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SOAN 2111 Lecture Notes - Mary Wollstonecraft, Age Of Enlightenment, Montesquieu

Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2111
Linda Hunter

of 2
November 7, 2012
Midterm Information…
- Early French Enlightenment
- Montesquieu
- Voltaire
- The British Enlightenment and theorists include in the British
Enlightenment, Smith, Macaulay, and Wollstonecraft, the Later French
Enlightenment, and the material on the French Revolution and the
Sociological Implications that we are going to be covering up until the
IV Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)
Introduction and Background
- “liberty is the mother of virtue”
- first major feminist theorist in this course
- was not rich financially but did possess richness in her intellectual abilities
- London, England place of birth
- Established an all girls school
- She developed a real school about liberal thinking and absorbed all
philosophies of John Locke and other great theorists at the time
- School due to lack of funds was eventually shut down
- She had a renewed sense of purpose took these ideas and published two
- “not only the virtue, but the knowledge of the two sexes should be the same
in nature”
- turned to writing for her living translated many different languages from
greater writers
- attacked in her lifetime ignored in her death
- two attempted suicides
- very much seen as a threat to the women of Victorian England she was not
the social norm she was scandalous
- too much focus on white men lack of opportunity for women
o Impact of books was great
Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1786)
Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790)
She complained that was all about great white men of
power and wealth, not the common person goes back
to Chardin painting average people in domestic
Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792)
Sparked a lot of controversy of intelligence, rights and
laws and social standing of women at the time
Historical and Moral View of the Origin and Progress of the
French Revolution (1794)
William Godwin and daughter Mary Godwin Shelly
Opened issue of political rights for women
Specified the demand for economic independence and
access to traditional male occupations
- application of methodology to reform ends
o brought about reform and social change for people
o legal, political issues were addressed
o newly industrialized society
- she was all about rights for women
- articulate demand for equality for women
- “mind has no sex”
- Wollstonecraft countered Edmund Burke with reason over passion
- Each person’s happiness depends on the general happiness
- Education
o Defects in education and opportunity the result of bad social
o We should be able to be nurses, physicians, etc.
- Ecologically Minded
o Transition from habitual cruelty to animals to domestic cruelty over
wives, children and servants
- Equality in Rights
o Friendship between equals would make for happiness
o Directs her argument to middle-class women, excluding both the
aristocratic and poor
- Politics and Government
o Government could play a role for the good
o Set out causal links in her political offerings of the Revolution
- “A Rake’s Progress Tavern Scene” – HOGARTH, W.
o looks at issues of morality
o modern moral subjects
o he sought to teach moral lessons through his artwork they were
called morality plays
- A woman reading a letter VERMEER, J.
o Looks at the working class but the upper class as well
o Looked at the image of women doing ordinary things
o Girl is reading/holding a letter she’s educated
o The light out of darkness becomes awareness out of darkness
becomes reason