Sandrine Bergès – “Uneducated Nature and Epistemic Authority: How to Talk about Olympe de Gouges in Philosophy Class”
Talk | 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM | The King’s College London
As part of the project Bridging the Gender Gap through Time: How Women Philosophers of the Past have Contributed to Today’s Thought, Dr. Sandrine Bergès (Bilkent University) gives a talk on the French female philosopher Olympe de Gouges at King’s College London: “Uneducated nature and epistemic authority: how to talk about Olympe de Gouges in philosophy class”.
Location: room SW1.17 (Ante Room), Somerset House East Wing, The Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London, Strand, WC2R 2LS.
Unlike her contemporary Mary Wollstonecraft, Olympe de Gouges valued nature over education. Nature unimpeded, she argued, is always good and can serve as a reliable moral guide even for those who are educated. Education, on the other hand, corrupts nature. Gouges made this point both by putting herself forward as an uneducated citizen who benefits society, and by showing how privileging education over nature resulted in severe injustice being perpetrated and against enslaved African people and women.
Emphasising the fact that women’s philosophical writing is often to be found in non-traditional genres, I use a variety of texts from her theatre, political tracts as well as a philosophical discourse to show how Gouges develops this argument and applied it to topics such as women’s condition and slavery.
All are very welcome, including research students interested in learning more about how to publish on the history of women thinkers.