Subjection of women Essay examples

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proach to understanding the properties of persons (their traits, desires, abilities, interests) which is not only very popular and historically important, but also intuitively plausible. It begins with a division of human properties into three categories. Natural properties are those persons have in virtue of being members of a natural kind, and they originate in the structures definitive of the species. Other properties are unnatural, in that they result from abnormal structures. And some properties are nonnatural (or social) in that they represent replacements, modifications, or extensions brought about by the social environment operating on the basic structures.1 Such is the ontology. It suggests immediately the epistemology for…show more content…
This . . . will remain true . . . as long as social institutions do not admit the same free development of originality in women which is possible to men. When that time comes . . . we shall see . . . as much as it is necessary to know of the nature of women."5
Note that Mill speaks of the "free" development of women. In the history of philosophy a social doctrine has usually been attached to those ontological and epistemological theses, the doctrine that persons are free (or have freedom) to the extent that they are not constrained, either in their behavior or in their development, by social influences. The liberal doctrine of "equal maximal liberty," then, is both a methodological rule for the discovery of the natural as well as a political principle limiting one sort of social influence. Mill elaborates and defends the political doctrine in On Liberty and employs it in The Subjection of Women, which also contains the epistemology. Another statement of the corollary from the latter work more clearly connects the discovery of the natural with freedom: "no one can safely pronounce that if women's nature were left to choose its direction as freely as men's, and
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