Sylvana Tomaselli

Fellow of St John's College
Miss Sylvana Tomaselli
I read philosophy at the University of British Columbia before coming to King's College, Cambridge as a graduate student having completed and M.A. in Social and Political Thought at York University, Ontario. I have taught and work at Cambridge ever since.
The Enlightenment, the history of political thought in the very long eighteenth-century, grand historical narratives, the history of, and issues, in feminism, modern and contemporary political thought and political philosophy.
I teach the history of political thought from Plato to the present. My post graduate students have written on a variety of authors and subjects, including John Locke, David Hume, Adam Smith, Major Cartwright, Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, Flora Tristan, J.S. Mill, Tocqueville, and Simone de Beauvoir.
Political Thought and Political Philosophy

Key publications

Wollstonecraft: Philosophy, Passion, and Politics, Princeton University Press, 2020.
‘The Philosophes’, in Mary Wollstonecraft in Context, ed. Nancy E. Johnson and Paul Keen, Cambridge University Press, 2020.
‘A Vindication of the Rights of Men’, in The Wollstonecraftian Mind, Sandrine Bergès, Eileen Hunt Botting, and Alan Coffee eds., Routledge, 2019.'
'Peace, Gender, and War' in A Cultural History of Peace in the Enlightenment (1648 - 1815) Stella Ghervas & David Armitage (eds.) Bloomsbury, 2020.
"‘Have ye not heard that we cannot serve two masters?’ The Platonism of Mary Wollstonecraft’", in Revisioning Cambridge Platonism: Sources and Legacy, Douglas Hedley and David Leech (eds.), Springer, 2019 ISSN 0066-6610 ISSN 2215-0307 (electronic) International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d’histoire des idées ISBN 978-3-030-22199-7 ISBN 978-3-030-22200-0 (eBook)
‘Reflections on Inequality, respect and love in the political writings of Mary Wollstonecraft’, in The Social and Political Thought of Mary Wollstonecraft, Sandrine Berge and Alan Coffee (Eds.), Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 14-33. ISBN 978-0-19-876684-1
‘On labelling Raynal’s Histoire: reflections on its genre and subject’, in Raynal’s Histoire des Deux Indes, Colonialism, Networks and Global Exchange, Cecil Courtney and Jenny Mander (eds.), special volume in Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 2015 with the Oxford Studies on the Enlightenment (Voltaire Foundation, 2015) pp. 73-87. ISBN: 978 0 7294 1169 1.
‘Mary Wollstonecraft: The reunification of domestic and political spheres’ in Geschlechterordnung und Staat. Legitimationsfiguren der politischen Philosophie (1600-1850), Marion Heinz and Sabine Doyé (eds.), Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie, Beiheft, 2012.
‘Montesquieu’s L’Esprit des Lois from a Contemporary Feminist Point of View’, in Montesquieu zwischen den Disziplinen. Einzel- und kulturwissenschaftliche Zugriffe, Edgar Mass, Günther Lottes, Annett Volmer, Jens Haeseler (Hrsg.), Internationale Konferenz aus Anlass des 250. Todesjahres von Charles-Louis de Montesquieu am Forschungszentrum Europaeische Aufklaerung (Potsdam) , Beiträge zur Politischen Wissenschaft, Band 161, Dunker and Humblot, Berlin, 2010.
'Rousseau juge de Locke or Reading Some Thoughts on Education after Ēmile’ in Studies on Locke: Sources, Contemporaries, and Legacy in Honour of G.A.J. Rogers, edited by Sarah Hutton and Paul Schuurman, Dordrecht: Springer, 2008. ISBN: 978-1-4020-8324-2 e-ISBN: 978-1-4020-8325-9.
`The Spirit of Nations’, in Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Political Thought, Mark Goldie and Robert Wokler (eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2006.
`Civilization, Patriotism and the Quest for Origins’, in Enlightenment and Feminism, Sarah Knott and Barbara Taylor (eds.)  Palgrave, 2005 (Pb. 2007)
‘The Enlightenment Debate on Women’ (reprint of 1985), in The Enlightenment, Dena Goodman and Kathleen Wellman (eds.), Houghton Mifflin, 2004.
‘The Enlightenment Debate on Women’ (reprint of 1985), in The Enlightenment: A Sourcebook and Reader, Paul Hyland with Olga Gomez and Francesca Greensides (eds.), Routledge, 2003.
`The Role of Woman in Enlightenment Conjectural Histories’, in Conceptualizing Women in Enlightenment Thought. Penser la femme au siècle des Lumières, Hans Erich Bödeker and Leiselotte Steinbrügge, Berlin – Verlag Arno Spitz GmbH, 2001.
`The Most Public Sphere of All: The Family’, in Women and the Public Sphere: Writing and Representation, 1700-1830, Elizabeth Eger, Charlotte Grant, Cliona O. Gallchoir and Penny Warburton (eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2001.
`Intolerance, the Virtue of Princes and Radicals’, in Toleration in Enlightenment Europe, Ole Grell and Roy Porter (eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2000.
`The Death and Rebirth of Character in the Eighteenth Century’, in Rewriting the Self: Histories from the Renaissance to the Present, Roy Porter (ed.), Routledge, 1996.
`Political Economy: The Desires and Needs of Present and Future Generations’, in Inventing Human Science, Christopher Fox, Roy Porter, and Robert Wokler (eds.), The University of California Press, 1995.
`Reflections on the History of the Science of Woman’, in A Question of Identity, Marina Benjamin (ed.), Rutgers University Press, 1993; (reprinted from History of Science, xxix (June 1991) 185-205, as listed below.)
`Moral Philosophy and Population Questions in Eighteenth-Century Europe’, in Population, Resources and Environment, M. S. Teitelbaum and J. M. Winter (eds.), special supplement to Population and Development Review (1988) and Cambridge University Press (1989).
The Enlightenment Debate on Women, History Workshop Journal, 20, (Autumn 1985), 101-24 (Reprinted in 2003 and 2004, see above, Chapters of Books).

Other publications

Mary Wollstonecraft: Civil Society, Revolution, Economic Equality in Encyclopedia of Concise Concepts by Women Philosophers, Revolution; Economic equality; Civil society in WOLLSTONECRAFT, Mary Paderborn University (UB) and the German national library in Frankfurt/Leipzig (DNB),

Tomaselli, Sylvana. “Mary Wollstonecraft.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy. Ed. Duncan Pritchard. New York: Oxford University Press, URL

Tomaselli, Sylvana, "Mary Wollstonecraft", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2020 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <>.

The Philosophical Canon in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, Essays in Honour of John W. Yolton. Edited by G. A. J. Rogers and Sylvana Tomaselli, Rochester University Press, 1996.

Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Men, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and Hints. Edited by Sylvana Tomaselli, Cambridge: CUP, 1995 (1991, 2001).
The Dialectics of Friendship. Edited by Roy Porter and Sylvana Tomaselli, London: Routledge, 1989.

Rape. Edited by Sylvana Tomaselli and Roy Porter, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986; Pb: Rape: An Historical and Social Enquiry, 1989. With an introductory chapter by Sylvana Tomaselli. Portuguese translation: Estupro, translated by Alves Calado, Rio de Janeiro: Rio Fundo Ed., 1992.