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Grounds of Natural Philosophy

Margaret Cavendish (author) Anne M. Thell (editor)

ISBN: 9781554813872

Publication Date: Mar 2020

Format: Paperback

In recent years, academic interest in Margaret Cavendish has greatly increased as scholars from across the humanities strive to outline her contributions to seventeenth-century debates about natural philosophy. This edition aims to make her most mature and important work more accessible to students and scholars of the period.
£19.50

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  • Full Description
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  • Table of Contents
  • Author Biography
  • Customer Reviews
In recent years, academic interest in Margaret Cavendish has greatly increased as scholars from across the humanities strive to outline her contributions to seventeenth-century debates about natural philosophy. This edition aims to make her most mature and important work more accessible to students and scholars of the period. Grounds of Natural Philosophy is important not only because it is Cavendish's final articulation of her metaphysics, but also because it succinctly outlines her fundamental views on ‘the nature of nature'–or the base substance and mechanics of all natural matter–and vividly demonstrates her probabilistic approach to philosophical enquiry. Moreover, Grounds spends considerable time discussing the human body, including the functions of the mind, a topic of growing interest to both historians of philosophy and literary scholars. This Broadview Edition opens to modern readers a vibrant, unique, and provocative voice of the past that challenges our standard view of seventeenth-century English philosophy.

Key Features
  • The only existing print edition of Cavendish's most mature philosophical text.
  • Grounds is important to Cavendish's oeuvre, not only because it is the final statement of her metaphysics but also because it demonstrates how Cavendish's philosophical thought evolved over time.
  • Thematically broad, Grounds discusses, among other things, health and the human body, perception, motion, materialism, and the mind – topics that connect with other works in early modern philosophy and with the philosophical concerns of today.
  • Cavendish is one of the few early modern women who wrote and published extensively in philosophy and who dared to publically dispute major issues with her more famous
  • contemporaries; her work offers a vital and alternative voice to the male-dominated realm of seventeenth-century natural philosophy.
  • A substantial introduction to this edition places Cavendish within her philosophical context while also outlining her career, surveying recent critical debates, and explaining some of the most important philosophical aspects of the text.
  • Appendices include excerpts from Cavendish's other major philosophical treatise, Observations upon Experimental Philosophy, as well as relevant selections of correspondence and excerpts from contemporaneous works of philosophy.

Reviews

"This modern edition of Cavendish's mature natural philosophy–Grounds of Natural Philosophy–is a welcomed addition to the growing body of her works receiving contemporary treatment. Professor Thell's superb introduction will provide the necessary context for the novice reader to appreciate Cavendish's complex and innovative thought, and it is a delight to read for the seasoned Cavendish scholar as well. Especially impressive is Professor Thell's drawing on literary theory, history of science, and philosophy to best elucidate the nuances and richness of Cavendish's work." – Karen Detlefsen, University of Pennsylvania

"This superbly edited volume presents Cavendish's most mature philosophical work in all its glorious detail. Scholarly, historical, and deeply informative, Anne M. Thell's edition promises to enrich Cavendish studies for many years to come. It will attract both old and new readers alike and enhance their appreciation of this wonderfully unique contribution to seventeenth-century philosophy." – Jacqueline Broad, Monash University

Pages 264
Dimensions 216 x 140
Date Published 30 Mar 2020
Publisher Broadview Press
Subject/s Philosophy   Western philosophy, from c 1900 -   Philosophy: metaphysics & ontology  
  • Appendix A: Cavendish Correspondence
  • 1. Correspondence with Joseph Glanvill
  • i. Joseph Glanvill to Cavendish, 13 October 1667
  • 2. Correspondence between Cavendish and Constantijn Huygens
  • i. Huygens to Cavendish, 12 March 1657
  • ii. Cavendish to Huygens, 20 March 1657
  • iii. Huygens to Cavendish, 27 March 1657
  • iv. Cavendish to Huygens, 30 March 1657
  • v. Cavendish to Huygens, 27 October 1658
  • vi. Huygens to Cavendish, 28 November 1658
  • Appendix B: Selections from Observations upon Experimental Philosophy
  • 1. Book I, Chapter XXXV. Of Knowledg and Perception in general
  • Appendix C: Selections from Contemporary Philosophers
  • 1. Henry More, A Collection Of Several Philosophical Writings of Dr. Henry More
  • 2. Jan Baptist van Helmont, Oriatrike
Anne M. Thell is Assistant Professor of English Language and Literature at the National University of Singapore.

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