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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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Elizabeth Berkeley Burnet (1661–1709)

Elizabeth Berkeley Burnet (1661–1709)

(p.231) 4 Elizabeth Berkeley Burnet (1661–1709)
Women Philosophers of Seventeenth-Century England
Jacqueline Broad
Oxford University Press

This chapter contains letters from the correspondence between religious writer Elizabeth Berkeley Burnet and her friend the English philosopher John Locke. It includes a selection of fifteen letters, spanning the period from 1696 to 1702. The main topic of their exchange is the Locke-Stillingfleet debate, a protracted religious controversy that began when Edward Stillingfleet, the Bishop of Worcester, highlighted the sceptical implications of Locke’s empiricism for significant articles of the Christian faith. This chapter begins with an introductory essay by the editor, situating Burnet’s critique of Locke’s Reply to Stillingfleet in relation to the themes of Burnet’s sole published work. It is argued that in this work Burnet puts forward a moral ideal of philosophical disputation, an ideal that is first developed in her letters to Locke. The correspondence includes editorial annotations, to assist the reader’s understanding of early modern words and ideas.

Keywords:   Elizabeth Berkeley Burnet, John Locke, Edward Stillingfleet, Locke-Stillingfleet debate, empiricism, Christian faith

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