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The Philosophy of Mary Astell – An Early Modern Theory of Virtue - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Philosophy of Mary Astell: An Early Modern Theory of Virtue

Jacqueline Broad


Mary Astell (1666–1731) is best known today as one of the earliest English feminists. This book sheds new light on her writings by interpreting her first and foremost as a moral philosopher—as someone committed to providing guidance on how best to live. The central claim of this work is that all the different strands of Astell’s thought—her epistemology, her metaphysics, her philosophy of the passions, her feminist vision, and her conservative political views—are best understood in light of her ethical objectives. To support that claim, this work examines Astell’s programme to bring about a mo ... More

Keywords: Mary Astell, benevolence, existence of God, feminism, generosity, immateriality of the soul, moral theory, the passions, tyranny, virtue of moderation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780198716815
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716815.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jacqueline Broad, author
Monash University

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