Lady Anne Conway was a remarkable woman who became a philosopher in her own right at a time when most women were denied even basic education. The Conway Letters is the record of her friendship with the Cambridge Platonist, Henry More, which began when he acted as her unofficial tutor in philosophy and lasted until her death. The letters cover a wide range of topics - personal, philosophical, religious, and social. They give a detailed picture of the More-Conway circle, including (...) such figures as Jeremy Taylor, Ralph Cudworth, Robert Boyle, and Francis Mercury van Helmont, as well as Lady Conway's Quaker associates, George Keith and William Penn. The letters are thus a valuable source for mid-seventeenth-century history, and especially for the intellectual history of the period. -/- This revised edition reprints all the letters from the original 1930 edition, together with MarjorieNicolson's biographical account of Anne Conway and Henry More. A new appendix contains some important letters not included in the first edition, among them the early discussion of Cartesianism. The introduction by Sarah Hutton sets the book in the context of recent scholarship. (shrink)
Sir Harold Nicolson (1886-1968) is well known as a diarist, man of letters, diplomatic historian, gardener, and broadcaster. Nicolson's bestselling diaries and letters, his many biographies, including the highly acclaimed official life of King George V, and his numerous essays and broadcasts have made him, in the words of his friend and fellow MP Robert Bernays, an international figure of the 'second degree'. -/- Yet there was more to this urbane man than his finely observed diary, stylish writing, (...) and Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent, the joint creation of Nicolson and his wife, the writer V. Sackville-West. He also produced a rich and ambitious corpus of writing on the theory and practice of international relations. Nicolson's aristocratic background and upbringing in a diplomatic household, followed by an Oxford classical education and twenty years in diplomacy, combined to forge his distinctive philosophy of international affairs. As a young attaché in Constantinople before the Great War, and in Whitehall during the conflict, at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, and en poste in Persia and Germany throughout the 1920s, Nicolson was ideally placed to observe the maelstrom of international politics. As an anti-appeasement and wartime MP (1935-1945), he became a highly regarded authority on international relations. During and after World War II, he turned his mind to the issues of European integration, world government, and the ultimate possibility of global peace. Nicolson has been the subject of two fine biographies. -/- This is the first study of his contribution to international thought. He emerges from it as an important international thinker, alongside theorists as diverse as E. H. Carr and Leonard Woolf. Nicolson's international thought contains elements of realism and idealism, while retaining a distinctive character and a breadth and consistency that render it unique. (shrink)
An expanded version has now appeared: HOW BRAINS THINK: Evolving Intelligence, Then and Now in the Science Masters series (BasicBooks 1996 in the USA and Weidenfeld & Nicolson in the UK, various translation editions elsewhere, including China). My Darwin Machines model for cerebral cortical circuitry has now appeared as THE CEREBRAL CODE: Thinking a Thought in the Mosaics of the Mind (MIT Press 1996).