Damaris Masham, Her Connexions with John Locke and Discussion with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Joanna Usakiewicz

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/szhf.2018.032


This article attempts to present Lady Damaris Masham as an individualistic thinker in the context of her own works and the correspondence with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.

            Damaris Masham (1659–1708) was the daughter of Ralph Cudworth, one of the Cambridge Platonists. She was a friend of John Locke, who spent last years of his life at her home at Oates in Essex, England. She wrote two published works: A Discourse Concerning the Love of God (1696) and Occasional Thoughts in Reference to a Vertuous or Christian Life (1705). She is particularly noted for being one of the earliest advocates for women’s education. Masham regularly corresponded with Leibniz in the years between 1704 and 1706. In these letters, mostly metaphysical problems were presented: the nature of substance and pre-established harmony


Damaris Masham; Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz; John Locke; metaphysics; substance; women education

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