WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH – Early Modern Period

A history in half.

We need the legacy of women philosophers.



“I lament that women are systematically degraded by receiving the trivial attentions, which men think it manly to pay to the sex, when, in fact, they are insultingly supporting their own superiority. It is not condescension to bow to an inferior. So ludicrous, in fact, do these ceremonies appear to me, that I scarcely am able to govern my muscles, when I see a man start with eager, and serious solicitude, to lift a handkerchief, or shut a door, when the lady could have done it herself, had she only moved a pace or two.”

– Wollstonecraft, Mary (1993), A Vindication of the Rights of Men. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. An Historical and Moral View of the French Revolution, Oxford: Oxford University Press.




Mary Wollstonecraft is one of the most famoust women philosophers of England in the early modern period. She is considered a moral an political philosopher, fighting for the condition of women in modern society.

These gender perspectives will also be discussed during the conference Women and their body, on March 17th:

Carmen Guarino, Distractibility: gender perspectives on mental presence starting from Mary Wollstonecraft and Jane Austen (16.15); Elżbieta Filipow, On being ‘indisposed’ to study and work or the discourse of the Victorian women’s menstruation (15.45); Marie-Frédérique Pellegrin, “Do women think with their body?” Descartes, Malebranche, Poulain de la Barre (16.45); and Emanuele Costa, Anne Conway and the Feminine: Between Receptacle and Embodied Thought (17.30).

You can still register (no registration fees) for online participation: https://indico.uni-paderborn.de/event/21/

Interest aroused? More information about Wollstonecraft and many other female philosophers and scientists can be found in our Directory. It gives an overview of women philosophers and scientists from approx. 2300 BCE to the 21st century. Currently, there are more than 280 names of women philosophers listed and the entries will be periodically updated with biographical information and sources for further research.

Furthermore there is an interesting interview between Ruth E. Hagengruber and Sandrine Bergès on Wollstonecraft in our Conversation with Diotima: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AAGUiiGg4g

In our ECC, you can find more articles on Wollstonecraft: Economic Equality, Revolution and Civil Society in Mary Wollstonecraft.

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