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Women and The Enlightenment. 25 June 2008 NEH Institute. Women and the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment Philosophy in Tension with the Reality of Patriarchal Society Leading philosophes and their Theories on Sex and Gender Women as Agents of the Enlightenment program

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Women and the enlightenment

Women and The Enlightenment

25 June 2008

NEH Institute


Women and the enlightenment1
Women and the Enlightenment

  • The Enlightenment Philosophy in Tension with the Reality of Patriarchal Society

  • Leading philosophes and their Theories on Sex and Gender

  • Women as Agents of the Enlightenment program

  • Consequences for the Emancipation of Women – the Enlightenment, the Revolution, and the Rise of Modernity


Defining characteristics
DefiningCharacteristics

  • Reason vs Revelation

  • Secular

  • Deism

  • Empirical

  • Toleration

    • Freedom of Speech

    • Freedom of Press

    • Religious Freedom

  • Anti-clerical and anti-authoritarian

  • Emphasis upon Education

  • Equality before the Law

  • Cultural Relativism

  • Theory of Progress


Fran ois poullain de la barre 1647 1725
François Poullain de La Barre 1647-1725

Role of Cartesian Rationalism

  • De l’égalité des deux sexes , 1673

  • De l’éducation des dames, 1674

  • De l’excellence des hommes contre l’égalité des sexes, 1675


Montesquieu and Women

Persian Letters, 1721

Spirit of the Laws, 1748

  • Cultural Relativism

  • Making a “science of society” i.e.

  • empiricism

  • Pragmatism

Baron de Montesquieu

1689-1755


Voltaire and Women

  • Poet, novelist, playwright, essayist

  • Letters Concerning the English Nation, 1733; Candide, 1759

  • Glory (la gloire)

  • Honor (L’honneur)

  • Duty (Le devoir)

  • Virtue (La vertu)

Voltaire

1694-1778


Émilie, Marquise du Châtelet-Laumont (1706-1749)

Frontispiece of Voltaire/Chatelet

Translation of Newton

Cirey Period (1733-1749)


Diderot and Women

Denis Diderot

1713-1784

Complex and Contradictory Views on Women


Jean-Jacques Rousseau

1712-1778

Discourse on the Arts and Sciences, 1751

Discourse on Inequality, 1755

The Social Contract, 1762

“The General Will”


Rousseau and Women

The Nouvelle Heloise and Emile

1761-62

Great success of Sentimental Novel

Emile

Educational Theory

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

1712-1778


The Salon and its Meaning for the Enlightenment

Origins?

What’s New?

Role of Women?

Influence?

The Republic of Letters


Claudine-Alexandrine Guérin Tencin

1682-1749

  • Father was president of local Parlement

  • Initially a nun; broke her vows in 1712

  • Established a salon and became noted for her wit, charm and notorious love affairs

  • Jean d’Alembert was her illegitimate son from noted affair with the Chevalier Destouches

  • One of first Parisian literary salons to welcome foreigners.

  • Novelist of some merit



Marie du Deffand

1697-1780

  • Aristocratic Background

  • Dominated salon life for five decades

  • Close friend of Horace Walpole

  • Significant letters


Julie de Lespinasse

1732-1776

  • Of noble but illegitimate birth

  • Famous break from her protégé Madame du Deffand

  • Famous letters concerning her passionate love affairs with the Marquis de Mora and the Comte du Guibert


Lettres d‘une Péruvienne, 1747

Letters from a Peruvian Woman

Madame de Graffigny

1695-1758


De l’esprit, 1758

A Treatise on Man; his Intellectual Faculties and his Education, 1772

Radical Empiricist and Determinist

Human behavior completely determined by education and social environment.

We seek to maximize pleasure and minimize pain…anticipates the British Utilitarians

Claude Adrien Helvetius

(1715-1771)


Anne-Catherine de Ligniville Helvétius

Maintained a salon for over five decades which featured the major figures of the Enlightenment, including Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson

Madame Helvétius

1722-1800



MARIE ANTOINETTE

LOUIS XVI


The Hapsburgs

War of Austrian Succession

1740-48

Diplomatic Revolution, 1756

Seven Year’s War

1756-1763

Maria Theresa of Austria

r. 1740-1780


Joseph II

1741-1790


Mozart and Women 1765-1780; sole ruler from 1780-1790.

Freemasonary

Josephine Reforms

Marriage of Figaro

Enlightenment Influences?

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

1756-1791


Mary Wollstonecraft 1765-1780; sole ruler from 1780-1790.

1759-1797

A Vindication of the Rights of Man, 1790

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, 1792


Noted Mathematician & Scientist 1765-1780; sole ruler from 1780-1790.

Systematically Applied Mathematics to the social sciences

Advocate for Human Rights, including rights for women and blacks

Directly involved in the French Revolution

Theory of Progress

Marquis de Condorcet

1743-1794


Olympe de Gouges 1765-1780; sole ruler from 1780-1790.

1745-1793

Feminist Author and Advocate

Declaration of the Rights of Women


Defining characteristics1
Defining 1765-1780; sole ruler from 1780-1790.Characteristics

  • Reason vs Revelation

  • Secular

  • Deism

  • Empirical

  • Toleration

    • Freedom of Speech

    • Freedom of Press

    • Religious Freedom

  • Anti-clerical and anti-authoritarian

  • Emphasis upon Education

  • Equality before the Law

  • Cultural Relativism

  • Theory of Progress


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