Cavendish

Resources

I have posted some resources related to Margaret Cavendish’s Philosophical Letters.

The Letters in the Philosophical Letters. This document gives some information about the letters that make up Margaret Cavendish’s Philosophical Letters (London, 1664). The descriptions of each letter are in a small number of categories: number, topic, reference, and note.

Some of the Philosophical Letters. This page presents a handful of the letters in Margaret Cavendish’s 1664 Philosophical Letters. They are letters 1, 4, 30, 35, and 36 of part 1.

Philosophical Letters, 1.1-29 (pdf). This is a modernized version of the early part of Margaret Cavendish’s 1664 Philosophical Letters: the front matter, and the first 29 letters in part 1. Most of those letters (4-29) discuss the work of Thomas Hobbes. The text has been modernized in its spelling, use of capital letters, and use of italics. Few changes have been made to Cavendish’s punctuation, the main one being to add apostrophes indicating possession.

Conference papers

Margaret Cavendish, Environmental Ethics, and Panpsychism. Paper presented at the New Narratives in Philosophy conference at Duke University in April 2016.

Minds Everywhere: Margaret Cavendish’s Anti-Mechanist Materialism. 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 of particular phenomena, but also a broader disagreement over what to take as one’s most basic causal model.