Rationalism In Seidler's 'The Age Of Reason'

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According to the masculine perspective, this philosophy was irrational and the world of sylphs and gnomes, fanciful. Pope is well aware that it is the Age of Reason, yet he deliberately employs the Rosicrucian philosophy to point out how irrational it is and to simultaneously point at the irrationality of women who were likely to take it seriously just as they do the novels. Novel reading in the 18th century was often synonymous with trivial reading as they did not require deliberation and serious thought and were thus believed to be favoured by women. Hence, he colludes with his “rational” male readers, who are trained in classical reading unlike the women of the age, to mock them. He has an exclusive concept of rationalism from which the vulnerable like women, are by default excluded because they are believed to be incapable of serious thought and contemplation. This heavy stress upon rationality that the western culture has dwelt on has caused irreparable harm and has created a baneful form of masculinity. Seidler aligns the emergence of this pernicious male gender identity by stressing how reason has been placed in opposition to nature and therefore, by extension, in opposition to our emotions, desires and feelings. He says, “We discover that our notions of ‘reason’ have been developed in fundamental opposition to…show more content…
It was because of this emphasis given on being rational, that men learnt to discount their bodily needs and instead focused on achieving their goals. Symptomatic of this notion is the idea that men often tend to see sex in terms of conquest and power rather than in terms of nourishment and fulfilment. As Seidler puts it, “…sex as achievement replaces any notion of sexuality as pleasure.” (Seidler, 39) Often this commodification of sex helps them hide their inability to open themselves up emotionally in the relationships they form. Seidler

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