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The Well-Ordered UniverseThe Philosophy of Margaret Cavendish$
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Deborah Boyle

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190234805

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190234805.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 January 2020

Human Nature and the Desire for Fame

Human Nature and the Desire for Fame

Chapter:
(p.118) Chapter 5 Human Nature and the Desire for Fame
Source:
The Well-Ordered Universe
Author(s):

Deborah Boyle

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190234805.003.0006

This chapter explores Cavendish’s pessimistic account of human nature and social relationships. For Cavendish, there is an important disanalogy between humans and other parts of the natural world: humans possess a desire for fame. Juxtaposing her view with Hobbes’s views, this chapter argues that Cavendish distinguishes two forms of self-love as well as two types of desire for recognition to which that self-love can give rise. Pure self-love gives rise to the desire to be recognized for good deeds, or “fame.” Corrupted self-love simply pursues public recognition by any means, even vice; Cavendish calls this “infamy.” The chapter considers Cavendish’s views about the soul and immortality and argues that Cavendish thought fame provides humans with a kind of afterlife. It ends with a discussion of her account of virtue and how she thought humans can become virtuous.

Keywords:   human society, human nature, self-preservation, self-love, fame, infamy, soul, afterlife, virtue, Hobbes

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