Our mission statement:
The standard narrative of the early modern period tends to focus on the debate between rationalism (championed by Descartes, Leibniz, and Spinoza) and empiricism (as defended by Locke, Berkeley, and Hume), and how these two approaches are brought together by Kant in the eighteenth century. While this narrative captured something very important about philosophy in this period, it illegitimately excludes a host of philosophers and philosophical concerns. This society is focused on one such historically overlooked philosopher – Mary Astell. The Friends of Mary Astell are working on the recovery and reintegration of Astell’s work into contemporary philosophical discourse. We aim to produce new scholarship informed by Astell’s ideas and to contribute to ongoing efforts within contemporary professional philosophy to construct a more diverse, inclusive, and expansive canon of philosophy.