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The Philosophy of Mary AstellAn Early Modern Theory of Virtue$
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Jacqueline Broad

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198716815

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716815.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 January 2022

Soul and Body

Soul and Body

(p.63) 4 Soul and Body
The Philosophy of Mary Astell

Jacqueline Broad

Oxford University Press

Mary Astell’s arguments concerning the true nature of the self ground her moral views about the cultivation of proper self-esteem, self-love, and self-satisfaction. This chapter examines her argument for the view that the self is the soul, an immaterial and immortal substance, capable of existing independently of the body. The first part of this chapter explains her argument for the real distinction between soul and body, an argument that borrows crucial precepts from Cartesian dualist arguments. The second part discusses the moral implications of Astell’s concept of the self—especially the idea that temporal, bodily creatures could never render an immortal, immaterial soul truly happy. The third part concludes by examining the question of whether or not Astell was an occasionalist with respect to body–soul causation (the causation of sensation).

Keywords:   Mary Astell, body–soul causation, Cartesianism, dualism, occasionalism

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