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  1. Animal Life and Mind in Hobbes’s Philosophy of Nature.Emre Ebetürk - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (4):69.
    This paper explores Thomas Hobbes’s account of animal life and mind. After a critical examination of Hobbes’s mechanistic explanation of operations of the mind such as perception and memory, I argue that his theory derives its strength from his idea of the dynamic interaction of the body with its surroundings. This dynamic interaction allows Hobbes to maintain that the purposive disposition of the animal is not merely an upshot of its material configuration, but an expression of its distinctive bodily history. (...)
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  • Part of Nature and Division in Margaret Cavendish’s Materialism.Jonathan Shaheen - 2019 - Synthese 196 (9):3551-3575.
    This paper pursues a question about the spatial relations between the three types of matter posited in Margaret Cavendish’s metaphysics. It examines the doctrine of complete blending and a distinctive argument against atomism, looking for grounds on which Cavendish can reject the existence of spatial regions composed of only one or two types of matter. It establishes, through that examination, that Cavendish operates with a causal conception of parts of nature and a dynamic notion of division. While the possibility of (...)
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  • Minds Everywhere: Margaret Cavendish's Anti-Mechanist Materialism.Stewart Duncan - manuscript
    This paper considers Margaret Cavendish's distinctive anti-mechanist materialism, focusing on her 1664 Philosophical Letters, in which she discusses the views of Hobbes, Descartes, and More, among others. The paper examines Cavendish's views about natural, material souls: the soul of nature, the souls of finite individuals, and the relation between them. After briefly digressing to look at Cavendish's views about divine, supernatural souls, the paper then turns to the reasons for Cavendish's disagreement with mechanist accounts. There are disagreements over the explanation (...)
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  • Visual Perception as Patterning: Cavendish Against Hobbes on Sensation.Marcus P. 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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  • Color in a Material World: Margaret Cavendish Against the Early Modern Mechanists.Colin Chamberlain - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (3):293-336.
    Consider the distinctive qualitative property grass visually appears to have when it visually appears to be green. This property is an example of what I call sensuous color. Whereas early modern mechanists typically argue that bodies are not sensuously colored, Margaret Cavendish disagrees. In cases of veridical perception, she holds that grass is green in precisely the way it visually appears to be. In defense of her realist approach to sensuous colors, Cavendish argues that it is impossible to conceive of (...)
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  • Varieties of Early Modern Materialism.Falk Wunderlich - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (5):797-813.
    ABSTRACTThis paper discusses how early modern materialism can be defined and delineated, before turning to a brief survey of the main philosophical resources early modern materialist theories draw on. Subsequently, I discuss competing overall narratives concerning early modern materialism, and conclude with a defence of the controversial view that material soul theories belong to materialism proper.
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  • ‘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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  • “The Minde is Matter Moved”: Nehemiah Grew on Margaret Cavendish.Justin Begley - 2017 - Intellectual History Review 27 (4):493-514.
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  • 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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