Essay - The Essence of a Woman: an Epistemological Programme of Mastery...

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The Essence of a Wom*****n: An Epistemological Programme of Mastery


The philosophical discussion of the nature of ***** female mind and specifically the epistemology of women has been universally debated for as long as ********** ***** been recorded words. What is the nature of God? ***** then: What ***** the nature of Man? followed shortly there after by: What is the nature of Woman?

***** is not a secret that most ***** the first recorded philosophers were men, in fact this is even true today. To many this qualifies as ***** reason ***** the ********** misogyny associated with epistemology and its relationship to women.

Without the insight of women, which was voiced by many but was not always well known, the internal workings of the mind of a woman is simply a mystery ***** with ***** proprietary circumstances of her allowable voice. It is *****in the context of the late 18th century that we begin to see the real voices of feminists speak out against the stifling assumptions of their lives and minds.

The education of women has therefore historically been based upon the idea that society is better served by ***** embracing her true nature, in the sense of her non-aggressive and nurturing characteristics. The essence of woman, or that which makes ***** different ***** to many opposite man, required an attainment of knowledge ***** was restricted ***** her role as dutiful wife to her master. For many if not all feminists the ***** basic necessity for women and therefore her ***** was to be able ***** fully *****ize her ability through the attainment of equal ***** and *****, an education that went far beyond that of Sophie, the docile pleasing support staff, in Rousseau's Emile.

Though there are those who definitely came before her, namely Christine de Pizan in the very early renaissance, Mary Wollstonecraft, is thought of as the mother of the feminist demands of equal education. Wollstonecraft, chided men, society and women for allowing women to continue to leave *****ir abilities unrealized ***** trifling education ***** only left her with enough knowledge to serve her family and engender romantic *****s.


This work will establish through the analysis of a keys*****ne ***** feminist and some would say anti-feminist work, a demonstration of the understanding of ***** epistemological programme of mastery. The ***** will develop a line ***** thought th*****t demonstrates the evolution of ***** ***** ***** ***** knowledge, first through ***** of the main works associated with ***** early ***** for ***** educational attainment and then through some modern ideas associated with the concepts of feminism and philosophy.


First through a careful analysis ***** work of Rousseau, ***** as it pertains to the development ***** the female mind, ***** ***** lim*****ations. Then, on to the work of Mary Wolls*****necraft, who eloquently establishes the idea of the shortcomings of ***** accepted "female" education in Vindication ***** the Rights of Women. Next, the ***** of what some would call a ***** feminist, Simone de Be*****uvoir who


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