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"Fair defect in creation": Women, liberty, and education in Mary Wollstonecraft

Grant number: 21/02257-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2022
Effective date (End): July 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal Investigator:Yara Adario Frateschi
Grantee:Sarah Bonfim Matos Nunes
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


To whom is granted the freedom enshrined in the 1789 Declaration of Human and Civic Rights? For Mary Wollstonecraft, this document did not include women. In theory, the Declaration does not make a clear distinction, but in practice women were confined to the domestic space. Philosophers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, for example, argued that women would have a different reason than men, which implies practical consequences regarding virtue and freedom. So, with half of humanity's freedom compromised, Wollstonecraft looks to this question and seeks the reason why women have this right denied. Thus, this research project proposes the analysis of the concept of freedom in Wollstonecraft in the light of its time, seeking to outline its originality of thought. In addition to the importance of analyzing the historical context, the effervescent epoch of the American (1776) and French (1789) revolutions and the "pamphlet war" (Philp, 1998), we emphasize that the uniqueness of Wollstonecraftian thought gains prominence in its interlocutions and, without a doubt, stands out even more in the dialogue with the work of one of the most important philosophers of modernity, Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

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