POLI305: Modern Political Theory Part 1

Locate, and explain the specific conceptual and argumentative content of,

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negative liberty, ie.

freedom from x




From ignorance 19

From ‘subservience to love or lust’ 27

From enervating pleasure 64, passions 12, 112, 130,

From oppression and slavery 144, 167

Free from self-hatred 146

Independence from men 141. 165, Eg widow 50, ruined girl 71

Freedom from male gaze

positive liberty, ie.

freedom to do y,

eg. to be happy,

moral, fulfill roles etc



To be human 9-10

To reason. 12, 21, 37, 53

To be able to gain experiences.

To be educated: ‘main argument’ 4; 21, 176

To achieve self-mastery 62

To become a person 76

To dare to think and act for self 144

To use one’s conscience. 88, 153, 160, 179

To better fulfill social roles?

every individual is in this respect a world in itself’ 53










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women do not want for, ie, lack reason 5

socio-political equality of status

as subjects

as citizens                

as humans  


Natural physical superiority does not warrant status difference 8, 39

Fetus in woman is accident 70

What looks like natural defects and cunning etc is really reason misplaced 6

Gender equality of status as subjects and humanity.

How equal are they, try them and then lets talks 35.

political equality

direct participation           

indirect participation




Argument of sorts not only that women should have ‘civil and political rights’, and that they should take interest in domestic and international political matters, but also elected representation of their own. 5, 147, 183


legal equality

equality under the law

equal protection



Gender equality and protection under the law 146.

equitable laws’ 6

economic equality

of opportunity           

of subsistence

of condition/outcome

Some recognition of the impact that economic circumstances have on life opportunities, and especially those of women (49, 76).

Potential for economic self-sufficiency to survive leaving an abusive husband as well as the condition of widowhood.

Women should be able to be midwives and nurses but also doctors 148-9

Arguably, offers some acute analysis of the ways in which an increasingly commodified culture of possessiveness and acquisitiveness – and its seemingly merely entertaining artifacts such as novels - turns women into objects and marriage into a relationship about property.

become free by being enabled to earn their own subsistence, independent of men’ 165








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independence interdependence intersubjectivity

Overcome desire for sex and even (romantic) love in favor of ‘friendship’ and companionate relations. 30 73, 118






Answered by

The most problematic politico-philosophical schools are ...

Patriarchicalism, Rousseauian Romanticism, Sexist Pedagogues such as Rousseau (Emile 1762) 24 [She picks on R of 1d 19 a bit unfairly], Gregory 22, and others such as Milton 7, 10, 28, 69, 77f

Sensualists 24, 47

till men …’ 6; 7, 11, 138, 150, 193 – even otherwise liberal enlightened men for their inconsistency

‘I wish to persuade women …’ esp M-class ones 9

[Rhetorical dimension to W – awareness of negative reader response; uses mimicry and sarcasm]

We can best know what we know by ...




Inductive reasoning, ie learning to generalize from, or draw associations of ideas together while relying upon, a train of practical experiences. (7, 23, 54, 116, 185)

‘Because intellect will always govern’ 11

Conversely, ‘sensibility is not reason’ 64

Her lived and observed experience contradicts misogynist assertions 43

[In countering the view that ‘man was made to reason, woman to feel’ 63, 188 W arguably went too far in disabusing women and women of feeling. Cf 66]

[She clearly relies on her own affect and emotional reactions as signals about what matters to her 7, 10, 22, 37]

What is essential to human beings is ...

The use of ‘reason’, which entails mastery over passions, emotions, the affective, the merely sentimental, much of which is a culturally constructed and finally superficial matter of ‘sensibility’ 12

Sex/gender is not essential – ‘a wild wish from heart to head – sex confounded’ ie made irrelevant 57; 43

Ethics is best

determined through ...




deduced” 17

The deductive and consistent application of God-given rights discoverable by reason and evident in the fundamental values associated positively with the French Revolution, i.e., to extend liberty, equality and solidaristic relations to all humanity (4, 5, 12, 38, 87)

Doing one’s ‘duty’ as a human person rather than a sexed/gendered creature in this regard. 51, 53, 144

‘Modesty, public spirit, and all the other noble virtues’ 140.

‘Cleanliness, neatness, and personal reserve’ 128

Respect for (hu)man as (hu)man 125, 137

Link heart to humanity not private love 123

Universal benevolence, even to animals 172

Critique of desire and affect: ‘most of the evils of life arise from a desire for present enjoyment that outruns itself’ 72, 130; esp male sexual desire 164

Not Denying women rights and thereby degrading morality of all

Awareness that Wealth too ‘enervates men’

Not equivalent to elegance 9, romantic honor 17, respectability or propriety 144,

Being communal /

self-sacrificing is ...




Critical awareness of socialization and social construction, in this case of woman as woman, but of man as human 19, 21, 42, 61

social roles of women as daughters, wives, mothers will be better 26, 29, 140 [but this sounds like a rhetorical argument directed at men – in response to what’s in it for us? men too must change and become worthy fathers and husbands or else …178]

she was created to be the toy of man’ 34

What is described as ‘natural’ only looks natural and is actually a function of power 28, 117

Patriotism should not trump humanism 4, 13

Whatever sacrifice is to occur must be mutual.

War only defensive.

Rhetorically calling the bluff of reasonable men – either take men seriously as humans or enslave them entirely and be done with the pretense 25, 35, 45, 194

The optimal polity is ...




Representative democracy, presumably with the inclusion of women in electorate and representative body if not with distinct gender reps 147.

One that provides a free, open public education for both genders together and suitable to an adulthood of moral independence, and citizenship, with vocational tracking in later years 4, 157f, 162, 167, 173.

One that results from moral family structures and dynamics.


‘Diffuses liberty’ 38

Feminism is not feminazism: ‘I do not wish them to have power over men; but over themselves’ (62), 167

Devoid of oppressions and abusive power: tyranny, hierarchy and privilege 6, 13, 16, 17, 37, 62, 69, 150, 153, 167

‘I declare against all power built on prejudices’ 101

Against all prejudices 113

Don’t treat women ‘like the poor African slaves’ 144

No standing army 17, 23-4,

Only open to defensive wars (145)

No defensive church or servile clergy 18 or authoritarian God 46, 49, 79, 160-1, 179-83

No divine right of kings or ‘divine right of husbands’ 41

Political violence or revolution is ...

Violence remains problematic and in a different work she critiques French Revolution for degenerating in this way, into the Terror.

Not trying to ‘invert the order of things’ 26 BUT she does explicitly affirm the moral necessity of a cultural ‘revolution’ (45, 178, 192) and even ‘defensive war’ albeit again with due assurances 144

The challenge facing Modernity is ...            

Formerly ‘pestiferous purple’, i.e. static hierarchism of Royalty and aristocracy was the problem 18, and perhaps tendentious religious interpretation of Genesis etc too (26, 79, 173).  Today, Gender inequalities continue as economic modernization objectifies and commodifies everything, including human relationships, and paradigms of male domination of women 140-1, 146. 

Gender inequality threatens to undermine modern progress.

Global phenomena – chinese foot binding 41, ‘females .. in all countries’ 154, ‘all nations’ 174