Today we continue with section 37 of the Observations on Experimental Philosophy.
Section 37 consists of questions/objections one might have about Cavendish’s positions, coupled with extensive replies to these questions. As is often the case, it is very useful to see how someone responds to objections to their views, because it can greatly increase our understanding of what they took the view to be in the first place.
Our focus today is a series of questions about the nature of knowledge and perception on Cavendish’s view, including her patterning theory of perception. This is something we’ve talked about a great deal in the weeks leading up to today, so I am looking forward to discussing some of the details and intricacies of Cavendish’s account.
Remember that Cavendish is a panpsychist, and so, one aspect of her theory of knowledge and perception is that it will have to, in some sense, extend to all material bodies whatsoever. Cavendish makes some allowances for variations in how animals perceive as compared to tables or rocks, but is sensitive to the fact that on her view, there must be some form of perception occurring in every parcel of matter.
For next time, we will be reading through Part II, section 3 (ending on page 200). We will not be meeting next week, so our next meeting will be March 17th.