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SOAN 2111 (44)

Catharine Macaulay Week 9.docx

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University of Guelph
Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 2111
Linda Hunter

Catharine Macaulay (1731-1791) - her works were “unusually well written” - liberal political views - supported the American and the French Revolution - supported proposals for nonsexist education - supported the refusal to glorify war - had a Lockean empiricism - “human knowledge can only be gained by experience and observation” - shared the Enlightenment confidence in the power of reason o authority and custom were often sources of error - experience showed that “in our widest deviations from the dictates of reason, the mind if often more in fault than the body” - “of all human errors, the errors of government are the seldomest corrected” - she believed the government could be better - refers to God as “the universal parent” of creation in Letters on Education - consistently noted the commonalities with animal life, although reserving rational powers to humans - her ethics permitted the killing of animals, but did not allow that their slaughter delight the human mind - if ideas are formed by a combination and comparison of ideas, obviously the earlier impressions would be the mos
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