- Paperback: 168 pages
- Publisher: University of Minnesota Press; 2nd edition (August 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0816624143
- ISBN-13: 978-0816624140
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,721,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Man of Reason: "Male" and "Female" in Western Philosophy Paperback – August, 1993
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Top Customer Reviews
The point of the title is that for most of these (all male) thinkers, reason was a faculty exercized by men, beyond the capabilities of women. As we come closer to the present, this picture becomes moderated by either improving the natural facilitues of women such as with Augustine and Aquinas, or reducing the importance of reason, as with Hume and Rousseau plus increasing the importance of the woman's affinity for nature. By the time we reach Kant, we can hope that the great innovator of our ideas of reason would have finally levelled the playing field for women. But he doesn't. However, Kant, being the philosophical genius that he was, did see that the only way the role of women was to be improved was by their own efforts, an effort they have been unwilling to take. And he still gave men and women unequal roles.
In some ways Hegel was a step backwards from Kant's perception. Hegel permenantly affixed women in the world of the home, the domestic, and the "particular" as a mirror by which men could reach self-realization.
The illustrations of the various positions in this book are a beautiful series of examples demonstrating Judith Butler's contention that gender roles are not inherent, they are created by doctrine and practice and dogma. They are as much roles as the role of Oedipus and Antigone are on the stage.
My review is based on the printed copy. From what I can see of the Kindle edition, it is virtually identical to the printed 2nd edition. Once more, this is a perfect first step in understanding the history of how the roles of women have been manipulated and depressed by male philosophers.