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The Theory of Gendered Sensibility

The Theory of Gendered Sensibility

Chapter:
(p.101) Chapter 3 The Theory of Gendered Sensibility
Source:
Abigail and John Adams
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226037448.003.0004

This chapter provides an account of the gendering of Reverend James Fordyce's theory of sensibility in his book titled Sermons to Young Women, which was greatly admired by Abigail Adams. It suggests that this book manifested a clear existential explanation for sensibility's gendering in terms with which Abigail largely agreed. The chapter also discusses Mary Wollstonecraft's criticism on Fordyce's gendered sensibility in her book A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which she considered as the most damaging form of sexism.

Keywords:   gendered sensibility, James Fordyce, Sermons, Abigail Adams, Mary Wollstonecraft, Rights of Woman, sexism

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