Kant E-Prints 6:50-68 (2011)

This work seeks to understand some of the statements of Immanuel Kant on the nature of women and the feminine in his writings in anthropology from a pragmatic point of view. In dealing with the character of sex, Kant presents what, in contemporary language, is called "gender differences" (between men and women, male and female) and develops his main argument for the belief in women's "natural weakness": the preservation of the species. To introduce the theme of gender difference, Kant speaks of "production machines" based on different strength levels and nature's desire. Nature is described as responsible for "female weakness". In a similar way, he claims that the allocation of more or less strength, according to the gender of each individual, has the purpose of allowing for physical, rational, and lasting unions between men and women, for the good of mankind. The focus is on theories of the nature and legal incapacity of women in the eighteenth century resulting, to a great extent, from a long debate among different groups within European society in the previous centuries. This article also discusses some of the literary sources that may have influenced the thinking of Kant on this subject and a possible Kantian stance regarding the role of women in Western society.
Keywords Condição Feminina  Diferenciação Sexual  Processo Civilizatório
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