, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 235-255

Hegel, Women, and Hegelian Women on Matters of Public and Private

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Abstract

This paper introduces America's first women Idealists and discusses their appropriation and reconfiguration of Hegel's public/private distinction. Through their philosophies of education two of these women, Susan E. Blow (1843--1916) and Anna C. Brackett (1836--1911), legitimized women's active involvement in public life. A third, Marietta Kies (1853--1899), put forth a political theory of altruism. Her theory anticipates feminist critiques of male-centered political theory and has important implications for today's “ethic of care.” Blow and Brackett were associates of William T. Harris (1835--1909) in the St. Louis Philosophical Movement (ca. 1860--1880) and contributors to The Journal of Speculative Philosophy. Kies was associated with Harris through the Concord Summer School of Philosophy (1879--1888). She was also a student of John Dewey at the University of Michigan.