Women Philosophers of the Seventeenth Century by Jacqueline Broad

By Jacqueline Broad

Jacqueline vast explores the writings of such girls philosophers as Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, Mary Astell and Catherine Trotter Cockburn. wide demonstrates their relevance to present feminist scholarship. Her ebook is an available examine of thinkers whose value to the background of philosophy is more and more famous.

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If we can all reason clearly by training ourselves to overcome the confusing influence of the body, then women can also participate in the search for truth; if they learn to follow their reason, they can also endeavour to attain the blessed life. But, at the same time, prevalent social attitudes about ‘the weakness of the female sex’, and the natural temperament of the female body, impose certain limitations on the philosophical enterprise for women. These attitudes are reflected in Elisabeth’s remarks about the clouding and distorting effects that the body has on clear thought.

But in other respects, her reputation as a critic of Descartes is well deserved. First, Elisabeth maintains that interaction between extended and nonextended substances is inconceivable, and, as a solution to this problem, she suggests that extension is an attribute of the soul. Second, in her discussion of Descartes’ moral theory in their letters, she emphasises the impracticality of recommending that the soul must strive to be detached from the body. Many of Elisabeth’s objections are, moreover, developed from a woman’s point of view.

Christina, The Works of Christina, p. .  Women Philosophers of the Seventeenth Century philosophy, she suggests, whether it be a method of thought or a way of attaining happiness, must take into account the soul--body union, or human embodiment, and not just the soul taken separately. Recent feminist theorists, most notably Carol Gilligan, also stress the usefulness of a ‘different’ moral outlook, one that is based primarily on relationships with others, rather than an impartial and detached viewpoint.

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