Recently, there has been a major revival of interest in the life and work of Germaine de Staël (1766–1817). Over the last decades, extensive biographies have been written on her life, politics, literary influence, and correspondences. Yet, despite her invaluable intellectual contributions, De Staël has generally been overlooked as a philosophe, and up-to-date research on many aspects of her philosophical thought is lacking from scholarship. This is particularly remarkable in light of the rediscovery of 18th century liberal thinking – to which De Staël was an influential contributor. But it also marks an evident lacuna within the history of philosophy itself, in which women are all too often left out. In my PhD project, titled Reason and the Passions in the Work of Madame De Staël, A Moderate Liberal Female Perspective on Rationality, Sentimentality, and Morality, I analyse the philosophical ideas of the Germaine de Staël: an original thinker who, during the French Revolution, worked on questions concerning our human nature and psychology, public opinion, nationalism, literature, sentiments and emotions in politics and morality, and rational judgement. My research focuses primarily on the relation between De Staël’s ideas about human nature, morality, and politics. The revaluation of the position and influence of women philosophers in the history of philosophy is an important theme throughout this research.
Personal Website: http://www.evelinegroot.nl