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Women Philosophers of Seventeenth-Century EnglandSelected Correspondence$
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Jacqueline Broad

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190673321

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190673321.001.0001

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Damaris Cudworth Masham (1659–1708)

Damaris Cudworth Masham (1659–1708)

(p.114) 3 Damaris Cudworth Masham (1659–1708)
Women Philosophers of Seventeenth-Century England
Jacqueline Broad
Oxford University Press

This chapter contains selected letters from the private correspondence of the moral philosopher Damaris Cudworth Masham. It includes some of Masham’s letters to and from her close friend John Locke, the well-known English empiricist and political thinker, as well as her correspondence with the Genevan philosopher-theologian Jean Le Clerc and the German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, spanning the period from 1682 to 1705. The topics of the letters range from issues to do with enthusiasm, faith, and knowledge to friendship, Stoicism, Locke’s idea of thinking matter, and Ralph Cudworth’s doctrine of plastic nature. The chapter begins with an introductory essay by the editor, situating Masham’s letters in relation to the development of her own independent moral and epistemological views in her published works. The text includes a number of editorial annotations, to assist the reader’s understanding of early modern words and ideas.

Keywords:   Damaris Cudworth Masham, John Locke, Jean Le Clerc, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, enthusiasm, friendship, Stoicism, Ralph Cudworth, plastic nature

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