Monday, May 17, 2021
I spoke with the conveners of the Common Good Project at Oxford Law this past week on the priority of duties, virtue and the common good in Mary Wollstonecraft's theory of rights. Here's the basic claim I work through in the talk (and also one I take up in my new book):
I think that Wollstonecraft can specially help us to understand the common good today because the case she made for women’s rights in 1792 was based not upon liberal conceptions of pre-political, autonomous man (and I do mean man), as today’s claims for rights tend to be. Rather, her case was grounded in the common human nature women and men share, a nature she understood to be ordered to wisdom and virtue, human excellences that took their bearing, in her thought, from the singular wisdom and goodness of God.
You can watch it here.