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Anne Conway and her Circle on Monads

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalJOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 24 Oct 2019

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Abstract

The goal of this article is to counter a belief, still widely held in the secondary literature, that Anne Conway espoused a theory of monads. By exploring her views on the divisibility of both bodies and spirits, I argue that monads could not possibly exist in her system. In addition, by offering new evidence about the Latin translation of Conway’s Principles, and the possible authorship of its annotations, I argue that she never even suggested that there could be such things as monads. Alongside this, I explore the theories of monads that did get developed by the philosophers closest to Conway—Henry More, Francis Mercury van Helmont, and Christian Knorr von Rosenroth—thereby further underlining Conway’s originality and philosophical daring.

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