Women, Metaphysics and Enlightenment: 1660-1789

British Society for the History of Philosophy in association with the Institute of Philosophy, School of Advanced Study, University of London.

Location: Institute of Philosophy, University of London

Date: Friday 24th March 2006

Organizers: Sarah Hutton and Susan James

Recent assessments of women's contribution to philosophy have accorded Descartes a contradictory role as both a facilitator and an impediment to women's philosophising. This conference brings together a group of major scholars to examine how the work of women philosophers was shaped by the Cartesian revolution. It will focus on the metaphysical contributions of writers from Margaret Cavendish to Mary Wollstonecraft.


Jacqueline Broad (Monash University) on  "Early Modern Women's Philosophy and Changing Perceptions of Descartes".

Karen Detlefsen (University of Pennsylvania) on Margaret Cavendish

Victor Nuovo (Middlebury College) on Catharine Trotter Cockburn

Martina Reuter (University of Helsinki) on "Mary Wollstonecraft on the Foundation and Acquisition of Virtue"