Archive for February, 2014

The errors of the naturalists

Following on, in a way, from Lewis’s post, here’s something from Henry More’s Philosophical Poems.

This is that awfull cell where Naturalists

Brood deep opinion, as themselves conceit;

This Errours den where in a magick mist

Men hatch their own delusion and deceit,

And grasp vain shows. Here their bold brains they beat,

And dig full deep, as deep as Hyle‘s hell,

Unbare the root of life (O searching wit!)

But root of life in Hyles shade no’te dwell.

For God’s the root of all, as I elsewhere shall tell.

This is the stupid state of drooping soul,

That loves the body and false forms admires;

Slave to base sense, fierce ‘gainst reasons controul,

That still it self with lower lust bemires;

That nought believeth and much lesse desires

Things of that unseen world and inward life,

Nor unto height of purer truth aspires:

But cowardly declines the noble strife

‘Gainst vice and ignorance; so gets it no relief.

From “PSYCHATHANASIA OR The second part of the Song of the SOUL, Treating Of the Immortality of Souls, especially MANS SOUL”.

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My university’s library has a facsimile edition of Cavendish’s “Poems and Fancies”,which I checked out and am occasionally reading through a bit,

So I thought I’d periodically share some of her verse.  I have left her spelling as it is in the facsimile edition, but I updated the medial ‘s’ for greater legibility:

Motion is the Life of all Things

As darknesse a privation is of Light;

That’s when the Opticke Nerve is stopt from Light:

So Death is even a cessation in

Those Formes, and Bodies, wherein Motions spin.

As Light can only shine but in the Eye,

So Life doth only in a Motion lye.

Thus Life is out, when Motion leaves to bee,

Like to an Eye that’s shut, no Light can see.

Of Vacuum

Some thinke the World would fall, and not hang so,

If it had any empty place to go.

One cannot thinke that Vacuum is so vast,

That the great World might in that Gulfe be cast.

But Vacuum like is to the Porous Skyn,

Where Vapour goeth out and Aire takes in:

And though that Vapour fills those places small,

We cannot thinke, but first were empty all:

For were they all first full, they could not make

Roome for succession, their places for to take.

But as those Atomes passe, and repasse through,

Yet still in empty places must they go.

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Conference image

For those of you interested in attending the conference, I have now put up some basic information about registration on the conference’s website:

Registration is required, but free of charge. Breakfast, lunch, and coffee will be provided to all registered attendees. Attendees who are not participating in the conference are welcome to join for conference dinners, but the conference may not be able to cover the cost of dinners for non-participants.

Session Chairs are still needed for the conference. If you are volunteering to chair a session, please indicate whether your home institution’s funding rules require your name to appear on the conference program.

Rooms at a nearby hotel have been reserved at a special rate for conference attendees. Hotel details will be provided with registration confirmation.

To register, e-mail J. Neil Otte (jeffotte@buffalo.edu).

It is my unbiased and objective opinion that this will be the greatest conference in the history of humankind, so you should attend if you can!

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Women of Philosophy Site

Though this isn’t strictly related to Modern Philosophy, it seems like something that people in every subfield should be aware of.


According to the site:

This website is devoted to collecting information about women currently working in philosophy around the globe. This list includes any woman with a Ph.D. in philosophy (regardless of location) who (1) has a job researching or teaching philosophy, (2) previously had a job in philosophy and is still active in philosophy, or (3) has published an article in a philosophy journal or a book in a philosophy list.

The goal is to make their work easily accessible so that the large number of women working in this profession will be recognized and appreciated. Please note this is a work in progress and we hope to make it as comprehensive as possible. We are counting on crowdsourcing. Please fill out the ‘Want to Add Someone?‘ if you are a woman in philosophy not currently in the database. In particular we encourage women to add themselves since this will ensure the most accurate information in their entry.  We also encourage women from outside the U.S. to add themselves. If you are not a woman philosopher, or you are already included in the database, please encourage your female colleagues to add themselves, as well.  This database started with combining several pre-existing, disparate, short google spreadsheets; we recognize there are many women philosophers not included in the database yet. Which is why we need your help! We hope that members of the profession will help us to make the database as complete as possible.

I guess the “currently working” clause means we can’t add Cavendish or Masham, but there is no shortage of awesome women working on early modern philosophy, so if you or someone you know should be on that list, submit them!

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Locke Workshop Registration!

Just a reminder for folks who plan on attending the CUNY Lehman College/Western Ontario Locke Workshop, but who are not on the program:

You must contact Jessica Gordon-Roth (Jessica (dot) GordonRoth (at) lehman (dot) cuny (dot) edu) prior to March 10 to register. More information about the March 17-18 event set to take place at Lehman (including the registration fees) can be found on the Locke Workshop site:


We are looking forward to a fantastic event and hope to see you there!

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