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Other Writings

I am interested in the reception of Descartes's and Malebranche's ideas, especially by Mary Astell. 

Unpublished. Commissioned for Reconsidering the Sources of the Self, edited by José-Luis Bermudez and Catherine Conybeare .

Mary Astell (1666-1731) relies on a Cartesian account of the self to argue that both men and women are essentially thinking things and, hence, that both should perfect their minds or intellects. This account of the self might seem to ignore the inescapable fact that we have bodies. I argue that Astell accommodates the self’s embodiment along three dimensions. First, she tempers her sharp distinction between mind and body by insisting on their union. Second, she argues that the mind-body union is good, at least when the body obeys the mind. Third, though Astell identifies the self with the mind, she identifies the person with the combination of mind and body.

with Jeffrey McDonough. 2013. Philosophical Review 122(1): 125-128.

with Ronald de Sousa. 2007. The Review of Metaphysics 60(4): 860-1. 

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