Abstract

This essay argues that Malebranche originated the model of sensitive taste in French thought, several decades before Du Bos. It examines the highly gendered, negative physiological model of taste and of the female mind which Malebranche developed within the Cartesian framework and as a witness to Parisian salon society in which women’s taste had great cultural influence, and strongly questions the common assumption that Cartesian substance dualism necessarily contained feminist potential. The essay argues for Malebranche’s great influence in this regard, connecting him to later Enlightenment critics of women’s taste such as Rousseau, and to Vitalist physicians like Le Camus.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3222
Print ISSN
0022-5037
Pages
pp. 533-558
Launched on MUSE
2008-11-01
Open Access
No
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