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Reason and Sensibility: The Ideal of Women's Self-Governance in the Writings of Mary Wollstonecraft

Catriona MacKenzie
Hypatia
Vol. 8, No. 4 (Autumn, 1993), pp. 35-55
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Hypatia, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3810368
Page Count: 21
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Reason and Sensibility: The Ideal of Women's Self-Governance in the Writings of Mary Wollstonecraft
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Abstract

It is standard in feminist commentaries to argue that Wollstonecraft's feminism is vitiated by her commitment to a liberal philosophical framework, relying on a valuation of reason over passion and on the notion of a sex-neutral self. I challenge this interpretation of Wollstonecraft's feminism and argue that her attempt to articulate an ideal of self-governance for women was an attempt to diagnose and resolve some of the tensions and inadequacies within traditional liberal thought.

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