Agnes Callard in the New York Times:
The Greek philosopher Aristotle did not merely condone slavery, he defended it; he did not merely defend it, but defended it as beneficial to the slave. His view was that some people are, by nature, unable to pursue their own good, and best suited to be “living tools” for use by other people: “The slave is a part of the master, a living but separated part of his bodily frame.”
Aristotle’s anti-liberalism does not stop there. He believed that women were incapable of authoritative decision making. And he decreed that manual laborers, despite being neither slaves nor women, were nonetheless prohibited from citizenship or education in his ideal city.
Of course Aristotle is not alone: Kant and Hume made racist comments, Frege made anti-Semitic ones, and Wittgenstein was bracingly upfront about his sexism. Should readers set aside or ignore such remarks, focusing attention on valuable ideas to be found elsewhere in their work?