Early Modern Women on Metaphysics

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Emily Thomas
Cambridge University Press, Mar 15, 2018 - History - 295 pages
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The work of women philosophers in the early modern period has traditionally been overlooked, yet their writing on topics such as reality, time, mind and matter holds valuable lessons for our understanding of metaphysics and its history. This volume of new essays explores the work of nine key female figures: Bathsua Makin, Anna Maria van Schurman, Elisabeth of Bohemia, Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, Damaris Cudworth Masham, Mary Astell, Catharine Trotter Cockburn, and Émilie Du Châtelet. Investigating issues from eternity to free will and from body to natural laws, the essays uncover long-neglected perspectives and demonstrate their importance for philosophical debates, both then and now. Combining careful philosophical analysis with discussion of the intellectual and historical context of each thinker, they will set the agenda for future enquiry and will appeal to scholars and students of the history of metaphysics, science, religion and feminism.
 

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Contents

Margaret Cavendish
31
Physics Metaphysics and the Case
49
Margaret Cavendish on Laws and Order
72
Education
95
Margaret Cavendish on the Eternity of Created Matter
111
Anne Conway on the Identity of Creatures over Time
131
Émilie Du Châtelet and the Problem of Bodies
150
Elisabeth of Bohemia as a Naturalistic Dualist
171
Margaret Cavendish on the Metaphysics of Imagination
188
Mary Astells Malebranchean Concept of the Self
211
Goodness in Anne Conways Metaphysics
229
On Catharine Trotter Cockburns Metaphysics
247
Bibliography
266
Index
287
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About the author (2018)

Emily Thomas is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Durham. She has published numerous articles on time and space in early modern and early twentieth-century philosophy, and is an editor at the British Journal for the History of Philosophy.

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