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Mary Wollstonecraft contends that “liberty is the mother of virtue.” Xúnzǐ holds that people can be “transformed” to become virtuous only by obeying an authoritarian ruler who exerts extensive control over them. Which view is more defensible and why? What aspects could I start an essay with?

Mary Wollstonecraft believes that people must be free to be moral. Xúnzǐ believes that people will only be moral if they are forced to be moral by state power. To get started on your essay, decide which perspective you agree with more.

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To write this essay, you need to take a strong stance. The instructions ask, “which view is more defensible and why?” Whose ideas would you rather defend—Mary Wollstonecraft or Xúnzǐ? I’m going to try to explain their ideas so you can get a better idea of your own perspective.

When Mary Wollstonecraft says that “liberty is the mother of virtue,” she means that virtue is born from liberty. Virtue refers to morality and ethics, while...

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