Added by: Francesca Bruno
Abstract: In general outline, Astell’s A Serious Proposal to the Ladies is well understood. In Part I, Astell argues that women are educable, and she proposes the construction of a women’s academy. In Part II, she proposes a method for the improvement of the mind. In this article, I reconstruct and contextualize Astell’s arguments and proposals within her theory of mind and her account of the skeptical predicament that she sees as being endemic among women. I argue that Astell’s two proposals are best understood as strategies that, when employed, will allow women to critique prejudice and custom.
Comment: This is a very accessible article and would be a good secondary source to assign for an introductory course reading Astell's work, ‘A Serious Proposal to the Ladies.’Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
Sowaal, Alice. Mary Astell’s Serious Proposal: Mind, Method, and Custom
2007, Philosophy Compass 2/2: 227-243.
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