The Virginia C. Gildersleeve Lecture
The most famous early feminist was Mary Wollstonecraft, the first to propose female autonomy in terms of rights. Before Wollstonecraft, women were no less concerned with issues of liberty and equality, but they generally thought about them in different terms. Sarah Hutton, a pioneer of the study of early modern women philosophers and scientists, explores some of the ways in which early modern and Enlightenment women conceived of liberty and equality, especially the notion that to think is to be free. Sarah Hutton, who holds a chair in the English department at Aberystwyth University in Wales, U.K., is visiting Barnard as Gildersleeve Professor. She is the author of Anne Conway: A Woman Philosopher.