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The Female Brain And The Subjection Of Women: Biology, Phrenology And Sexual Equality

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Chapter Summary

This chapter starts with an account of how the issue of sexual equality was first introduced by John Stuart Mill in the correspondence, and how Auguste Comte responded by emphasizing the importance of biology for the appropriate handling of the discussion. It discusses Comte's actual exposition of his various biological arguments for the subjection of women. Eventually, the chapter singles out the argument based on phrenology as the main biological support of Comte's case for women's subjection. Mill focused on women's brain size rather than on the features of their tissues. Eventually, the comparison between all living organisms was held by Comte to support his claim for the subjection of woman.

Keywords: Auguste Comte; biological knowledge; female brain; John Stuart Mill; phrenology; sexual equality; women's subjection



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