Origin Stories in Political Thought: Discourses on Gender, Power, and Citizenship

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University of Toronto Press, 2004 - Philosophy - 230 pages
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Origin stories are a recurring motif in the history of political thought. Presented as narratives that describe the beginnings of politics and power, these stories are among the most provocative and politically contentious means by which Western society organizes and represents its experience. Indeed, as scripts of citizenship, origin stories seek to manufacture consent to a preconceived - and hierarchical - political vision.

Joanne H. Wright's Origin Stories in Political Thought examines Plato's Timaeus, Hobbes's story of the state of nature and the social contract, and early Second Wave feminist stories about the beginnings of patriarchal social relations. Using a historically sensitive, feminist methodology, Wright documents and deconstructs the tradition of telling origin stories in the larger history of political thought.

Although individual tales have been assessed in current scholarship, the motif of the origin story itself has, until now, escaped systematic analysis. With meticulous research and convincing conclusions, Origin Stories in Political Thought makes a groundbreaking and valuable contribution to both feminist and political studies.

 

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Contents

Hobbes and the Discourse on Origins
54
Radical Feminisms Quest for Origins
127
Conclusion
159
Notes
165

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About the author (2004)

Joanne H. Wright is an assistant professor in the Department of History and the Centre for Women's Studies at Brock University.

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