The Woman of Reason: Feminism, Humanism, and Political Thought

Karen Green, Author Continuum $24.95 (211p) ISBN 978-0-8264-0821-1
In this richly textured philosophical inquiry, Green, a lecturer in women's studies at the University of London, mounts a defense of feminist humanism. She examines the work of early theorists, male and female, including Thomas Hobbes, Jean- Jacques Rousseau, Christine de Pisan and Mary Wollstonecraft. From this historical perspective, Green argues that although female humanists wrote within a patriarchal framework, their ideas remain authentic and provide contemporary feminists with a basis on which to develop a critical voice. She rejects the claims of radical feminists who, drawing on Simone de Beauvoir's concept of ``the other,'' call for a women's logic. According to the author, it is possible to utilize rational thought in harmony with, instead of in opposition to, emotion. This harmony, Green postulates, connects humanism to feminism. She also rejects current theories of women's sexuality that equate heterosexual sex with women's oppression. This study will be of interest to readers of philosophy. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
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