Meeting 20

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DATE: Tuesday, November 24

TIME: 1 PM Princeton time (EST) / 8 PM Bucharest time (GMT+2)

PANEL : The Philosophy of Anne Conway

SPEAKERS: Jonathan Head (Keele University), Jasper Reid (King’s College London) & Natalia Strok (University of Buenos Aires – CONICET)


Jonathan Head:

Much of the recent scholarship on the philosophy of Anne Conway has focused on the nature of her metaphysical monism. In this talk, after clarifying the terms of the debate, I am going to argue for a ‘type monist’ interpretation, according to which Conway postulates an infinite number of created substances. In addition to offering arguments in favour of my interpretation, I will also critique competing ‘existence monist’ and other middle-ground interpretations that have been offered in the literature.

Jasper Reid:

In my talk, I intend to discuss Conway in relation to the Lurianic kabbalah. I shall begin by examining the extent of Conway’s acquaintance with kabbalistic literature: which texts did she probably did know, and which would have been unavailable to her? I shall then consider the use she made of certain kabbalistic concepts, but also warn against the danger of seeing more kabbalah in her work than is really there.

Natalia Strok:

In this talk I would like to explore the concept of natural justice that Conway addresses in her Principia Philosophiae. I want to show that, although everything is reunited in one essence in the third kind of substance in her metaphysics, there is a distinction between nature, in general, and human nature, in particular. She presents a hierarchy of beings that has human nature as the principal one, and a framework of transmutations, that tends toward good, in spite of the possibility of going toward bad. I will pay attention to the mechanism of transmutations that Conway presents and the punishments to the sinful nature, as divine justice. 

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