By Nancy J. Hirschmann
In Gender, category, and Freedom in glossy Political conception, Nancy Hirschmann demonstrates now not basically that sleek theories of freedom are liable to gender and sophistication research yet that they need to be analyzed when it comes to gender and sophistication on the way to be understood in any respect. via rigorous shut readings of significant and minor works of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, and Mill, Hirschmann establishes and examines the gender and sophistication foundations of the trendy knowing of freedom. construction on a social constructivist version of freedom that she constructed in her award-winning publication the topic of Liberty: towards a Feminist conception of Freedom, she makes in her new publication one other unique and demanding contribution to political and feminist concept. regardless of the prominence of "state of nature" rules in sleek political thought, Hirschmann argues, theories of freedom truly strengthen a social constructivist realizing of humanity. through rereading "human nature" in gentle of this perception, Hirschmann uncovers theories of freedom which are either extra traditionally exact and extra suitable to modern politics. Pigeonholing canonical theorists as proponents of both "positive" or "negative" liberty is traditionally erroneous, she demonstrates, simply because theorists set up either conceptions of freedom concurrently all through their paintings.
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Additional info for Gender, Class, and Freedom in Modern Political Theory
11, 161) deploys a mechanistic model of desire. Civilized academics may be more skilled than primitive humans at channeling or even restricting their desires for glory, for instance (perhaps even scorning it on the reasoning that if nobody likes my work, I must be on to something), but Hobbes would say that we have simply exercised our liberty to resist the impulse for fame— an impulse that we nonetheless have. For what Hobbes calls “glory” would seem to be as biologically basic as hunger, part of the psychology that God or nature has hardwired into humans to ensure their survival in the nasty and brutish state of nature.
Certainly, the gender of the theorists most likely affected, even shaped, their theories, much like other aspects of their locations in the social matrix of culture, race, class, education, historical epoch, and nation. And their understandings of freedom may likely have been motivated to some extent by gender-related concerns. In my argument, however, I am less concerned whether gender is “foundational” in the “causal” or even “animating” sense than I am with the various ways in which gender intersects with freedom to give it the particular shape that it has.
FREEDOM AND OBLIGATION: FROM CHOICE TO CONTRACT This compatibility between freedom and fear also underlies the rationale for Hobbes’s social contract, and implicitly questions whether women are parties to it. Certainly on its face, the question of whether anyone is an actual “party” to Hobbes’s social contract would seem to be gender neutral. 6), then, like the abusive spouse, all that the Leviathan does is change our fears and appetites; rather than being afraid of people killing me for the food I have gathered, I am afraid of punishment by the sovereign if I were to take someone else’s food.