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Summary Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673) was an English philosopher whose works ranged from natural philosophy and metaphysics to social and political philosophy. Her best-known work of natural philosophy, Observations upon Experimental Philosophy (1666), defends a view of the natural world which is simultaneously materialistic, anti-mechanistic, and panpsychist. Her views in social and political philosophy feature prominently in her fictional works, including her novel The Blazing World (1666) and numerous plays.
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  1. Margaret Cavendish, Environmental Ethics, and Panpsychism.Stewart Duncan - manuscript
    Margaret Cavendish (1623-73) held a number of surprising philosophical views. These included a materialist panpsychism, and some views in what we might call environmental ethics. Panpsychism, though certainly not unheard of, is still often a surprising view. Views in environmental ethics - even just views that involve a measure of environmental concern - are unusual to find in early modern European philosophy. Cavendish held both of these surprising views. One might suspect that panpsychism provides some reasons for environmental concern. I (...)
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  2. Cavendish and Berkeley on Inconceivability and Impossibility [DRAFT - please do not cite].Peter West - manuscript
    In this paper, I compare Margaret Cavendish’s argument for the view that colours of objects are inseparable from their ‘physical’ qualities with George Berkeley’s argument for the view that secondary qualities of objects are inseparable from their primary qualities. By reconstructing their respective arguments, I show that both thinkers rely on the ‘inconceivability principle’: the claim that inconceivability entails impossibility. That is, both premise their arguments on the claim that it is impossible to conceive of an object that has size (...)
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  3. Materialism from Hobbes to Locke by Stewart Duncan. [REVIEW]Patrick J. Connolly - forthcoming - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science.
  4. Review of The Metaphysics of Margaret Cavendish and Anne Conway: Monism, Vitalism, and Self-Motion, by Marcy P. Lascano. New York: Oxford University Press, 2023 (ISBN: 978-0-19-765163-6). [REVIEW]Kevin Lower - forthcoming - Hypatia Reviews Online.
    The landscape of historical research on early modern philosophy has changed dramatically since the publication of Eileen O'Neill's landmark essay, “Disappearing Ink: Early Modern Women Philosophers and Their Fate in History” (O'Neill 1997). In the past thirty years, increasing quantities of scholarly attention have shifted toward retrieving and reassessing the contributions of marginalized voices throughout the history of philosophy. Few interventions are as impactful within this growing field as Marcy Lascano's recent monograph comparing the metaphysical systems of Margaret Cavendish (1623–1673) (...)
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  5. Pure Wit: The Revolutionary Life of Margaret Cavendish. Francesca Peacock. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2023 (ISBN 9781837930142). [REVIEW]Peter West - forthcoming - Hypatia.
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  6. The Depth of Margaret Cavendish's Ecology.Peter West & Manuel Fasko - forthcoming - Ergo.
    This paper examines Margaret Cavendish’s ecological views and argues that, in the Appendix to her final published work, Grounds of Natural Philosophy (1668), Cavendish is defending a normative account of the way that humans ought to interact with their environment. On this basis, we argue that Cavendish is committed to a form of what, for the purposes of this paper, we will call ‘deep ecology,’ where that is understood as the view that humans ought to treat the rest of nature (...)
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  7. Materialism from Hobbes to Locke: by Stewart Duncan, New York, Oxford University Press, 2022, pp. 240, £ 56.00 (hb), ISBN 9780197613009. [REVIEW]Ruth Boeker - 2024 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 32 (1):231-237.
    Stewart Duncan’s excellent book Materialism from Hobbes to Locke offers an insightful study of the debates concerning materialism during the seventeenth century. When we hear the expression ‘materialism’, we often associate with it the question of whether the human mind is an entirely material entity. Although the question of whether the human mind is material plays an important role throughout the seventeenth-century debates examined in this book, Duncan offers a broader understanding of materialism that is not restricted to the human (...)
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  8. Move Your Body! Margaret Cavendish on Self-Motion.Colin Chamberlain - 2024 - In Sebastian Bender & Dominik Perler (eds.), Powers and Abilities in Early Modern Philosophy. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 105-125.
    Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673) argues that when someone throws a ball, their hand does not cause the ball to move. Instead, the ball moves itself. In this chapter, I reconstruct Cavendish’s argument that material things—like the ball—are self-moving. Cavendish argues that body-body interaction is unintelligible. We cannot make sense of interaction in terms of the transfer of motion nor the more basic idea that one body acts in another body. Assuming something moves bodies around, Cavendish concludes that bodies move themselves. Still, (...)
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  9. The Duchess of Disunity: Margaret Cavendish on the Materiality of the Mind.Colin Chamberlain - 2024 - Philosophers' Imprint 24 (1):1-18.
    Sometimes we love and hate the same thing at the same time. Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673)—the maverick early modern materialist—appeals to this type of passionate conflict to argue that the mind is a material thing. When our passions conflict, the mind or reason conflicts with itself. From this Cavendish infers that the mind has parts and, therefore, is material. Cavendish says this argument is among the best proofs of the mind’s materiality. And yet, the existing scholarship on Cavendish lacks the kind (...)
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  10. Teaching Margaret Cavendish’s Philosophy: Early Modern Women and the Question of Biography.Peter West - 2024 - Abo: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830 14 (1).
    In my contribution to this Concise Collection on Margaret Cavendish, I focus on teaching Cavendish’s work in the context of philosophy (and, more specifically, Early Modern Philosophy). I have three aims. First, to explain why teaching women from philosophy’s history is crucially important to the discipline. Second, to outline my own reflections on teaching Cavendish’s philosophy. Third, to defend a specific claim about the benefits of teaching Cavendish to philosophy students; namely, that introducing biographical detail alongside philosophical ideas enriches the (...)
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  11. Is Margaret Cavendish a naïve realist?Daniel Whiting - 2024 - European Journal of Philosophy 32 (2):321-341.
    Perception plays a central and wide‐ranging role in the philosophy of Margaret Cavendish. In this paper, I argue that Cavendish holds a naïve realist theory of perception. The case draws on what Cavendish has to say about perceptual presentation, the role of sympathy in experience, the natures of hallucination and of illusion, and the individuation of kinds. While Cavendish takes perception to have representational content, I explain how this is consistent with naïve realism. In closing, I address challenges to the (...)
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  12. Kenelm Digby (and Margaret Cavendish) on Motion.Daniel Whiting - 2024 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 6 (1):1-27.
    Motion—and, in particular, local motion or change in location—plays a central role in Kenelm Digby’s natural philosophy and in his arguments for the immateriality of the soul. Despite this, Digby’s account of what motion consists in has yet to receive much scholarly attention. In this paper, I advance a novel interpretation of Digby on motion. According to it, Digby holds that for a body to move is for it to divide from and unify with other bodies. This is a view (...)
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  13. Cavendish on Life.Laura Georgescu - 2023 - Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science 78.
    This paper argues that Margaret Cavendish is a metaphysical deflationist about life. That is, it claims that, in Cavendish's mature philosophy, life is no metaphysical kind. From this it also follows that claims about matter being alive play no role in Cavendish's (natural) philosophy. On my reading, living is identical with (natural) being, Cavendish has no problem of life, and the label of vitalism is explanatorily vacuous as applied to her philosophy.
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  14. Two Dogmas of Enlightenment Scholarship.Seth Jones & Kristopher G. Phillips - 2023 - In Amber L. Griffioen & Marius Backmann (eds.), Pluralizing Philosophy’s Past: New Reflections in the History of Philosophy. Springer Verlag. pp. 133-147.
    A central theme in the scholarly literature on Enlightenment Europe concerns the increased focus on the role of reason in the development of European thought, especially in the development of the new science by the natural philosophers. As a consequence, there is a tendency in both philosophical scholarship and teaching to bind philosophy and science tightly together. While there is certainly much that is correct in this approach, one motivation for pluralizing philosophy’s past is that this story leaves out a (...)
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  15. The Metaphysics of Margaret Cavendish and Anne Conway: Monism, Vitalism, and Self-Motion.Marcy P. Lascano - 2023 - New York, US: OUP Usa.
    This book is an examination of the metaphysical systems of Margaret Cavendish and Anne Conway, who share many superficial similarities. By providing a detailed analysis of their views on substance, monism, self-motion, individuation, and identity over time, as well as causation, perception, and freedom, it demonstrates the interesting ways in which their accounts differ. Seeing their systems in tandem highlights the originality of each philosopher. In addition to providing the details of their metaphysical views, the book also shows how they (...)
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  16. Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, and Catharine Cockburn on Matter.Emily Thomas - 2023 - In Karen Detlefsen & Lisa Shapiro (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Women and Early Modern European Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 112–126.
  17. Cavendish’s Aesthetic Realism.Daniel Whiting - 2023 - Philosophers' Imprint 23 (15):1-17.
    In this paper, I offer a new interpretation of Margaret Cavendish’s remarks on beauty. According to it, Cavendish takes beauty to be a real, response-independent quality of objects. In this sense, Cavendish is an aesthetic realist. This position, which remains constant throughout her philosophical writings, contrasts with the non-realist views that were soon after to dominate philosophical reflections on matters of taste in the early modern period. It also, I argue, contrasts with the realism of Cavendish’s contemporary, Henry More. While (...)
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  18. Natural Philosophy, Abstraction, and Mathematics among Materialists: Thomas Hobbes and Margaret Cavendish on Light.Marcus P. Adams - 2022 - Philosophies 7 (2):44.
    The nature of light is a focus of Thomas Hobbes’s natural philosophical project. Hobbes’s explanation of the light of lucid bodies differs across his works, from dilation and contraction in Elements of Law to simple circular motions in De corpore. However, Hobbes consistently explains perceived light by positing that bodily resistance generates the phantasm of light. In Letters I.XIX–XX of Philosophical Letters, fellow materialist Margaret Cavendish attacks the Hobbesian understanding of both lux and lumen by claiming that Hobbes has illicitly (...)
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  19. What Is It Like To Be a Material Thing? Henry More and Margaret Cavendish on the Unity of the Mind.Colin Chamberlain - 2022 - In Donald Rutherford (ed.), Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy, Volume XI. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press. pp. 97-136.
    Henry More argues that materialism cannot account for cases where a single subject or perceiver has multiple perceptions simultaneously. Since we clearly do have multiple perceptions at the same time--for example, when we see, hear, and smell simultaneously--More concludes that we are not wholly material. In response to More's argument, Margaret Cavendish adopts a two-fold strategy. First, she argues that there is no general obstacle to mental unification in her version of materialism. Second, Cavendish appeals to the mind or rational (...)
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  20. Materialism from Hobbes to Locke.Stewart Duncan - 2022 - Oxford University Press.
    Are human beings purely material creatures, or is there something else to them, an immaterial part that does some (or all) of the thinking, and might even be able to outlive the death of the body? This book is about how a series of seventeenth-century philosophers tried to answer that question. It begins by looking at the views of Thomas Hobbes, who developed a thoroughly materialist account of the human mind, and later of God as well.
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  21. Margaret Cavendish on Human Beings.Marcy Lascano & Eric Schliesser - 2022 - In Karolina Hübner (ed.), Human: A History (Oxford Philosophical Concepts). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 168-194.
    Margaret Cavendish is a vitalist, materialist, and monist. She holds that human beings and other natural kinds are parts of the one material entity she calls “nature.” While she thinks that human beings may not be superior to other animals in many ways, she does argue that human beings have a type of knowledge and perception that is unique to their kind, that they strive for the continuance of their being, and that they join together into societies in order to (...)
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  22. Which Bodies Have Minds? Feminism, Panpsychism, and the Attribution Question.Jennifer McWeeny - 2022 - In Keya Maitra & Jennifer McWeeny (eds.), Feminist Philosophy of Mind. New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press, Usa. pp. 272-293.
    Theories about what a mind is entail views about who (or what) has a mind and vice versa. This chapter reframes the classic problem of how the mind interacts with the body in terms of the question of mental attribution: Which bodies have minds? Critical social theorists’ descriptions of mental attribution associated with the bodies of women, Black people, colonized people, laborers, and others, reveals three metaphysical components of mental attribution that are respectively associated with experiences of immanence and non-being, (...)
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  23. Cavendish, Margaret.Andrea Strazzoni - 2022 - Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy.
    Margaret Cavendish was a philosopher and writer active in mid-seventeenth century England. She is important not just as one of the first women active in philosophy in early modern age but as the expounder of an original scientific theory based on vitalism and materialism, by which she rejected the mechanical philosophy of Descartes and Hobbes and the experimental philosophy of Boyle and Hooke. Also, while not developing a theory of gender equality, she envisaged a form of emancipation of women based (...)
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  24. Motion as an Accident of Matter: Margaret Cavendish and Thomas Hobbes on Motion and Rest.Marcus P. Adams - 2021 - Southern Journal of Philosophy.
    Margaret Cavendish is widely known as a materialist. However, since Cavendishian matter is always in motion, “matter” and “motion” are equally important foundational concepts for her natural philosophy. In Philosophical Letters (1664), she takes to task her materialist rival Thomas Hobbes by assaulting his account of accidents in general and his concept of “rest” in particular. In this article, I argue that Cavendish defends her continuous-motion view in two ways: first, she claims that her account avoids seeing accidents as capable (...)
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  25. 'I Wish My Speech Were Like a Loadstone’: Cavendish on Love and Self-Love.Julia Borcherding - 2021 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 121 (3):381-409.
    This paper examines the surprisingly central role of sympathetic love within Margaret Cavendish’s philosophy. It shows that such love fulfils a range of metaphysical functions, and highlight an important shift in Cavendish’s account vis-a-vis earlier conceptions: sympathetic love is no longer given an emanative or mechanistic explanation, but is naturalized as an active emotion. It furthers investigate to what extent Cavendish’s account reveals a rift between the realm of nature and the realm of human sociability, and whether this rift really (...)
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  26. Self-knowledge, Perception, and Margaret Cavendish's Metaphysics of the Individual.Laura Georgescu - 2021 - Early Science and Medicine 25 (6):618-639.
    For Margaret Cavendish, every single part of matter has self-knowledge, and almost every part has perceptive knowledge. This paper asks what is at stake for Cavendish in ascribing self-knowing and perceptive properties to matter. Whereas many commentators take perception and self-knowledge to be guides to Cavendish’s epistemology, this paper takes them to be guides to her metaphysics, in that it shows that these categories account for individual specificity and for relationality. A part of matter is a unique individual insofar as (...)
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  27. Cavendish and Hobbes on Causation.Marcy Lascano - 2021 - In Marcus P. Adams (ed.), A Companion to Hobbes. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 413-430.
    This chapter examines the connections between Hobbes’s and Cavendish’s accounts of causation. Eileen O’Neill and Marcus Adams have argued that Hobbes and Cavendish share the same notion of entire causes as necessary and sufficient for producing their effects. While this account is well-suited to Hobbes’s mechanical account of causation, O’Neill worries that this claim collapses Cavendish’s account of occasional causation into full on occasionalism. I argue that a close analysis of Cavendish’s views on the role of external objects in perception (...)
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  28. “The Power of Self-Motion in Cavendish’s Nature”.Marcy P. Lascano - 2021 - In Julia Jorati (ed.), Powers: A History. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 169-188.
    Nature, according to Cavendish, has “an Infinite Natural power, that is, a power to produce infinite effects in her own self, by infinite changes of Motions.” While Cavendish mentions powers with respect to human beings, medicines, occasional causes, and other entities, these powers are really just the power of self-moving matter to cause changes in the world. This chapter examines why Cavendish attributes the power of self-motion to matter, what this power is, how it arose, how it is enacted, and (...)
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  29. Cartas filosóficas o reflexiones modestas sobre algunas opiniones en filosofía natural de Margaret Lucas Cavendish, duquesa de New Castle [cartas 30-33 y 35-37].John Anderson P. Duarte & Juliana Ocampo - 2021 - Humanitas Hoide 3 (1):1-15.
  30. Margaret Cavendish on conceivability, possibility, and the case of colours.Peter West - 2021 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 30 (3):456-476.
    Throughout her philosophical writing, Margaret Cavendish is clear in stating that colours are real; they are not mere mind-dependent qualities that exist only in the mind of perceivers. This puts her at odds with other seventeenthcentury thinkers such as Galileo and Descartes who endorsed what would come to be known as the ‘primary-secondary quality distinction’. Cavendish’s argument for this view is premised on two claims. First, that colourless objects are inconceivable. Second, that if an object is inconceivable then it could (...)
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  31. Experiment, Speculation, and Religion in Early Modern Philosophy ed. by Alberto Vanzo and Peter R. Anstey.Marcus P. Adams - 2020 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 58 (4):817-818.
    This edited volume will be of interest to specialists in the history of early modern philosophy and in the history and philosophy of science. It contains ten chapters related to the themes of experimental philosophy, speculative philosophy, and the relationships of both to religion. Most of the book considers these themes in the thought of six early modern philosophers, with a chapter for each of the following: Bacon, Boyle, Cavendish, Hobbes, Locke, and Newton. The remaining chapters focus upon these themes (...)
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  32. After Life in Margaret Cavendish’s Vitalist Posthumanism.Liza Blake - 2020 - Criticism 62 (3):433-456.
    Is it possible to be a posthumanist without affirming life? Must a posthuman materialism necessarily be lively? Recent contemporary new materialists— as part of their project to reclaim, among other things, the agency and activity of nonhumans—seem to suggest that, yes, a vitalist (Coole and Frost) or vibrant (Bennett) matter is necessary to think the posthuman. Coole and Frost in particular set their new, vital matter against the “dead” matter of Descartes, and imagine a matter that is not only alive (...)
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  33. Margaret Cavendish and Early Modern Scientific Experimentalism: ‘Boys that play with watery bubbles or fling dust into each other’s eyes, or make a hobbyhorse of snow’”.Marcy P. Lascano - 2020 - In Kristen Intemann & Sharon Crasnow (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Feminist Philosophy of Science. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 28-40.
    In the seventeenth century the new science was introduced through the works of Bacon, Hooke, Boyle, Power, and others. The advocates of the new science promised to divulge the inner workings of nature and to help man overcome his painful fallen state by means of controlling nature. The new sciences of mechanism and corpuscularism were to be based on objective experiments that would reveal the secret inner natures of minerals, vegetables, animals, the sun, moon, and stars. These experiments were done (...)
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  34. Cavendish and Boyle on Colour and Experimental Philosophy.Keith Allen - 2019 - In Alberto Vanzo & Peter R. Anstey (eds.), Experiment, Speculation and Religion in Early Modern Philosophy. New York: Routledge.
    Margaret Cavendish was a contemporary critic of the mechanistic theories of matter that came to dominate seventeenth-century thought and the proponent of a distinctive form of non-mechanistic materialism. Colour was a central issue both to the mechanistic theories of matter that Cavendish opposed and to the non-mechanistic alternative that she defended. This chapter considers the form of colour realism that Cavendish developed to complement her non-mechanistic materialism, and uses her criticisms of contemporary views of colour to try to better understand (...)
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  35. Informed by Sense and Reason: Margaret Cavendish's Theorizing About Perception.Deborah Boyle - 2019 - In Brian Glenney, José Filipe Silva, Jana Rosker, Susan Blake, Stephen H. Phillips, Katerina Ierodiakonou, Anna Marmodoro, Lukas Licka, Han Thomas Adriaenssen, Chris Meyns, Janet Levin, James Van Cleve, Deborah Boyle, Michael Madary, Josefa Toribio, Gabriele Ferretti, Clare Batty & Mark Paterson (eds.), The Senses and the History of Philosophy. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 231–48.
    One method Margaret Cavendish uses is something like inference to the best explanation, and so this may be what she mean by “regular sense and reason.” As Hobbes wrote in Leviathan: the cause of Sense, is the Externall Body, or object, which presseth the organ proper to each Sense, either immediatly, as in the Tast and Touch; or mediately, as in Seeing, Hearing, and Smelling. Before examining how Cavendish appeals to ordinary perceptual phenomena to argue that pressure model of perception (...)
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  36. Review of the Well-Ordered Universe. [REVIEW]Colin Chamberlain - 2019 - Hypatia Reviews Online.
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  37. The Well-Ordered Universe: The Philosophy of Margaret Cavendish by Deborah A. Boyle. [REVIEW]Stewart Duncan - 2019 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 57 (2):349-350.
    Deborah Boyle's book is a splendid addition to the literature on the philosophy of Margaret Cavendish. It provides an overview of Cavendish's philosophical work, from her panpsychist materialism, through her views about human motivation and general political philosophy, to views about gender, health, and humans' relation to the rest of the natural world. Boyle emphasizes themes of order and regularity, but does not argue that there is a strong systematic connection between Cavendish's views. Indeed, she makes a point of noting (...)
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  38. The Well-Ordered Universe: The Philosophy of Margaret Cavendish, by Deborah Boyle. [REVIEW]Marcy P. Lascano - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):260-268.
    The Well-Ordered Universe: The Philosophy of Margaret Cavendish, by BoyleDeborah. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. x + 273.
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  39. Experiment, Speculation and Religion in Early Modern Philosophy.Alberto Vanzo & Peter R. Anstey (eds.) - 2019 - New York: Routledge.
    Experimental philosophy was an exciting and extraordinarily successful development in the study of nature in the seventeenth century. Yet experimental philosophy was not without its critics and was far from the only natural philosophical method on the scene. In particular, experimental philosophy was contrasted with and set against speculative philosophy and, in some quarters, was accused of tending to irreligion. This volume brings together ten scholars of early modern philosophy, history and science in order to shed new light on the (...)
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  40. Review of Margaret Cavendish, Observations upon Experimental Philosophy, edited by Eugene Marshall. [REVIEW]Stewart Duncan - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (3):617-9.
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  41. Margaret Cavendish on the Order and Infinitude of Nature.Michael Bennett McNulty - 2018 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 35 (3):219-239.
    In this paper, I develop a new interpretation of the order of nature, its function, and its implications in Margaret Cavendish’s philosophy. According to the infinite balance account, the order of nature consists in a balance among the infinite varieties of nature. That is, for Cavendish, nature contains an infinity of different types of matter: infinite species, shapes, and motions. The potential tumult implicated by such a variety, however, is tempered by the counterbalancing of the different kinds and motions of (...)
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  42. Canonizing CavendishDavid Cunning. Cavendish. Abingdon: Routledge, 2016. Pp. 322. $145.00 ; $54.95.Alison Peterman - 2018 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 8 (1):191-197.
  43. Women, Liberty, and Forms of Feminism.Karen Detlefsen - 2017 - In Jacqueline Broad & Karen Detlefsen (eds.), Women and Liberty, 1600-1800: Philosophical Essays. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter shows how Mary Astell and Margaret Cavendish can reasonably be understood as early feminists in three senses of the term. First, they are committed to the natural equality of men and women, and related, they are committed to equal opportunity of education for men and women. Second, they are committed to social structures that help women develop authentic selves and thus autonomy understood in one sense of the word. Third, they acknowledge the power of production relationships, especially friendships (...)
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  44. Visual Perception as Patterning: Cavendish against Hobbes on Sensation.Marcus Adams - 2016 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 33 (3):193-214.
    Many of Margaret Cavendish’s criticisms of Thomas Hobbes in the Philosophical Letters (1664) relate to the disorder and damage that she holds would result if Hobbesian pressure were the cause of visual perception. In this paper, I argue that her “two men” thought experiment in Letter IV is aimed at a different goal: to show the explanatory potency of her account. First, I connect Cavendish’s view of visual perception as “patterning” to the “two men” thought experiment in Letter IV. Second, (...)
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  45. Cavendish.David Cunning - 2016 - New York: Routledge.
    Margaret Cavendish was a philosopher, poet, scientist, novelist, and playwright of the seventeenth century. Her work is important for a number of reasons. It presents an early and compelling version of the naturalism that is found in current-day philosophy; it offers important insights that bear on recent discussions of the nature and characteristics of intelligence and the question of whether or not the bodies that surround us are intelligent or have an intelligent cause; it anticipates some of the central views (...)
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  46. Brandie R. Siegfried; Lisa T. Sarasohn . God and Nature in the Thought of Margaret Cavendish. xvi + 257 pp., illus., app., bibl., index. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2014. £65. [REVIEW]Sarah Hutton - 2016 - Isis 107 (1):168-170.
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  47. Observations Upon Experimental Philosophy, Abridged: With Related Texts.Eugene Marshall (ed.) - 2016 - Hackett Publishing Company.
    "Margaret Cavendish's philosophical work is at last taking its rightful place in the history of seventeenth-century thought, but her writings are so voluminous and wide-ranging that introducing her work to students has been difficult—at least until this volume came along. This carefully edited abridgment of _Observations upon Experimental Philosophy_ will be indispensable for making Cavendish's fascinating ideas accessible to students. Marshall's Introduction provides a helpful overview of themes in Cavendish's natural philosophy, and the footnotes contain useful background information about some (...)
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  48. ‘Exploding’ immaterial substances: Margaret Cavendish’s vitalist-materialist critique of spirits.Emma Wilkins - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (5):858-877.
    ABSTRACTIn this paper, I explore Margaret Cavendish’s engagement with mid-seventeenth-century debates on spirits and spiritual activity in the world, especially the problems of incorporeal substance and magnetism. I argue that between 1664 and 1668, Cavendish developed an increasingly robust form of materialism in response to the deficiencies which she identified in alternative philosophical systems – principally mechanical philosophy and vitalism. This was an intriguing direction of travel, given the intensification in attacks on the supposedly atheistic materialism of Hobbes. While some (...)
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  49. Margaret Cavendish on Perception, Self‐Knowledge, and Probable Opinion.Deborah Boyle - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (7):438-450.
    Scholarly interest in Margaret Cavendish's philosophical views has steadily increased over the past decade, but her epistemology has received little attention, and no consensus has emerged; Cavendish has been characterized as a skeptic, as a rationalist, as presenting an alternative epistemology to both rationalism and empiricism, and even as presenting no clear theory of knowledge at all. This paper concludes that Cavendish was only a modest skeptic, for she believed that humans can achieve knowledge through sensitive and rational perception as (...)
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  50. ‘Two Opposite Things Placed Near Each Other, are the Better Discerned’: Philosophical Readings of Cavendish's Literary Output.Carlos Santana - 2015 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (2):297-317.
    Seventeenth-century philosopher Margaret Cavendish wrote not only several philosophical treatises, but also many fictional works. I argue for taking the latter as serious objects of study for historians of philosophy, and sketch a method for doing so. Cavendish's fiction is full of conflicting viewpoints, and many authors have argued that this demonstrates that she did not intend her literary works to serve serious philosophical purpose. But if we consider philosophers more central to the canon, such as Plato or Kierkegaard, who (...)
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