Authors
Marcus P. Adams
State University of New York, Albany
Abstract
Margaret Cavendish is widely known as a materialist. However, since Cavendishian matter is always in motion, “matter” and “motion” are equally important foundational concepts for her natural philosophy. In Philosophical Letters (1664), she takes to task her materialist rival Thomas Hobbes by assaulting his account of accidents in general and his concept of “rest” in particular. In this article, I argue that Cavendish defends her continuous-motion view in two ways: first, she claims that her account avoids seeing accidents as capable of generation and annihilation, which she argues is inconceivable; and second, she contends that according to Hobbes’s own view “rest” is an absurd conception since it cannot be drawn from experience. Beyond its function as a defense, I claim that Cavendish’s focused criticism of “rest” shows that she is a perceptive reader of Hobbes’s natural philosophy, insofar as her criticisms undercut the two a priori principles of Hobbesian physics. Finally, I show how her views developed in more detail in Philosophical and Physical Opinions (1663) and Observations upon Experimental Philosophy ([1666] 2001) avoid the worries she raises for Hobbesian materialism.
Keywords Margaret Cavendish  Thomas Hobbes  Motion  Rest  Accident  Properties
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2021
DOI 10.1111/sjp.12434
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,008
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Reason and Freedom: Margaret Cavendish on the Order and Disorder of Nature.Karen Detlefsen - 2007 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 89 (2):157-191.
Debating Materialism: Cavendish, Hobbes, and More.Stewart Duncan - 2012 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 29 (4):391-409.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Margaret Cavendish on Motion and Mereology.Alison Peterman - 2019 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 57 (3):471-499.
Margaret Cavendish and Thomas Hobbes on Freedom, Education, and Women.Karen Detlefsen - 2012 - In Nancy J. Hirschmann & Joanne H. Wright (eds.), Feminist Interpretations of Thomas Hobbes. The Pennsylvania State University Press. pp. 149-168.
Debating Materialism: Cavendish, Hobbes, and More.Stewart Duncan - 2012 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 29 (4):391-409.
Cavendish, Margaret.Eugene Marshall - 2014 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Galileo, Hobbes, and the Book of Nature.Douglas Michael Jesseph - 2004 - Perspectives on Science 12 (2):191-211.
Starting and Stopping.C. L. Hamblin - 1969 - The Monist 53 (3):410-425.
Freedom as Motion: Thomas Hobbes and the Images of Liberalism.Leslie D. Feldman - 1997 - Journal of Philosophical Research 22:229-243.
Freedom as Motion: Thomas Hobbes and the Images of Liberalism.Leslie D. Feldman - 1997 - Journal of Philosophical Research 22:229-243.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2021-08-05

Total views
27 ( #422,941 of 2,505,176 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
10 ( #73,877 of 2,505,176 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes