The goal of this investigation will be to study the relation of Marie de Gournay with the querelle des femmes, based on the treatise Egalité des hommes et des femmes, written by Gournay and published for the first time in 1622. Our analyses, of historical nature, will depart from a contextualist paradigm, that is a paradigm that understand the source as if insert in a bigger linguistic universe. The hypothesis that underlie our investigation is that Gournay would have developed, in the context of the querelle des femmes that unfolds in the first half of the XVIIth century, an original work from the creative reading that she did of authors involved in the debate and of texts from the classical and Christian traditions. This reading, although delimited by the rhetorical possibilities of her context (that conditioned the very notion of "originality"), wouldn't be exhausted only by the repetition of consecrated arguments or in the echoing of the ideas of her mentors (as Montaigne and Lipsius); on the contrary, she answered questions raised in her own time, putting herself vigorously in the scholarly environment of the first half of the XVIIth century. It is in the terms of the problems put in this context, not from de anachronical valuations of her works, that we wish to understand the specificity of her thinking, in a way to cooperate to the enlightenment of an important phase of early modern history.
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