The Book of the City of Ladies

The Logic of The Book of the City of Ladies College

Christine de Pizan’s The Book of the City of Ladies is a book of philosophical and logical refutations and arguments. It is a direct response to several writings in which the male authors make claims against women’s purity. These books, according to de Pizan, slander Woman, and she has been ordained by God, with the help of Reason, Rectitude, and Justice, to bring the truth to light. The Book of the City of Ladies, as the title implies, builds a pure and holy city in which noble and good women could live apart from the slandering men and the impure women upon whom those slanders are based. In order to be taken seriously by those she is refuting, de Pizan makes use of logic forms and attempts to create both valid and sound arguments throughout her writing. But she herself is not above fallacy, no matter her noble intentions.

In writing this book, de Pizan hopes not only to refute the arguments that women are evil, base, and that they cannot think for themselves, but also to empower women in general. Her claims are a breath of fresh air after being bogged down by the heavy accusations of men. It is not enough for a woman to simply write her opinions on a matter, though. de Pizan has to utilize her education, read and research...

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