Margaret Cavendish on the relation between God and world

Philosophy Compass 4 (3):421-438 (2009)
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Abstract

It has often been noted that Margaret Cavendish discusses God in her writings on natural philosophy far more than one might think she ought to given her explicit claim that a study of God belongs to theology which is to be kept strictly separate from studies in natural philosophy. In this article, I examine one way in which God enters substantially into her natural philosophy, namely the role he plays in her particular version of teleology. I conclude that, while Cavendish has some resources with which to partially alleviate this tension, she is nonetheless left with a significant difficulty.

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Karen Detlefsen
University of Pennsylvania

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