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Astell, Mary (1666–1731)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DA075-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 25, 2024, from

Article Summary

Best known for her proposal to establish a women’s college, Astell published on a variety of other topics: religious dissent, the social contract, the marriage contract, epistemic issues, mind–body dualism, immortality, proofs for God’s existence, reason and revelation, and Locke’s views on ‘thinking matter’. Her correspondence with John Norris treated the pure love of God and occasionalism. On marriage she drew a shrewd contrast between the treatment of political tyranny by contractarians (such as Locke), and their failure to deal with domestic tyranny. Some of her reactions to the views of major philosophers anticipated later debates.

Citing this article:
O'Neill, Eileen. Astell, Mary (1666–1731), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DA075-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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