Coignet, Clarisse (1823–?)

views updated

Coignet, Clarisse (1823–?)

French political activist, philosopher, educator and historian. Born in 1823; death date unknown.

Selected works:

many works on morality and politics, including La Morale independante dans son principe et dans son objet (1869) and De Kant a Bergson; reconciliation de la religion et de la science dans un spiritualisme nouveau (1911); many historical works, particularly on the history of morals and culture, including historical biographies of Elisa Grimhail Lemonnier (1856) Francis I (1885), Francis Scepau (1886), Victor Considerant (1895), Catherine de Medici (1895) and François de Guise (1895).

Clarisse Coignet played a significant role in France's political movement, known as "La Morale independante," which began in the 18th century. She had already published a number of works on education when she assumed editorship of the weekly newspaper La Morale independante (1865–70). Coignet believed in the liberal ideals of the French Revolution, as they were fostered by La Morale independante, and she argued for secularizing moral education. The issue of how morality should be taught was very popular and became the primary concern of many of the periodicals of the time. Writing under the name "C. Coignet," she was often mistaken for a male author, even in her correspondence. Coignet was not a feminist; she did, however, argue for women's suffrage only where it seemed likely to encourage liberalism, for instance in England but not in France.

Catherine Hundleby , M.A. Philosophy, University of Guelph