In her study of eighteenth-century literature and medical treatises, Mary McAlpin takes up the widespread belief among cultural philosophers of the French Enlightenment that society was gravely endangered by the effects of hyper-civilization. McAlpin's study explores a strong thread in this rhetoric of decline: the belief that premature puberty in young urban girls, supposedly brought on by their exposure to lascivious images, titillating novels, and lewd conversations, was the source of an increasing moral and physical degeneration. In how-to hygiene books intended for parents, the medical community declared that the only cure for this obviously involuntary departure from the "natural" path of sexual development was the increased surveillance of young girls. As these treatises by vitalist and vitalist-inspired physiologists became increasingly common in the 1760s, McAlpin shows, so, too, did the presence of young, vulnerable, and virginal heroines in the era's novels. Analyzing novels by, among others, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Denis Diderot, and Choderlos de Laclos, she offers physiologically based readings of many of the period's most famous heroines within the context of an eighteenth-century discourse on women and heterosexual desire that broke with earlier periods in recasting female and male desire as qualitatively distinct. Her study persuasively argues that the Western view of women's sexuality as a mysterious, nebulous force-Freud's "dark continent"-has its secular origins in the mid-eighteenth century.
Based on encyclopedias, medical journals, historical, and literary sources, this collection of interdisciplinary essays focuses on the intersection of women, gender, and disease in England and France. Diverse critical perspectives highlight contributions women made to the scientific and medical communities of the eighteenth century. In spite of obstacles encountered in spaces dominated by men, women became midwives, and wrote self-help manuals on women’s health, hygiene, and domestic economy. Excluded from universities, they nevertheless contributed significantly to such fields as anatomy, botany, medicine, and public health. Enlightenment perspectives on the nature of the female body, childbirth, diseases specific to women, “gender,” sex, “masculinity” and “femininity,” adolescence, and sexual differentiation inform close readings of English and French literary texts. Treatises by Montpellier vitalists influenced intellectuals and physicians such as Nicolas Chambon, Pierre Cabanis, Jacques-Louis Moreau de la Sarthe, Jules-Joseph Virey, and Théophile de Bordeu. They impacted the exchange of letters and production of literary works by Julie de Lespinasse, Françoise de Graffigny, Nicolas Chamfort, Mary Astell, Frances Burney, Lawrence Sterne, Eliza Haywood, and Daniel Defoe. In our post-modern era, these essays raise important questions regarding women as subjects, objects, and readers of the philosophical, medical, and historical discourses that framed the project of enlightenment.
How did the French Revolutionaries explain, justify, and understand the extraordinary violence of their revolution? In debating this question, historians have looked to a variety of eighteenth-century sources, from Rousseau's writings to Old Regime protest tactics. A Natural History of Revolution suggests that it is perhaps on a different shelf of the Enlightenment library that we might find the best clues for understanding the French Revolution: namely, in studies of the natural world. In their attempts to portray and explain the events of the Revolution, political figures, playwrights, and journalists often turned to the book of nature: phenomena such as hailstorms and thunderbolts found their way into festivals, plays, and political speeches as descriptors of revolutionary activity. The particular way that revolutionaries deployed these metaphors drew on notions derived from the natural science of the day about regeneration, purgation, and balance. In examining a series of tropes (earthquakes, lightning, mountains, swamps, and volcanoes) that played an important role in the public language of the Revolution, A Natural History of Revolution reveals that understanding the use of this natural imagery is fundamental to our understanding of the Terror. Eighteenth-century natural histories had demonstrated that in the natural world, apparent disorder could lead to a restored equilibrium, or even regeneration. This logic drawn from the natural world offered the revolutionaries a crucial means of explaining and justifying revolutionary transformation. If thunder could restore balance in the atmosphere, and if volcanic eruptions could create more fertile soil, then so too could episodes of violence and disruption in the political realm be portrayed as necessary for forging a new order in revolutionary France.
An exceptional anthology designed for courses on Rousseau, the history of philosophy, and women s studies"
This carefully crafted ebook: "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (a feminist literature classic)" is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. Mary Wollstonecraft (27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797) was an eighteenth-century British writer, philosopher, and advocate of women's rights. During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children's book. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason.
Sex is cheap. Coupled sexual activity has become more widely available than ever. Cheap sex has been made possible by two technologies that have little to do with each other - the Pill and high-quality pornography - and its distribution made more efficient by a third technological innovation, online dating. Together, they drive down the cost of real sex, and in turn slow the development of love, make fidelity more challenging, sexual malleability more common, and have even taken a toll on men's marriageability. Cheap Sex takes readers on an extended tour inside the American mating market, and highlights key patterns that characterize young adults' experience today, including the timing of first sex in relationships, overlapping partners, frustrating returns on their relational investments, and a failure to link future goals like marriage with how they navigate their current relationships. Drawing upon several large nationally-representative surveys, in-person interviews with 100 men and women, and the assertions of scholars ranging from evolutionary psychologists to gender theorists, what emerges is a story about social change, technological breakthroughs, and unintended consequences. Men and women have not fundamentally changed, but their unions have. No longer playing a supporting role in relationships, sex has emerged as a central priority in relationship development and continuation. But unravel the layers, and it is obvious that the emergence of "industrial sex" is far more a reflection of men's interests than women's.
The definitive compilation of texts from a “a great, horrifying, but also vastly illuminating figure . . . one of the most radical minds in Western history” (Newsweek). The Marquis de Sade, vilified by respectable society from his own time through ours, apotheosized by Apollinaire as “the freest spirit that has yet existed,” wrote The 120 Days of Sodom while imprisoned in the Bastille. An exhaustive catalogue of sexual aberrations and the first systematic exploration—a hundred years before Krafft-Ebing and Freud—of the psychology of sex, it is considered Sade’s crowning achievement and the cornerstone of his thought. Lost after the storming of the Bastille in 1789, it was later retrieved but remained unpublished until 1935. In addition to The 120 Days, this volume includes Sade’s “Reflections on the Novel,” his play Oxtiem, and his novella Ernestine. The selections are introduced by Simone de Beauvoir’s landmark essay “Must We Burn Sade?” and Pierre Klossowski’s provocative “Nature as Destructive Principle.” “Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen, atheistic to the point of fanaticism, there you have me in a nutshell, and kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change.” —Marquis de Sade’s last will and testament
Western civilization is becoming increasingly pluralistic,secularized, and biblically illiterate. Many people todayhave little sense of how their lives have benefited fromChristianity’s influence, often viewing the church withhostility or resentment.How Christianity Changed the World is a topicallyarranged Christian history for Christians and non-Christians. Grounded in solid research and written in apopular style, this book is both a helpful apologetic toolin talking with unbelievers and a source of evidence forwhy Christianity deserves credit for many of thehumane, social, scientific, and cultural advances in theWestern world in the last two thousand years.Photographs, timelines, and charts enhance eachchapter.This edition features questions for reflection anddiscussion for each chapter.
Author of the New York Times bestseller Useful Idiots and popular columnist Mona Charen takes a close, reasoned look at the aggressive feminist agenda undermining the success and happiness of men and women across the country In this smart, deeply necessary critique, Mona Charen unpacks the ways feminism fails us at home, in the workplace, and in our personal relationships--by promising that we can have it all, do it all, and be it all. Here, she upends the feminist agenda and the liberal conversation surrounding women's issues by asking tough and crucial questions, such as: * Did women's full equality require the total destruction of the nuclear family? * Did it require a sexual revolution that would dismantle traditions of modesty, courtship, and fidelity that had characterized relations between the sexes for centuries? * Did it cause the broken dating culture and the rape crisis on our college campuses? * Did it require war between the sexes that would deem men the "enemy" of women? * Have the strides of feminism made women happier in their home and work life. (The answer is No.) Sex Matters tracks the price we have paid for denying sex differences and stoking the war of the sexes--family breakdown, declining female happiness, aimlessness among men, and increasing inequality. Marshaling copious social science research as well as her own experience as a professional as well as a wife and mother, Mona Charen calls for a sexual ceasefire for the sake of women, men, and children.
The Enlightenment commitment to reason naturally gave rise to a belief in the perfectibility of man. Influenced by John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, many eighteenth-century writers argued that the proper education and upbringing& mdash;breeding& mdash;could make any man a member of the cultural elite. Yet even in this egalitarian environment, the concept of breeding remained tied to theories of blood lineage, caste distinction, and biological difference. Turning to the works of Locke, Rousseau, Swift, Defoe, and other giants of the British Enlightenment, Jenny Davidson revives the debates that raged over the husbandry of human nature and highlights their critical impact on the development of eugenics, the emergence of fears about biological determinism, and the history of the language itself. Combining rich historical research with a keen sense of story, she links explanations for the physical resemblance between parents and children to larger arguments about culture and society and shows how the threads of this compelling conversation reveal the character of a century. A remarkable intellectual history, Breeding not only recasts the fundamental concerns of the Enlightenment but also uncovers the seeds of thought that bloomed into contemporary notions of human perfectibility.
Are humans violent or peaceful by nature? We are both. In this ambitious and wide-ranging book, Agner Fog presents a ground-breaking new argument that explains the existence of differently organised societies using evolutionary theory. It combines natural sciences and social sciences in a way that is rarely seen. According to a concept called regality theory, people show a preference for authoritarianism and strong leadership in times of war or collective danger, but desire egalitarian political systems in times of peace and safety. These individual impulses shape the way societies develop and organise themselves, and in this book Agner argues that there is an evolutionary mechanism behind this flexible psychology. Incorporating a wide range of ideas including evolutionary theory, game theory, and ecological theory, Agner analyses the conditions that make us either strident or docile. He tests this theory on data from contemporary and ancient societies, and provides a detailed explanation of the applications of regality theory to issues of war and peace, the rise and fall of empires, the mass media, economic instability, ecological crisis, and much more. Warlike and Peaceful Societies: The Interaction of Genes and Culture draws on many different fields of both the social sciences and the natural sciences. It will be of interest to academics and students in these fields, including anthropology, political science, history, conflict and peace research, social psychology, and more, as well as the natural sciences, including human biology, human evolution, and ecology.
This book explores the tradition of the "science of man" in French medicine of the era 1750-1850, focusing on controversies about the nature of the "physical-moral" relation and their effects on the role of medicine in French society. Its chief purpose is to recover the history of a holistic tradition in French medicine that has been neglected, because it lay outside the mainstream themes of modern medicine, which include experimental, reductionist, and localistic conceptions of health and disease. Professor Williams also challenges existing historiography, which holds that the "anthropological" approach to medicine was a short-term by-product of the leftist politics of the French Revolution. This work argues instead that the medical science of man long outlived the revolution, that it spanned traditional ideological divisions, and that it reflected the shared aim of French physicians, whatever their politics, to claim broad cultural authority in French society.
In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.
This international overview of how pornography--from softcore to hardcore, gay to straight, female to male, black to white--infiltrates and proliferates through various media. Porn is everywhere; from the suggestiveness of music videos to the explicit discussions of popular magazines; from the erotica of advertising to the refashioning of sex acts into art works; from a small garage industry to an internet empire. The media immerses us in the pornographic aesthetic. Now integral to popular culture, porn is part of our everyday lives. Sexual desire is commodified, pornified and the media leads the way. Exploring music videos, alt porn sites, Cosmogirls and Gaydar online forums, H&M's street advertising, retro pin-ups, film and educational sex videos alike, Pornification analyses the transformation of porn in today's media and its impact on our culture.
First published in 1928, this path-breaking work is still of importance and interest to Japanese scholars and linguists.
Why were urban women veiled in the early 1900s, unveiled from 1936 to 1979, and reveiled after the 1979 revolution? This question forms the basis of Hamideh Sedghi's original and unprecedented contribution to politics and Middle Eastern studies. Using primary and secondary sources, Sedghi offers new knowledge on women's agency in relation to state power. In this rigorous analysis she places contention over women at the centre of the political struggle between secular and religious forces and demonstrates that control over women's identities, sexuality, and labor has been central to the consolidation of state power. Sedghi links politics and culture with economics to present an integrated analysis of the private and public lives of different classes of women and their modes of resistance to state power.