Abstract

ABSTRACT:

This essay examines how Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman charts women's vexed relationships to the conceptual categories of the human and the animal in eighteenth-century writing. It argues that Wollstonecraft's tactical use of animal metaphors should be understood in the context of "species thinking," a mode of thinking that starkly differentiates humans from other animals in order to champion the soul, reason, and language as quintessentially human faculties. The analysis foregrounds how—as Wollstonecraft draws from the modern species concept in order to make a progressive argument about gender equality—she relegates animals to an inferior moral status.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1645
Print ISSN
0732-7730
Pages
pp. 41-66
Launched on MUSE
2018-05-18
Open Access
No
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