This collection of essays presents new work on women’s contribution to philosophy between the Renaissance and the mid-eighteenth century. They bring a new perspective to the history of philosophy, by highlighting women’s contributions to philosophy and testifying to the rich history of women’s thought in this period.
By showing that women were active in many branches of philosophy (metaphysics, science, political philosophy cosmology, ontology, epistemology) the book testifies to the rich history of women’s thought across Europe in this period. The scope of the collection is international, both in terms of the philosophers represented and the contributors themselves from Britain and North America, but also from continental Europe and from as far afield as Australia and Brazil. The philosophers discussed here include both figures who have recently come to be better known (Elisabeth of Bohemia, Anne Conway, Mary Astell, Catharine Trotter Cockburn, Emilie du Châtelet), and less familiar figures (Moderata Fonte, Lucrezia Marinella Arcangela Tarabotti, Tullia d’Aragona, Madame Deshoulières, Madame de Sablé, Angélique de Saint-Jean Arnauld d’Andilly, Oliva Sabuco, Susanna Newcome).
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the British Journal for the History of Philosophy.
Table of Contents
Introduction: New Perspectives on Women Philosophers
Ruth Hagengruber and Sarah Hutton
1. Women, philosophy and the history of philosophy
2. Leone Ebreo in Tullia d’Aragona’s Dialogo. Between Varchi’s legacy and philosophical autonomy
3. Patriarchal power as unjust: tyranny in seventeenth-century Venice
4. Oliva Sabuco de Nantes and her Nueva Filosofia: a new philosophy of human nature and the interaction between mind and body
5. Elisabeth of Bohemia's Neo-Peripatetic account of the emotions
6. Monism and individuation in Anne Conway as a critique of Spinoza
7. Tutor, salon, convent: the formation of women philosophers in early modern France
John Joseph Conley
8. Mary Astell’s critique of Pierre Bayle: atheism and intellectual integrity in the Pensées (1682)
9. On some footnotes to Catharine Trotter Cockburn’s Defence of the Essay of Human Understanding
10. Susanna Newcome's cosmological argument
Patrick J. Connolly
11. ‘Mon petit essai’: Émilie du Châtelet’s Essai sur l’optique and her early natural philosophy
Ruth Edith Hagengruber is Professor at Paderborn University, Germany, where she is Director of the Centre for the History of Women Philosophers. Her research is dedicated to uncovering the contributions of women in the history of philosophy and focusses among others on the work of Émilie Du Châtelet, with publications such as Émilie Du Châtelet between Leibniz and Newton.
Sarah Hutton is Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of York, UK. She has pioneered research on women in the history of science and philosophy. Her publications include Anne Conway. A Woman Philosopher; Women, Science and Medicine (co-editor Lynette Hunter); and British Philosophy in the Seventeenth-Century. She is President of the International Society for Intellectual History.