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Women Philosophers of Seventeenth-Century EnglandSelected Correspondence$
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Jacqueline Broad

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190673321

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190673321.001.0001

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Anne Conway (1631–79)

Anne Conway (1631–79)

(p.80) 2 Anne Conway (1631–79)
Women Philosophers of Seventeenth-Century England
Jacqueline Broad
Oxford University Press

This chapter contains selected letters from the correspondence of Anne, Viscountess Conway, and the Cambridge Platonist and philosopher-theologian Henry More. The letters span the period from 1650 to 1653 and are mainly focused on ideas in René Descartes’s Principles of Philosophy and More’s Philosophicall Poems. Their exchange covers such topics as the ontological argument for the existence of God, the Cartesian method of doubt, Cartesian cosmology, and the nature of soul and body. The letters show Conway engaging in critical appraisals of both More and Descartes’s metaphysical assumptions. The chapter begins with an introductory essay by the editor, situating the correspondence in the context of More’s and Conway’s mature philosophical views. It is argued that these letters foreshadow Conway’s later interest in issues to do with the nature of substance and God. The correspondence includes editorial annotations, to assist the reader’s understanding of early modern terms and ideas.

Keywords:   Anne Conway, Henry More, René Descartes, soul and body, method of doubt, ontological argument, God, substance

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