Journal of the History of Philosophy 44 (1):122-124 (2006)

Eileen O'Neill
Last affiliation: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Eileen O'Neill - Anne Conway: A Woman Philosopher - Journal of the History of Philosophy 44:1 Journal of the History of Philosophy 44.1 122-124 Sarah Hutton. Anne Conway: A Woman Philosopher. Cambridge-New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Pp. viii + 271. Cloth, $75.00. In 1690 a Latin translation of a philosophical treatise, originally written in English by Anne Conway , was published anonymously. The English manuscript did not survive, but in 1692 the Latin version of Conway's text was translated into English as The Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy. Conway was widely known by seventeenth-century philosophers and religious writers, including the Cambridge Platonist, Henry More; Descartes's correspondent, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia; Robert Boyle; physician and vitalist philosopher, Francis Mercury van Helmont; as well as numerous Quaker leaders. And her Principles were read with critical approbation by such figures as Leibniz. Further, Conway's text is probably the most anthologized of the writings of seventeenth-century women philosophers. It is curious, then, to discover a dearth of critical literature on the Principles. When Peter Loptson produced the first modern edition of the Principles , he attempted to interest contemporary philosophers in Conway's essentialist metaphysics. He did a superb job of elucidating Conway's position that: there are individual essences..
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DOI 10.1353/hph.2006.0002
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