Mary Wollstonecraft

Sunday, May 12, 2024

What Is It

Mary Wollstonecraft is often labeled as a “liberal feminist” because of her concern for women’s rights and conceptions of freedom. But that label narrows her work, which was broadly critical of all social inequalities that distort human relations. So why did Wollstonecraft think that virtue is not truly possible unless we are all free? What did she think was key to the liberation of women? And what were her criticisms of the powerful institutions of her day, like the monarchy? Josh and Ray explore the life and thought of Mary Wollstonecraft with Sylvana Tomaselli from the University of Cambridge, author of Wollstonecraft: Philosophy, Passion, and Politics.

Part of our series Wise Women, generously supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Comments (1)

Chiaramandres's picture


Thursday, April 11, 2024 -- 12:55 AM

Virginia Woolf wrote of

Virginia Woolf wrote of Wollstonecraft:
“It was a thousand pities that the woman who could write like that, whose mind was tuned to nature and reflection, should have been forced to anger and bitterness. But how could she have helped herself?”
How did Wollstonecraft’s philosophy reconcile with her sentiments?
Is this very question sexist? Or did her emotional sensibilities make her a strong female thinker?
How does the field of philosophy intersect with the world of emotions?

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