Journal of Romance Studies

Women in dialogue and in solitude

Journal of Romance Studies (2005), 5, (2), 1–15.

Abstract

First delivered as the Cassal Lecture at the University of London in 2004, ‘Women in dialogue and solitude’ explores the position of women in philosophy in France. Moving between the twentieth and seventeenth centuries, the article examines the work of two women in dialogue with male philosophers: Claire Parnet, who co-authored Dialogues (1977) with Gilles Deleuze, and Béatrice Berlowitz, who wrote Quelque part dans l’inachevé (1978) with Vladimir Jankélévitch. Their respective positions and philosophical methods are then compared with those of Gabrielle Suchon (1631–1703) who worked in solitude in the seventeenth century, publishing two important works, Le Traité de la morale et de la politique (1693) and Du célibat volontaire (1700). In illuminating the work of Suchon, and the roles played by Parnet and Berlowitz, the article also throws light on the work of their male contemporaries, Descartes, Deleuze and Jankélévitch.

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Le Doeuff, Michèle