press).

Book cover: The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle's Politics 

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


Book cover: Aristotle on Definition

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


"La Querelle des Femmes et l’histoire de la philosophie féministe," XVIIe Siècle 2022/3, no. 296, numéro thématique, Historiographies des corpus modernes: évolutions et méthodes, ed. Marie-Frédérique Pellegrin. 451-468.

“Aristotle’s Human Beings,” co-author with E. Zoli Filotas, in Human Beings, ed. Karolina Hübner, in the series Oxford Philosophical Concepts, New York: Oxford University Press, 2022. 39-66.

"The Superiority of Seventeenth Century Women," Journal of the American Philosophical Association, July 2021, 1-19. Doi: 10.1017/apa.2019.242021.

“The Conceptualization of Masculine Authority as Unjust: Tyranny in 17th Century Venice,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 27:4 Special Issue: Women in the History of Philosophy, eds. Sarah Hutton and Ruth Hagengruber, July 2019, 718-37.  PDF: "The Conceptualization of Masculine Authority as Unjust: Tyranny in 17th C Venice"

"Marie de Gournay and Aristotle," in Feminist History of Philosophy:  The Recovery and Evaluation of Women's Philosophical Thought (Feminist Philosophy Collection), eds. Eileen O'Neill and Marcy P. Lascano. Dordrecht: Springer, 2019, 281-99.

“Sur le plaisir et le temps dans le livre X de l'Éthique à Nicomaque,” dans le numéro spécial de la revue Chora REAM 17, edd. C. Cerami, M. Crubellier, A. Jaulin, May 2019, 105-126.

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

"Agency and Material Causation: Bartolomeo Goggio and Lodovico Domenichi on the Female in Aristotle's Generation of Animals," in Rinascimento Veneto e Rinascimento Europeo -- European and Venetian Renaissance, a cura di R. Bassi, Pisa: ETS, 2019.

"Thumos in Aristotle's Politics VII.7," Polis, The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought 36:1 (2019), 57-76.

“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.

"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 - updated 2018), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)

"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.

“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.


Selected talks and presentations: 

“Whose Worth? Inclusion and Exclusion in 16th C. Pro-woman Works,” at Reinventing Woman’s Nature: Early Modern Feminism and its Roots, UCLA Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, March 30-April 1, 2023.

“Aristotle on Sexual Difference,” Author meets Critics panel presentation for Aristotle on Sexual Difference: Metaphysics, Biology, Politics. American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, annual meeting, Montreal, January 4, 2023.

“Paradox, Doubt, Skepticism: Forms of Uncertainty in Early Modern Pro-Woman Arguments,” Québec-Ontario Workshop in Early Modern Philosophy. University of Toronto, October 28-29, 2022.

"Sexual Difference and Natural Character: the Reception of Aristotle's Historia Animalium in the Renaissance" at Aristotle’s Historia Animalium, Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge (in conjunction with Department of Philosophy, Birkbeck College London), August 22-26, 2022.

“No-sexed and Two-sexed: ‘Tragainai’ and Eunuchs in Aristotle’s Biology” as part of the symposium, Representations of Women and Gender in Ancient Philosophy, Central APA, February 26, 2021.

“Arguing for the Superiority of Women in the 17th Century”, keynote address, Australasian Society for Early Modern Philosophy, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, November 25-7, 2019.

"Marie de Gournay" at the New Narratives in Philosophy Graduate Student Symposium, Philosophy Department, Columbia University, NY, September 22, 2018.

"The Conceptualization of Masculine Power as Unjust: Tyranny in 17th C Venice," keynote address at the conference Bridging 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's La 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.

"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 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.





Courses 2023-2024

Fall term:

  • PHIL 242 Introduction to Feminist Theory

Winter term: 

  • On leave


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