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Women and Men Political Theorists: Enlightened Conversations

ISBN: 978-0-631-20980-5
208 pages
May 2000, Wiley-Blackwell
Women and Men Political Theorists: Enlightened Conversations (0631209808) cover image
This much-anticipated work is a rich and insightful collection of essays that restores women and minorities to the arena of political theory and debate. Philosophers such as Mary Astell and Mary Wollstonecraft argue alongside traditional theorists, including Rousseau and Locke, in a unique historical dialogue. Arranged by several key themes, each covered by both men and women theorists, the book amounts to a rediscovery of women's political philosophy in arguments over both traditional and feminist concepts. Also provided are substantial biographical details about the writers, and secondary source material for the student and researcher.
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Part I: Sources of Political Authority.


1. The Second Treatise of Government (John Locke).

2. A Serious Proposal to the Ladies/Some Reflections upon Marriage/An Impartial Enquiry into the Causes of rebellion and Civil War/The Christian Religion (Mary Astell).

Part II: Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment.


3. Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (Jean-Jacques Rousseau).

4. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (Mary Wollstonecraft).

Part III: Conservation or Revolution as the Path to Democratic Change.


5. Reflections on the Revolution in France (Edmund Burke).

6. A Vindication of the Rights of Men (Mary Wollsteoncraft).

Part IV: Federalism and Anti-Federalism.


7. The Federalist (James Madison).

8. Observations on the New Constitution (Mercy Otis Warren).

Part V: Thoughts on Minority Rights and Liberty - From Servitude to Privilege.


9. Writings and Addresses (Maria W. Stewart).

10. On Liberty (John Stuart Mill).

Part VI: Abolitionism, Socialism, and Feminism.


11. Writings and Addresses (Frederick Douglass).

12. The Communist Manifesto (Karl Marx).

13. Woman, Church, and State (Matilda Joslyn Gage).

Part VII: From Utilitarianism to Womanist Theory.


14. Utilitarianism (John Stuart Mill).

15. A Voice from the South, By a Black Woman of the South (Anna Julia Cooper).



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Kristin Waters is Professor of Philosophy at Worcester State College and Resident Scholar at the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center. She has published in the areas of social and political philosophy, feminist ethics and epistemology, and the history of ideas.
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* Contains paired selections from men and women political theorists in dialogue.
* Presents a new balanced approach to teaching modern political theory.
* Includes biographical information in the critical introductions to each section.
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"This carefully crafted sourcebook makes available almost forgotten work in political philosophy by women and men authors from the seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. Set in its historical and intellectual context with substantial introductions, the material reveals an exciting body of critical literature that contests modern liberal theory and demonstrates the need to rethink the canon of Western political theory." Alison Jaggar, University of Colorado

"Kristin Waters' anthology is an egalitarian and inclusive conversation between political theorists of different races, times, and genders. Her thorough introductions to each of the participants and her insightful
interpretive suggestions turn Women and Men Political Theorists into a unique text and an excellent addition to political theory." Bat-Ami Bar On, Binghamton University (SUNY)

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