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Early Modern Women on Metaphysics


Emily Thomas, Marcy Lascano, Susan James, Andrew Janiak, Karen Detlefsen, Sara L. Uckelman, Deborah Boyle, Katherine Brading, Frederique Janssen-Lauret, David Cunning, Jacqueline Broad, Sarah Hutton, Patricia Sheridan
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  • Date Published: March 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107178687

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Brings to light new avenues of metaphysical enquiry based on the writing of previously neglected female philosophers
    • Features detailed philosophical analysis as well as valuable historical and intellectual contexts
    • Discusses many topics including free will, reality, gravity, time, matter, mind and body
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107178687
    • length: 302 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 156 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: reworking early modern metaphysics Emily Thomas
    Part I. Meta-metaphysics:
    1. 'Heads cast in metaphysical moulds': Damaris Masham on the method and nature of metaphysics Marcy Lascano
    Part II. Metaphysics of Science:
    2. 'Hermaphroditical mixtures': Margaret Cavendish on nature and art Susan James
    3. Émilie Du Châtelet: physics, metaphysics and the case of gravity Andrew Janiak
    4. Margaret Cavendish on laws and order Karen Detlefsen
    Part III. Ontology:
    5. Bathsua Makin and Anna Maria van Schurman: education and the metaphysics of being a woman Sara L. Uckelman
    6. Margaret Cavendish on the eternity of created matter Deborah Boyle
    7. Anne Conway on the identity of creatures over time Emily Thomas
    8. Émilie Du Châtelet and the problem of bodies Katherine Brading
    Part IV. Metaphysics of Minds and Selves:
    9. Elisabeth of Bohemia as a naturalistic dualist Frederique Janssen-Lauret
    10. Margaret Cavendish on the metaphysics of imagination and the dramatic force of the imaginary world David Cunning
    11. Mary Astell's malebranchean concept of the self Jacqueline Broad
    Part V. Metaphysics of Morality:
    12. Goodness in Anne Conway's metaphysics Sarah Hutton
    13. On Catharine Trotter Cockburn's metaphysics of morality Patricia Sheridan.

  • Editor

    Emily Thomas, University of Durham
    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.


    Emily Thomas, Marcy Lascano, Susan James, Andrew Janiak, Karen Detlefsen, Sara L. Uckelman, Deborah Boyle, Katherine Brading, Frederique Janssen-Lauret, David Cunning, Jacqueline Broad, Sarah Hutton, Patricia Sheridan

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