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Metaphysics Mary Astell designed her metaphysics around an account of God and his creation. She was a dualist, maintaining that the two kinds of beings—minds and bodies—come in An analysis of mary stells a serious proposal degrees of finitude and corruptibility: God is the infinite and incorruptible mind; human minds and corporeal particles are finite, naturally incorruptible beings; and human bodies and physical objects are finite, naturally corruptible beings.
Among his perfections, Astell often lists wisdom, goodness, justice, holiness, intelligence, presence, power, and self-existence. In keeping with rationalist views of the period, Astell maintains that the correct understanding of metaphysics turns on the correct understanding of God.
For this reason, much of her work is dedicated to demonstrating not only what God is, but also how a correct understanding of him can be attained. Her earliest such account is in A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, where she demonstrates the existence, perfection, and necessary creative power of God.
She begins by giving an example of the correct method for attaining knowledge, one similar to those developed by Descartes in Discourse on the Method and Arnauld and Nicole in Logic or the Art of Thinking see section 2.
This claim is about the order of ideas: A few lines later, she makes the analogous claim about the order of reality: In showing that Astell maintains an intellectualist theology, Broad refers to a number of passages, one of which is the following: Astell95 [section ]; see also Astell; Astell[section ] 1.
Ultimately, she maintains that there are four kinds of created beings: About finite minds considered on their own, Astell differs quite radically from Descartes.
According to Astell, on the other hand, God creates minds with intrinsic differences. She gives a number of reasons for this view. One has to do with the relationships that God wants minds to have with each other: Another concerns the relationship between created minds and God: But each mind is limited and, thus, can only love God by adoring a limited amount of his works.
So God creates many minds, each with an ability to understand a certain collection of truths, and in this way all of his creation is attended to Astell—, — Though Astell discusses minds as if they are sometimes isolated from bodies, she maintains that human beings are mind—body unions.
She notes that we cannot comprehend the connection between the mind and body: In Christian Religion, Astell presents this same position by way of a parallel between, on the one hand, our lack of knowledge of the mind—body union, and, on the other hand, our lack of knowledge about the relation between God and humans: About how mind—body unions differ from each other with respect to their abilities to reason, Astell sometimes implies that experience, construed in a Lockean framework, may be the cause: For she lays up in her Mind as in a Store-house, ready to produce on all Occasions, a Clear and Simple Idea of every Object that has at any time presented itself.
Astell— Her more common view, however, is a rationalist one, according to which bodies impede minds from having perfect ideas: She also presents this view in the following passage: AstellHere Astell, like other rationalists, valorizes the mind over the body.
The following passage illustrates another way Astell emphasizes this point: That the true and proper Pleasure of Human Nature consists in the exercise of that Dominion which the Soul has over the Body, in governing every Passion and Motion according to Right Reason, by which we most truly pursue the real good of both, it being a mistake as well of our Duty as our Happiness to consider either part of us singly, so as to neglect what is due to the other.
For if we disregard the Body wholly, we pretend to live like Angels whilst we are but Mortals; and if we prefer or equal it to the Mind we degenerate into Brutes.
Humans should correctly employ their minds and bodies so that they do not degenerate into brutes, or conduct their lives as if they were angels. Thus the difference between the abilities of women and men should be explained not metaphysically, but epistemologically.
For this reason, I will leave a discussion of this issue to section 2. In presenting this account of the real distinction between the mind and body in Christian Religion, Astell demonstrates first that the mind is immaterial and then that it is immortal.
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III. Subjective Religion. Life is a long an analysis of the topic of the american political thought road on a short journey. Free real life papers, essays, and research papers. Illustration 1: Frontispiece and Excerpt from A Serious Proposal to the Ladies Astell’s point of view We first focused on the semantics, to examine how Astell builds her vindication of the female sex, which words she uses to sensitise women to their alienated condition and promote their education.
A Serious Proposal argues for an alternative to marriage and urges that a “Religious Retirement” be founded for women to devote themselves to education and religious matters. This work had at least four editions, and was followed by A Serious Proposal to the Ladies Part II.
A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, for the Advancement of Their True and Greatest Interest is a pioneering feminist essay written by the British author Mary Astell.
The text, which is often referred to by the shortened title A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, appeared in two parts.