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  1. 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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  • Motion as an Accident of Matter: Margaret Cavendish and Thomas Hobbes on Motion and Rest.Marcus P. Adams - 2021 - Wiley: The 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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  • 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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  • Cartesian Clarity.Elliot Samuel Paul - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (19):1-28.
    Clear and distinct perception is the centrepiece of Descartes’s philosophy — it is the source of all certainty — but what does he mean by ‘clear’ and ‘distinct’? According to the prevailing approach, what it means for a perception to be clear is that its content has a certain objective property, like truth. I argue instead that clarity is at least partly a subjective, phenomenal quality whereby a content is presented as true to the perceiving subject. Clarity comes in degrees. (...)
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  • Cavendish's Aesthetic Realism.Daniel Whiting - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    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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  • Descartes' God is a Deceiver, and That's OK.Joseph Gottlieb & Saja Parvizian - manuscript
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  • Scientia, Diachronic Certainty, and Virtue.Saja Parvizian - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):9165-9192.
    In the Fifth Meditation Descartes considers the problem of knowledge preservation : the challenge of accounting for the diachronic certainty of perfect knowledge [scientia]. There are two general solutions to PKP in the literature: the regeneration solution and the infallible memory solution. While both readings pick up on features of Descartes’ considered view, I argue that they ultimately fall short. Salvaging pieces from both readings and drawing from Descartes’ virtue theory, I argue on textual and systematic grounds for a dispositionalist (...)
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