6 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2019
    1. the heart of her educational scheme was lo be a method of thinking that could be applied in any area

      Okay, this is is more specific, similar to Wollstonecraft, as curlyQ pointed out.

      What's interesting here is Astell's saying that she isn't "exceptional"--by that she seems to mean that she is no different or more outstanding than other women, that she doesn't have some special ability or nature (just the same natural inclinations as others).

      This resonates with Wollstonecraft's Rights in her insistence that women are not by nature the 'inferior' sex but are instead bred that way due to poor education. By distancing herself from the term "exceptional", Astell seems to be doing something similar, pointing not to any particularly special nature or natural ability but instead a sound education.

    2. a serious secular education

      This call for women's education (and not just in manners and fine arts) is largely ignored for some time, despite its repetition. In the Rhetorical Tradition reading from last week, they mentioned Archbishop Fénelon published a call for women's education in 1687; here Astell says something similar (1694); others are mentioned below; Wollstonecraft is still calling for it in 1792 (100 years later).

      Fénelon's call was for basic reading and writing; Wollstonecraft's was for equality in education with boys (much like Astell's education was). The nature of Astell's school is discussed here, but what was her vision of the curriculum (the "serious secular education")?

    1. 011 1/w Ed11catio11 of Girls (published in 1687),

      Cf. Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman, written about 100 years later, making a similar argument. Specifically, Wollstonecraft argues that women are not naturally inferior or frivolous but have been bred that way through poor education. Taken in comparison to the Enlightenment's exploration of human nature and with a lack of significant progress between 1687 and 1792 (outside of literacy, noted below), it seems clear that "human nature" really means "man's nature."

  2. Apr 2017
  3. Mar 2017
    1. And what are words but toys and sweetmeats for grown-up ba-bies who call themselves men?

      [Mary Wollstonecraft A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

      But, alas! husbands, as well as their helpmates, are often only overgrown children; nay, thanks to early debauchery, scarcely men in their outward form—and if the blind lead the blind, one need not come from heaven to tell us the consequence.](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUrhOmH5-18)

    1. independent of male support

      From Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication:

      "Consequently, the most perfect education, in my opinion, is such an exercise of the understanding as is best calculated to strengthen the body and form the heart. Or, in other words, to enable the individual to attain certain habits of virtue as will render it independent. In fact, it is a farce to call any being virtuous whose virtues do not result from the exercise of reason."