Call for abstracts on mind, consciousness and perception in Cavendish

Call for Abstracts
Workshop on Cavendish: Mind, Consciousness and Perception

We are pleased to announce the workshop: “Cavendish: Mind, Consciousness and Perception,” which will be held on 25 and 26 July, 2024 via Zoom. The workshop is an initiative of the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists at the University of Paderborn.

This workshop aims to explore the philosophical perspectives of Margaret Cavendish regarding the nature of the mind in the context of early modern philosophy and its relations to contemporary discussions. Submissions concerning the philosophy of mind and the theory of knowledge within the context of Cavendish’s work, interpreted broadly, align perfectly with the goals of our workshop. We are especially keen on perspectives that highlight Cavendish’s departure from conventional notions of consciousness, while emphasizing the interconnectedness of mind, body, and environment.

Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673), one of the most remarkable figures in early modern philosophy, made significant contributions to metaphysics, philosophy of nature, epistemology, and philosophy of mind. Despite being overshadowed by her contemporaries, her works offer profound insights into questions surrounding the mind, consciousness, and perception. She was a critic of the dominant mechanistic philosophy and proposed an alternative organicist explanation of nature, challenging the prevailing views of thinkers like Hobbes and Descartes. Cavendish’s unique metaphysical views anticipated later philosophers like Spinoza and Leibniz and contributed to a more nuanced understanding of nature’s order and infinitude. Her work also  presents an early form of naturalism, resonating with contemporary philosophy and scientific inquiry. Additionally, it provides valuable insights relevant to ongoing inquiries into whether the entities surrounding us possess consciousness and intelligence.

Confirmed speakers

Colin Chamberlain (University College London)

Marcy Lacano (University of Kansas)

Alison Peterman (University of Rochester

Jonathan Shaheen (University of Uppsala)

Suggested topics

We invite submissions on topics related to mind, consciousness and perception in Cavendish, including but not limited to:

– The nature of the mind

– Consciousness and self-awareness

– Perception and its role in epistemology

– The relationship between mind and body

– Mental causation

– Cavendish’s relation with contemporary philosophy of mind

Submissions are welcome from scholars working in philosophy, history of philosophy, intellectual history, and related disciplines. We particularly encourage submissions from graduate students and early career researchers.

Abstract Submission Guidelines

Abstracts should be no more than 500 words.

Submissions must be prepared for blind review and should not include any identifying information.

Please include a separate cover sheet with your name, affiliation, contact information, and a brief biographical statement.

Please submit your abstracts via email to wells [at] mail [dot] uni-paderborn [dot] de by May 15, 2024.

Accepted speakers will be notified by June 1. There will be no registration fee for accepted presenters.

For inquiries or further information, please contact Aaron Wells (wells [at] mail [dot] uni-paderborn [dot] de) or Pedro Pricladnitzky (pedro [dot] pricladnitzky [at] uni-paderborn [dot] de).

We look forward to receiving your submissions and engaging in stimulating discussions at the workshop.


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