The Philosophy of Anne Conway

By Jonathan Head

Author: HEAD, Jonathan, Lecturer in Philosophy, Keele University.

Reference: The Philosophy of Anne Conway: God, Creation and the Nature of Time. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020, 207 pp. ISBN 9781350134522.

The early modern philosopher Anne Conway offers a remarkable synthesis of ideas from differing philosophical traditions that deserve our attention today. Exploring all of the major aspects of Conway’s thought, this book presents a valuable guide to her contribution to the history of philosophy. Through a close reading of her central text, Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy (1690), it considers her intellectual context and addresses some of the outstanding interpretive issues concerning her philosophy. Contrasting her position with that of contemporaries such as Henry More, Franciscus Mercurius van Helmont and George Keith, it examines her critique of the prominent philosophical schools of the time, including Cartesian dualism and Hobbesian materialism. From her accounts of dualism, time and God to the often overlooked elements of her work such as her theory of freedom and salvation, The Philosophy of Anne Conway illuminates the ideas and legacy of an important early-modern woman philosopher.