A Woman Who Defends All the Persons of Her SexSelected Philosophical and Moral Writings

A Woman Who Defends All the Persons of Her SexSelected Philosophical and Moral Writings

Gabrielle Suchon

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226779201

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

During the oppressive reign of Louis XIV, Gabrielle Suchon (1632–1703) was the most forceful female voice in France, advocating women's freedom and self-determination, access to knowledge, and assertion of authority. This book collects her writing from two works—Treatise on Ethics and Politics (1693) and On the Celibate Life Freely Chosen, or Life without Commitments (1700)—showing her to be an original philosophical and moral thinker and writer. Suchon argues that both women and men have inherently similar intellectual, corporeal, and spiritual capacities, which entitle them equally to essentially human prerogatives, and displays her breadth of knowledge as she harnesses evidence from biblical, classical, patristic, and contemporary secular sources to bolster her claim. Forgotten over the centuries, these writings have been gaining increasing attention from feminist historians, students of philosophy, and scholars of seventeenth-century French literature and culture.