The Woman of Reason

The Woman of Reason : Feminism, Humanism and Political Thought

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This text challenges the direction taken by much recent work in the field of feminist studies. It mounts a defence of humanism - a tradition of which many contemporary feminists have been sharply critical. Many feminists have viewed "reason" and "rationality" with deep suspicion. They have argued that reason was constructed by male philosophers in a way that excluded feminine traits: the man of reason was a masculine fiction. But this rejection of humanism assumes that there is only one tradition of humanism and only one conception of the rational individual. By carefully re-examining the texts of a feminist humanist tradition, Karen Green uncovers a different conception of the rational individual - a "female version of rationality". She captures the specificity of women's thought through an examination of their writings and their differences from the work of their male contemporaries. On this basis, Green argues that we need to reconceptualize both rationality and liberalism. Maintaining the ideal of rationality is quite compatible with understanding ourselves as embodied, emotional creatures whose sense of self is made up of a mixture of reason and feeling.
Feminist humanism can provide a firm basis for political action and a compelling defence of equal political representation for women and men.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 220 pages
  • 152 x 229mm
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • index
  • 0745614485
  • 9780745614489

Table of contents

Against feminist anti-humanism; women of virtue; Hobbes, Amazons and Sabine women; virtuous women and the citizen of Geneva; the female citizen; socialism, sex and savage society; flight from the other; reason, femininity, love and morality.
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