François Poullain de la Barre

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François Poullain de la Barre
Native name
François Poulain de la Barre
PronunciationFrench: [də la ba ]
BornJuly 1647
DiedMay 4, 1723
EducationB.A., Sorbonne
Notable work
On the Equality of the Two Sexes

On the Education of Women

On the Excellence of the Men
Spouse(s)Marie Ravier

François Poullain de la Barre (July 1647 – May 4, 1723)[1] was an author and a Cartesian philosopher.

Life[edit]

François Poullain de la Barre was born on July of 1647 in Paris France, to a family with judicial nobility.[1] After graduating in 1663 with a master of arts, François Poullain de la Barre spent three years at Sorbonne where he studied theology.[2] In 1679 François Poullain de la Barre became an ordained Catholic a priest. From 1679 to 1688, François Poullain de la Barre led two modest parishes, Versigny[disambiguation needed] and La Flamengrie[disambiguation needed] in Picardy in northern France.[2]

In 1688 François Poullain de la Barre left Picardy and his priesthood to return to Paris. At the time the Catholic Church was critical of Cartesianism. By 1689 he moved to Geneva where he converted to Calvinism, a branch of Protestantism. In the following year 1690, François Poullain de la Barre married Marie Ravier.[2] After a year tutoring he got a position teaching at a local Genevan university. After the Edict of Fontainebleau revoked the Edict of Nantes, he was exiled in the Republic of Geneva, where he obtained the citizenship (bourgeoisie) in 1716.[3] François Poullain de la Barre spent the remainder of his life in Geneva, where he died on May 4, 1723.[1]

Work[edit]

During a physiology conference in 1667 a friend of François Poullain de la Barre introduced to Cartesianism, a philosophy created by philosopher René Descartes.[2] François Poullain de la Barre later adopted the philosophy and applied Cartesian principles to feminist thought. François Poullain de la Barre used Cartesianism to the 'question of women' and wrote many texts of social philosophy which denounced injustice against woman and by the inequality of the female condition.[4] Opposing the discrimination they experienced and as one of the champions of social equality between women and men.[5]

Six years after his introduction to Cartesianism François Poullain de la Barre began published a three part series on the female condition. In 1673 he published On the Equality of the Two Sexes, "A Physical and Moral Discourse, Which Shows That it is Important to Rid Oneself of Prejudice".[4] Arguing the difference between men and women goes beyond the body, but is in the "constitution of the body". François Poullain de la Barre rejects the idea the minds of men and women differ, historically proclaiming "the mind has no sex".[5] In claiming sexual difference lies in part through the "constitution of the body" François de la Barre argued the unequal treatment that women experience in religious, educational and the effects of the environment create a perceived apparent innate difference of the sex.[6] In François Poullain de la Barre assessment this does not have a natural basis, it is not essential nor is it innate, but proceeds from cultural prejudice, and social constructionist in affect.[7] François Poullain de la Barre advocates for the female education, underscoring that women receive a true and quality education.[7] and also says all careers should be open to them, including scientific careers.

In 1774 he published On the Education of Ladies, "To Guide the Mind in Sciences and Morals", François Poullain de la Barre continues reflection on the education of women, but utilizes Socratic dialogue. In this he addresses the historical constrains at the time.[1] In 1765 François Poullain de la Barre published the third in his series On the Excellence of Men, "Against the Equality of the Sexes" was largely in response to opponents to gender equality. In this he underscores the construction of a woman's supposed inferiority.[2]

Responses and critiques[edit]

Opinions about Poullain de la Barre's place in the history of feminism vary considerably from one author to another. But his theory is used by other authors. Pierre Bayle has advanced the theory that Poullain may have refuted his own thesis because he felt threatened, but the arguments antifeminists advanced are doubtful of this refutation. Opinions about Poullain de la Barre's place in the history of feminism vary considerably from one author to another.

Simone de Beauvoir includes a quotation from Poullain de la Barre in an epigraph to The Second Sex in 1949: "All that has been written about women by men should be suspect, for the men are at once judge and party."

Bibliography[edit]

  • De l’Égalité des deux sexes, discours physique et moral où l’on voit l’importance de se défaire des préjugés, Paris, Chez Jean du Puis, 1673 ; Fayard, 1984.
  • De l’Éducation des dames pour la conduite de l’esprit dans les sciences et dans les mœurs, entretiens, Paris, Chez Jean du Puis, 1674 ; Université de Toulouse Le Mirail, Toulouse, 1980, 1985.
  • De l’Excellence des hommes contre l’égalité des sexes, Paris, J. Du Puis, 1675.
  • La Doctrine des protestans sur la liberté de lire l’Ecriture sainte, le service divin en langue entenduë, l’invocation des saints, le sacrement de l’Eucharistie, Genève, 1720.
  • ‹See Tfd›(in English) Three Cartesian Feminist Treaties, Chicago, University of Chicago press, 2002.
  • Francois Poulain de la Barre, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2014.

Works[edit]

Studies, critical editions and biographies[edit]

  • Madeleine Alcover, Poullain de la Barre : une aventure philosophique, Paris ; Seattle, Papers on French seventeenth century literature, 1981.
  • Elsa Dorlin, L’Évidence de l’égalité des sexes. Une philosophie oubliée du XVIIe, Paris L’Harmattan, 2001 ISBN 978-2-7475-0016-6.
  • Christine Fauré, Poullain de la Barre, sociologue et libre penseur, Corpus n° 1, 1985 pp. 43–51.
  • Geneviève Fraisse, Poullain de la Barre, ou le procès des préjugés, Corpus n° 1, 1985 pp. 27–41.
  • Marie-Frédérique Pellegrin, ed. "François Poullain de la Barre, De l'égalité des deux sexes; De l'éducation des dames; De l'excellence des hommes", Paris Vrin, 2011.
  • ‹See Tfd›(in English) Siep Stuurman, Social Cartesianism : François Poullain de la Barre and the origins of the enlightenment, Journal of the history of ideas, 1997, vol. 58, no4, pp. 617–640.
  • ‹See Tfd›(in English) Siep Stuurman, François Poulain de la Barre and the Invention of Modern Equality, Cambridge (Mass.), Harvard University Press, 2004 ISBN 978-0-674-01185-4.
  • Desmond, C. (2014). François Poulain de la Barre. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2014/entries/francois-barre/>.
  • La Vopa, A. (2010). Sexless Minds at Work and at Play: Poullain de la Barre and the Origins of Early Modern Feminism. Representations 109(1), 57-94. doi:10.1525/rep.2010.109.1.57
  • Poulain, . L. B. F., Maistre, W. M., & Bosley, V. E. (2002). Three Cartesian feminist treatises. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Stuurman, S. (1997). Social Cartesianism: François Poulain de la Barre and the Origins of the Enlightenment. Journal of the History of Ideas, 58(4), 617-640. doi:10.2307/3653963

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d La Vopa, Anthony J. (February 2010). "Sexless Minds at Work and at Play: Poullain de la Barre and the Origins of Early Modern Feminism". Representations. 109 (1): 57–94. doi:10.1525/rep.2010.109.1.57. ISSN 0734-6018.
  2. ^ a b c d Clarke, Desmond (2013-03-26). "François Poulain de la Barre".
  3. ^ Poullain de la Barre, François, in the Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  4. ^ a b Stuurman, Siep (October 1997). "Social Cartesianism: Francois Poulain de la Barre and the Origins of the Enlightenment". Journal of the History of Ideas. 58 (4): 617–640. doi:10.2307/3653963. JSTOR 3653963.
  5. ^ a b Poullain de la Barre, François; Welch, Marcelle Maistre; Bosley, Vivien (2002). Three Cartesian Feminist Treatises. University of Chicago Press. doi:10.7208/chicago/9780226676555.001.0001. ISBN 9780226676548.
  6. ^ Broad, Jacqueline (December 2003). "Thinking about modernity: English women philosophers and the origins of modernity". Intellectual News. 13 (1): 27–37. doi:10.1080/15615324.2003.10427197. ISSN 1561-5324.
  7. ^ a b Stuurman, Siep (2004). François Poulain de la Barre and the invention of modern equality. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0674011854. OCLC 52886676.

External links[edit]