1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Women and Early Modern European Philosophy

Edited By Karen Detlefsen, Lisa Shapiro Copyright 2023

    The Routledge Handbook of Women and Early Modern European Philosophy is an outstanding reference source for the wide range of philosophical contributions made by women writing in Europe from about 1560 to 1780. It shows the range of genres and methods used by women writing in these centuries in Europe, thus encouraging an expanded understanding of our historical canon. Comprising 46 chapters by a team of contributors from all over the globe, including early career researchers, the Handbook is divided into the following sections:

    I. Context
    II. Themes
         A. Metaphysics and Epistemology
         B. Natural Philosophy
         C. Moral Philosophy
         D. Social-Political Philosophy
    III. Figures
    IV. State of the Field

    The volume is essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy who are interested in expanding their understanding of the richness of our philosophical past, including in order to offer expanded, more inclusive syllabi for their students. It is also a valuable resource for those in related fields like gender and women’s studies; history; literature; sociology; history and philosophy of science; and political science.

    1 Introduction
    Karen Detlefsen and Lisa Shapiro

    PART I

    2 Women and Institutions in Early Modern Europe: Making Space for Female Scholarship
    Carol Pal

    3 Canon, Gender, and Historiography
    Lisa Shapiro

    4 Method, Genre, and the Scope of Philosophy
    Karen Detlefsen


    Section A: Metaphysics and Epistemology

    5 God, Freedom, and Perfection in Conway, Astell, and du Châtelet
    Marcy P. Lascano

    6 Vitalistic Causation: More, Conway, Cavendish
    Tad M. Schmaltz

    7 It’s All Alive! Cavendish and Conway against Dualism
    Marleen Rozemond and Alison Simmons

    8 Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, and Catharine Cockburn on Matter
    Emily Thomas

    9 Skepticism
    Martina Reuter

    10 Ways of Knowing
    David Cunning

    Section B: Natural Philosophy

    11 Space and Time
    Geoffrey Gorham

    12 Method and Explanation
    Anne-Lise Rey

    13 Physics and Optics: Agnesi, Bassi, Du Châtelet
    Bryce Gessell and Andrew Janiak

    14 Women, Medicine, and the Life Sciences
    Gideon Manning

    15 Theories of Perception
    Louise Daoust

    Section C: Moral Philosophy

    16 Early Modern Women and the Metaphysics of Free Will
    Deborah Boyle

    17 Friendship as a Means to Freedom
    Allauren Samantha Forbes

    18 Managing Mockery: Reason, Passions and the Good Life among Early Modern Women Philosophers
    Amy M. Schmitter

    19 Virtue and Moral Obligation
    Sandrine Bergès

    20 Men, Women, Equality, and Difference
    Marguerite Deslauriers

    Section D: Social-Political Philosophy

    21 Autonomy and Marriage
    Kelin Emmett

    22 Slavery and Servitude in Seventeenth-Century Feminism: Arcangela Tarabotti and Gabrielle Suchon
    Hasana Sharp

    23 Race and Gender in Early Modern Philosophy: How Amo and Astell Wrote behind the Veil
    Margaret Watkins

    24 Early Modern European Women and the Philosophy of Education: Van Schurman, Pascal, Maintenon and Astell
    Michaela Manson

    25 Critical Perspectives on Religion
    Charlotte Sabourin

    26 Beauty, Gender, and Power from Marinelli to Wollstonecraft
    Patrick Ball

    27 Theories of the State
    Alan M. S. J. Coffee


    28 Italian Women Philosophers in the Sixteenth Century: From a Critique of the Aristotelian Gender Paradigm to an Affirmation of the Excellence of Women
    Sandra Plastina

    29 Teresa de Ávila on Self-Knowledge
    Jorge Secada

    30 (Self-)Portraits between Two Gowns: Marie de Gournay
    Marie-Frédérique Pellegrin

    31 Madeleine de Scudéry: Moral Philosophy in a Gendered Key
    John J. Conley, S.J.

    32 The Unorthodox Margaret Cavendish
    Tom Stoneham and Peter West

    33 Anne Conway
    Christia Mercer and Olivia Branscum

    34 Gabrielle Suchon on Women’s Freedom
    Julie Walsh

    35 The Socratic Pedagogy of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
    Adriana Clavel-Vázquez and Sergio Armando Gallegos-Ordorica

    36 Mary Astell (1666–1731)
    Jacqueline Broad

    37 Damaris Masham and Catharine Trotter Cockburn: Agency, Virtue, and Fitness in their Moral Philosophies
    Patricia Sheridan

    38 Du Châtelet and the Philosophy of Physics
    Katherine Brading

    39 The Real Consequences of Imaginary Things: Louise Dupin’s Critique of Sexist Historiography
    Sonja Ruud and Rebecca Wilkin

    40 Catharine Macaulay’s Philosophy and Her Influence on Mary Wollstonecraft
    Karen Green

    41 Phillis Wheatley and the Limits of the History of Philosophy
    Aaron Garrett

    42 Mary Wollstonecraft
    Lena Halldenius

    43 Remorse and Moral Progress in Sophie de Grouchy’s Letters on Sympathy
    Getty L. Lustila

    44 Mary Shepherd (1777–1847)
    Antonia LoLordo

    45 Women and Philosophy in the German Context
    Corey W. Dyck

    State of the Field

    46 What Difference? The Renaissance of Women Philosophers
    Sarah Hutton


    Karen Detlefsen is Vice Provost for Education and Professor of Philosophy and Education at the University of Pennsylvania. She is editor of Descartes' Meditations: A Critical Guide (2013) and co-editor with Jacqueline Broad of Women and Liberty, 1600-1800: Philosophical Essays (2017).

    Lisa Shapiro is Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Arts at McGill University. From 2002 to 2022, she was professor in the Department of Philosophy at Simon Fraser University. She is translator and editor of The Correspondence of Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes (2007), co-editor of Emotions and Cognitive Life in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy (2013), editor of Pleasure: A History (2018), and co-editor of Modern Philosophy: An Anthology (2022).