The 'son of civil society': Tensions in Hegel's account of womanhood

Philosophical Forum 31 (2):145–162 (2000)
The paper examines briefly Kant's and Fichte's, and more thoroughly, Hegel's theses on womanhood and their social and political consequences. It shows, taking Hegel as a case study, that the idealists' conceptual frameworks should have led them to recognize the rights of women, and, importantly, in Kant's and Hegel's case, that they implicitly did so. However, they chose to repress these unwanted outcomes behind teachings that were more in line with the beliefs of their time. This tension, it is argued in conclusion, is indicative of a conceptual crux that is specific to German idealism, but whose effects can still be perceived today
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