Political Theory

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

Abstract

Is there a political theory in Mary Wollstonecraft’s writings? The question is relevant since Wollstonecraft’s main preoccupation was moral rather than political: the duty of every thinking person to strive to make themselves as good as they can be. This is a complex duty, involving independent thought, acting on principles of reason, and making oneself useful to others. The challenge involved in this endeavor is a recurrent theme in most of what she wrote. The idiosyncrasies of Wollstonecraft’s political theory are partially a reaction to republican principles but from within republican commitments. I analyse some of the features that make her republicanism distinctive: the moral ends of government, her suspicion of the republican trope of “the people”, and her conflicted views on revolution. I conclude with her critique of hierarchies of privilege and wealth.

Details

Authors
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Philosophy
  • History of Ideas

Keywords

  • Mary Wollstonecraft, political theory, political freedom, feminism, republicanism
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMary Wollstonecraft in Context
EditorsNancy E. Johnson, Paul Keen
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Chapter21
Pages182-188
ISBN (Electronic)9781108261067
ISBN (Print)9781108416993
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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