vrijdag 19 april 2019

Anne Conway (1631-1679) zou ze #Spinoza's werk hebben gelezen? [2]

Op 31-03-2015 had ik het blog: "Anne Conway (1631-1679) zou ze Spinoza's werk hebben gelezen?" Daarin uitte ik mijn twijfel over het in de vraag gestelde.

Sarah Hutton schreef het korte lemma over haar in THE CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY OF PHILOSOPHY, second edition, 1999. Ik neem het hier over ter nadere inleiding van

Conway, Anne (c.1630–79), English philosopher whose Principia philosophiae antiquissimae et recentissimae (1690; English translation, The Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy, 1692) proposes a monistic ontology in which all created things are modes of one spiritual substance emanating from God. This substance is made up of an infinite number of hierarchically arranged spirits, which she calls monads. Matter is congealed spirit. Motion is conceived not dynamically but vitally. Lady Conway’s scheme entails a moral explanation of pain and the possibility of universal salvation. She repudiates the dualism of both Descartes and her teacher, Henry More, as well as the materialism of Hobbes and Spinoza. The work shows the influence of cabalism and affinities with the thought of the mentor of her last years, Francis Mercurius van Helmont, through whom her philosophy became known to Leibniz. S.H.

Vandaag wees Ferdie Fluitsma mij op dit artikel dat vorige maand verscheen:

Nastassja Pugliese, "Monism and individuation in Anne Conway as a critique of Spinoza." In: British Journal for the History of Philosophy | 01 March 2019 | [cf. tandfonline, het PDF is al te vinden op BookSC]

ABSTRACT In chapter IX of the Principles, Anne Conway claims that her metaphysics is diametrically opposed to those of Descartes and Spinoza. Scholars have analyzed her rejection of Cartesianism, but not her critique of Spinoza. This paper proposes that two central points of Conway’s metaphysics can be understood as direct responses to Spinoza: (1) the relation between God, Christ, and the creatures in the tripartite division of being, and (2) the individuation of beings in the lowest species. I will argue that Conway, in criticizing Spinoza’s identification between God and nature, defends a paradoxical monism, and that her concept of individuation is a reductio ad absurdum of Spinoza’s criterion of identity in the individuation of finite modes.

Ze beweert dat tot heden nog geen serieuze aandacht werd gegeven aan Conway's Spinoza. Daarbij deze eerste voetnoot:
1 It is important to do justice to those who had acknowledged and investigated the relation between Conway and Spinoza. One of the first works to explore the influence of Spinoza on Conway is Hutton’s ‘Reason and revelation in the Cambridge Platonists, and their reception of Spinoza’. In this paper, Hutton argues that the antagonism arises from the differences in their conception of the relationship between reason and faith. Most of the paper, however, is devoted to the analysis of the reception of Spinoza among Cambridge Platonists and only the last paragraph offers an analysis of Conway’s views. So there is, indeed, good literature exploring this connection; but most of the works on Conway and Spinoza are devoted to mapping whether or how Conway came across Spinoza’s writings (for example, Rosalie L. Colie in Spinoza in England 1665–1730) than to actually analyzing comparatively the content of their metaphysical theses. When the philosophical analysis is present, it is only in passing (in Anne Conway a Women Philosopher, Hutton mentions Spinoza various times, but she does not dwell deeply on the criticisms and connections). Lopston maps Conway’s acquaintance of Spinoza by mapping More’s engagement with the TTP and analyzing publication dates (‘Introduction’, 66); the philosophical differences are not explored much further. Jacqueline Broad (Women Philosophers of the Seventeenth Century) devotes three paragraphs to the explanation of the differences between Conway’s view on the nature of God and creatures and that of Spinoza. On the other hand, Coudert & Corse in their ‘introduction’ to the Principles do not mention, not even in passing, Conway’s critique of Spinoza. The same is true of Hutton’s ‘Introduction’ and Nicolson’s ‘Prologue’ to her edition of The Conway Letters. These two works that are crucial to Conway scholarship acknowledge Conway’s response to Descartes and Hobbes, present in the same chapter where her criticism of Spinoza appears, but do not cite the Dutch philosopher. Jane Duran (Anne Viscountess) introduces her article stating that she will use the work of Spinoza, Descartes, and Leibniz to expose and critically develop the philosophy of Conway, however, Spinoza’s name is only mentioned, with no further discussion of his or Conway’s ideas about him. McRobbert talks about Spinoza to show that Conway approximates his monism with Hobbesian materialism, but does not engage any further. Other important comparative works on the literature are that of Carolyn Merchant (The Vitalism of Anne Conway), Justin E. Smith (Anne Conway and Monadology), Emily Thomas (Time, Space and Process), and Karen Detlefsen (Cavendish and Conway on the Individual Human Mind). While the first three offer comparative analysis between Conway and Leibniz’s metaphysics, the last one explores the differences between her concept of mind and that of Cavendish. For this reason, it is not an overstatement to say that the most important literature on Conway has, somehow, failed to dwell on a comparative analysis of her work and that of Spinoza, even though Conway herself left, in chapter IX, a clear evidence of the importance of this study.

Ze doet zeer haar best geloofwaardig te maken dat Conway de TTP via More kan hebben gelezen, en als lid van de royal Society de correspondentie tussen Spinoza en Henri Oldenburg kan hebben gelezen, ze moet echter toegeven:  "Although we cannot know with certainty what Conway read and what exactly she knew of Spinoza’s works, both Conway and Spinoza share a common cultural and intellectual background that can be seen as an indirect cause of their complex, although not direct, dialogue." [p. 5]

Als ze hierna dan in paragraaf  "3. Conway’s criticism of Spinoza’s monism" gaat beginnen aan haar Spinoza-kritiek, schijft ze:
"Conway wants to show, against Spinoza, that God is not constituted by the creatures and the creatures are not part of God: her main disagreement with Spinoza is his identification of God with nature, making one being of both (Conway, Principles, 64)." [p. 6] Hier klopt uiteraard niets van de weergave van Spinoza's godsopvatting. Zijn God is niet samengesteld uit "schepselen", die ook geen "deel" van God zijn. Of dit een foute voorstelling van Conway is of van Nastassja Pugliese, weet ik niet, maar de laatste laat het onweersproken passeren... Hier laat ik het bij.

Toevoeging 17 aug 2019. Cf. het lemma Conway, Anne door Alvin Snider in de Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy, PDF.

Toevoeging 20 augustus 2019

Sarah Hutton, Anne Conway: A Woman Philosopher. Cambridge University Press, 2004 - books.google cf. PDF op BookSC   Heeft een aantal malen iets over Spinoza.

Voor de cover is gebruik gemaakt van onderstaand schilderij van Samuel van Hoogstraten. Maar...
wie is daarop afgebeeld? Anne Conway of Margaret Cavendish?

Anne Conway door Samuel van Hoogstraten, c. 1662-1667 volgens Vox Project. Maar Thijs Weststeijn, die de afbeelding als cover gebruikte voor zijn The Visible World: Samuel van Hoogstraten's Art Theory and the Legitimation of Painting in the Dutch Golden Age (2008) geeft als uitleg: Cover illustration: Samuel van Hoogstraten, Perspective with a Woman Reading a Letter (Formerly Identified as Margaret Cavendish), canvas, 242 x 179 cm, Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague.[cf. waar het boek als PDF te downloaden is]

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