Book Chapter

When is a contract theorist not a contract theorist?: Mary Astell and Catharine Macaulay as critics of Thomas Hobbes

K Green

Feminist Interpretations of Thomas Hobbes | Published : 2012

Abstract

© 2012 The Pennsylvania State University. All rights reserved. Thomas Hobbes's version of social contract theory has played an important part in twentieth-century feminist critiques of liberalism. Despite the clear historical roots of contemporary feminism in eighteenthcentury republicanism, and in those tendencies that led to the rise of liberal democratic institutions, feminist philosophers, since the 1980s, have developed a critique of liberalism based on a reading of its origins that accepts that commitment to social contract theory implies commitment to a Hobbesian, egoistic, instrumental rationality. Alison Jaggar, for instance, asserted in her influential overview of feminist politica..

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