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Inventing Human ScienceEighteenth-Century Domains$
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Christopher Fox, Roy Porter, and Robert Wokler

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780520200104

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520200104.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 31 July 2021

Sex and Gender

Sex and Gender

(p.152) Six Sex and Gender
Inventing Human Science

Ludmilla Jordanova

University of California Press

This chapter makes clear the range of discussion and the difficulties facing any attempt to generalize about eighteenth-century opinions. Silently gendered language did not exclude fascination with the topic of differences between women and men, a fascination which became so strong for some writers that it turned into a desire for a systematic science, even “a science of women.” Both women and men contributed to this. The science of woman addressed women's nature in ways comparable with the literature on human nature in general, revealing the same ambiguity about “nature,” the same normative structure, and similarly historicizing the content but not the capacities of that nature.

Keywords:   human science, eighteenth-century opinions, gendered language, science of woman, human nature

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