The Moral Sex : Woman's Nature in the French Enlightenment
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 Steinbrugge 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.
- Paperback | 168 pages
- 139.7 x 207.5 x 11.4mm | 218.97g
- 10 Aug 1995
- Oxford University Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
it is a useful aid to a deeper understanding of Laquer's Making Sex ... Steinbrugge's essay concisely and effectively fills in the background and should be compulsory reading for anyone working on Enlightenement medicine. In many respects this is a pearl of a book ... it is a valuable addition to Enlightenment studies tout court. * Laurence Brockliss, Magdalen College, Oxford, Social History of Medicine, Vol. 10, No. 1 '97 * A rich and scientifically ambitious discourse on gender ... The narrative of The Moral Sex is simply and economically outlined. * Times Literary Supplement *