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Gottsched’s Noble Lie. Moral Weeklies And The Educational Autonomy Of Women

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Chapter Summary

This chapter aims to resolve the apparent tension about Johann Christoph Gottscheds real or supposed contribution. It first reviews the historical and intellectual context of Gottsheds weekly and then addresses the arguments for and against Gottscheds positive contribution. Next the chapter presents a brief statement for why we should endorse a sympathetic interpretation of Gottsheds project. In an effort to mediate the perceived tension over Gottsheds contribution to the educational autonomy of women, the author believes there are two things to keep in mind. The first involves the inevitable difficulty of isolating Gottsheds historical situation, as well as our own, that allows the question of his positive contribution to be meaningful. The second point to keep in mind when evaluating Gottscheds contribution to the educational autonomy of women is related to what the author calls his naïve optimism for social reform.

Keywords: educational autonomy of women; Johann Christoph Gottsched; naïve optimism



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