Women Philosophers of Seventeenth-Century England: Selected Correspondence

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This volume is an edited collection of private letters and published epistles to and from English women philosophers of the early modern period (c. 1650–1700). It includes the letters and epistles of Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, Damaris Cudworth Masham, and Elizabeth Berkeley Burnet. These women were the correspondents of some of the best-known intellectuals of the period, including Constantijn Huygens, Walter Charleton, Henry More, Joseph Glanvill, John Locke, Jean Le Clerc, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Their epistolary exchanges range over a wide variety of philosophical subjects, from religion, moral theology, and ethics to epistemology, metaphysics, and natural philosophy. The volume includes a main introduction by the editor, which explains the significance of the letters and epistles with respect to early modern scholarship and the study of women philosophers. It is argued that this selection of texts demonstrates the intensely collaborative and gender-inclusive nature of philosophical discussion in this period. To help situate each woman’s thought in its historical-intellectual context, the volume also includes original introductory essays for each principal figure, showing how her correspondences contributed to the formation of her own views as well as those of her better-known male contemporaries. The text also provides detailed scholarly annotations, explaining obscure philosophical ideas and archaic words and phrases in the letters and epistles. Among its critical apparatus, the volume also includes a note on the texts, a bibliography, and an index.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford UK
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages296
ISBN (Electronic)9780190673352, 9780190673345, 9780190673369, 2019980179
ISBN (Print)9780190673321, 2019001330
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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