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Margaret Cavendish's Epistemology

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Abstract:

This paper provides a systematic reconstruction of Cavendish's general epistemology and a characterization of the fundamental role of that theory in her natural philosophy. After reviewing the outlines of her natural philosophy, I describe her treatment of 'exterior knowledge', i.e. of perception in general and of sense perception in particular. I then describe her treatment of 'interior knowledge', i.e. of self-knowledge and 'conception'. I conclude by drawing out some implications of this reconstruction for our developing understanding of Cavendish's natural philosophy.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09608780802548259

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts,

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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