The Moral Sex: Woman's Nature in the French Enlightenment / Edition 1

The Moral Sex: Woman's Nature in the French Enlightenment / Edition 1

by Lieselotte Steinbrugge, Pamela E. Selwyn
     
 

This book deals with a question that currently has a great deal of resonance among historians, feminists, and literary scholars: How was the nature of women redefined and debated during the French Enlightenment? Instead of treating the Enlightenment in the usual manner, as a challenge to orthodox ideas and social conventions, Lieselotte Steinbrügge

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Overview

This book deals with a question that currently has a great deal of resonance among historians, feminists, and literary scholars: How was the nature of women redefined and debated during the French Enlightenment? Instead of treating the Enlightenment in the usual manner, as a challenge to orthodox ideas and social conventions, Lieselotte Steinbrügge interprets it as a deviation from a position staked out in the seventeenth century, namely, "the mind has no sex." In breaking with that view, the philosophes shifted the debate to categories like morality and sensitivity and took up economic issues as well. They inadvertently backed women into the corner of domesticity, where middle-class women remained for some time to come.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195094930
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
08/28/1995
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
168
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.19(h) x 0.45(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction3
1Reason Has No Sex10
The Rationalist Tradition of the Querelle des Femmes: (Poulain de la Barre)11
Eighteenth-Century Discussions of the Ideal of the Learned Woman: (Florent de Puisieux, Dom Philippe-Joseph Caffiaux, Mademoiselle Archambault)13
Emotionalizing the Female Mind: (Madame de Lambert)18
2Dividing the Human Race: The Anthropological Definition of Woman in the Encyclopedie21
The Human Being as Natural Being21
The Image of the Useful Human Being: Honnetete Turns Bourgeois24
Woman as Natural Being in the Physiocrats' Ordre Naturel25
The Other Side of the Natural Order28
The Moral Sex30
3The Sensualist Turning Point: (Antoine-Leonard Thomas and Pierre Roussel)35
4The Sexualization of Female Existence41
Medical Discourse41
Literary Discourse: (Denis Diderot)44
5The Historical and Moral-Philosophical Dimensions of the Feminine: (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)54
Control Over the Passions as Educational Objective in Emile56
Egoism as the Competitive Society's Ruling Passion in the Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inegalite parmi les hommes60
The History of Female Reason: The Golden Age in One's Own Home63
The Return of the Golden Age in La Nouvelle Heloise70
The Function of the Feminine in the Utopia of Clarens77
6The Female Reduced to Natural Instinct: (Choderlos de Laclos)83
7Female Sensibility90
Rousseau for Everywoman: The Dual Nature of the Passions90
The Limited Scope of Female Sensibility97
Raising Girls to Be Society's Moral Conscience: Women's Pedagogical Writings: (Madame de Miremont, Madame Espinassy, Madame d'Epinay)99
Conclusion105
Notes109
Bibliography145
Index155

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