Damaris Cudworth Masham: A Seventeenth Century Feminist Philosopher

Hypatia 4 (1):80 - 90 (1989)
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The daughter of Ralph Cudworth, and friend of John Locke, Damaris Masham was also a philosopher in her own right. She published two, philosophical books, A Discourse Concerning the Love of God and Occasional Thoughts In Reference to a Virtuous and Christian Life. Her primary purpose was to refute John Norris' Malebranchian doctrine that we ought to love only God because only God can give us pleasure, and his criticism of Locke. In addition, she argues for greater educational opportunities for women, and an end to the double standard in sexual morality. Recent feminist literature has suggested that women and men may take different ethical and epistemological stands based on differences between the 'female experience', and the 'male experience'. While leaving aside questions pertaining to the accuracy of these suggestions, this paper discusses some aspects of Masham's thought which might be considered representative of the 'female experience.'.



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Reflections on the Masham correspondence.Robert Sleigh - 2005 - In Christia Mercer (ed.), Early Modern Philosophy: Mind, Matter, and Metaphysics. New York, US: Oxford University Press. pp. 119-27.
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Citations of this work

Elizabeth Tollet: A new newtonian woman.Patricia Fara - 2002 - History of Science 40 (128):169-187.
Lady Damaris Masham.Sarah Hutton - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

An essay concerning human understanding.John Locke - 1689 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Pauline Phemister.
Ralph Cudworth: An Interpretation.J. A. Passmore - 1951 - Philosophy 28 (104):88-88.
A Discourse Concerning the Love of God.Damaris Masham - 1696 - Thoemmes Continuum. Edited by Damaris Masham.

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