Woman in the social engineering of Paolo Mantegazza Cover Image
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Жената в социалното инженерство на Паоло Мантегаца. Рецепция на идеите му в България
Woman in the social engineering of Paolo Mantegazza

Author(s): Boyka Ilieva
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Studies of Literature
Keywords: Mantegazza; social engineering; reception; woman`s rights; social functions

Summary/Abstract: Paolo Mantegazza (1831-1910) was an Italian neurologist and anthropologist, whose social and philosophical views became widely spread across Europe. Liberal in conviction, he was a follower of Charles Darwin's scientific ideas.The subject of this article is the role of the woman in the social engineering of Mantegazza. The focus will be on the Bulgarian reception of his views on woman, especially active in the period from the last decade of the 19th century to the 1940s. During the period, nine of his books were translated into Bulgarian, some of which have more than one edition. He is known to the Bulgarian reader also through a number of articles, published in the printed periodicals until the Second World War. In 1898, Fashion and Household journal, edited by Elena Usheva, published in several successive issues excerpts from the book "Physiology of Woman" (Fisiologia della Donna, 1893). In his work Mantegazza attempts to reconcile the extreme views on "the woman’s question" by highlighting two separate problems: 1. Does the woman occupy a proper place in society? and 2. Should the woman have equal rights to the man? On the first question, Mantegazza expresses his strong opinion that woman does not occupy her appropriate place, while he is quite reserved on the second question. He explains his considerations with the existing physiological differences between man and woman, which predetermine their different social functions. According to the author, man and woman should be equal, but in the sense of human dignity, not of equal civil rights. Mantegazza affirms that any attempt to equate a woman with a man is equivalent to mutilation. Her primary role is maternity - a duty that requires enormous energy and leaves no possibility for intellectual and aesthetic activities.

  • Issue Year: 2019
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 260-270
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: Bulgarian