Hypatia (1):908-924 (2013)
AbstractIndependence is a central and recurring theme in Wollstonecraft’s work. Independence should not be understood as an individualistic ideal that is in tension with the value of community but as an essential ingredient in successful and flourishing social relationships. I examine three aspects of this rich and complex concept that Wollstonecraft draws on as she develops her own notion of independence as a powerful feminist tool. First, independence is an egalitarian ideal that requires that all individuals, regardless of sex, are protected to a comparable extent in all areas of social, political and economic life, no matter whether this is in the public or private sphere. Secondly, so long as this egalitarian condition is not compromised, independence allows for individuals to perform differentiated social roles, including along gendered lines. Finally, the on-going and collective input of both women and men is required to ensure that the conditions necessary for social independence are maintained. In Wollstonecraft’s hands, then, independence is a powerful ideal that allows her to argue that women must be able to act on their own terms as social and political equals, doing so as women whose perspectives and interests may differ from men’s.
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References found in this work
Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government.Philip Pettit (ed.) - 1997 - Oxford University Press.
Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government.Philip Pettit - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (196):415-419.
Critical Republicanism: The Hijab Controversy and Political Philosophy.Cécile Laborde - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.Mary Wollstonecraft - 2007 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell.
Citations of this work
Two Spheres of Domination: Republican Theory, Social Norms and the Insufficiency of Negative Freedom.Alan M. S. J. Coffee - 2015 - Contemporary Political Theory 14 (1):45-62.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Mary Wollstonecraft on the Imagination.Martina Reuter - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (6):1138-1160.
Catharine Macaulay’s Republican Conception of Social and Political Liberty.Alan M. S. J. Coffee - 2018 - Political Studies 4 (65):844-59.
Radicalism, Religion and Mary Wollstonecraft.Sarah Hutton - 2021 - Intellectual History Review 31 (1):181-198.
Mary Wollstonecraft on Motherhood and Political Participation: An Overlooked Insight Into Women's Subordination.Valerie Williams - 2019 - Hypatia 34 (4):802-826.
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