So many books to read–but such beautiful springtime weather…

So many books to read–but such beautiful springtime weather…

From Mary Astell’s A Serious Proposal to the Ladies (1694), a call for women’s education and a rationalist philosophical discourse attempting to rebut Locke’s empiricism (basically, she believes in mind over body):

“The Animal Spirits must be lessen’d, or rendred more Calm and Manageable; at least they must not be unnaturally and violently mov’d by such a Diet, or such Passions, Designs and Divertisements as are likely to put ’em in a ferment. Contemplation requires a Governable body, a sedate and steady Mind, and the Body and the Mind do so reciprocally influence each other, that we can scarce keep the one in tune if the other be out of it. We can neither Observe the Errors of our Intellect, nor the Irregularity of our Morals whilst we are darkned by Fumes, agitated with unruly Passions, or carried away with eager Desires after . . . things and vanities.” (161, 2002 Broadview edition (Springborg))

I will bear Mary’s advice in mind as I try to catch up on prelim reading over the next several weeks. Contemplation requires a governable body, everyone.

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