Philosophical Explorations (1):1-16 (2018)

Abstract
The category of sympathy marks a number of basic divisions in early modern approaches to action explanations, whether for human agency or for change in the wider natural world. Some authors were critical of using sympathy to explain change. They call such principles “unintelligible” or assume they involve “mysterious” action at a distance. Others, including Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, appeal to sympathy to capture natural phenomena, or to supply a backbone to their metaphysics. Here I discuss how concerns about sympathetic actions form at least a partial background for differing seventeenth-century conceptions of what it is to explain action. I argue that critics of sympathy generally insist on an “atomistic” approach to action explanation, which makes primitively relational phenomena come out as problematic. Proponents of sympathy, by contrast, allow for a more holistic approach to action explanation, which allows for such basic connections. Hence, divergent attitudes toward sympathetic action in part explain differences in approaches to explanation. I conclude by showing how some of these core concerns fade into the background when in the eighteenth-century sympathy gets psychologised and individualised.
Keywords sympathy  sympathetic action  action explanation  natural explanation  early modern philosophy  Margaret Cavendish  Anne Conway  Gottfried Leibniz  Adam Smith
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2018
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1080/13869795.2017.1421691
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Dover Publications.
A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Anne Conway Og Materiens Åndsliv.Hege Dypedokk Johnsen - 2018 - Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift 53 (2-03):92-104.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Nature of Body.Dana Jalobeanu - 2013 - In Peter R. Anstey (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century. Oxford University Press. pp. 213.
Catholic Natural Law and Business Ethics.Manuel Velasquez - 2001 - Spiritual Goods 2001:107-140.
Natural Law and Business Ethics.F. Neil Brady - 1997 - Business Ethics Quarterly 7 (2):83-107.
Early Modern Natural Theologies.Scott Mandelbrote - 2013 - In J. H. Brooke, F. Watts & R. R. Manning (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Natural Theology. Oxford Up. pp. 75.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-01-15

Total views
2,165 ( #1,361 of 2,425,461 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
347 ( #1,142 of 2,425,461 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes