Familiar Epistolary Philosophy: Margaret Cavendish’s Philosophical Letters (1664)

Familiar Epistolary Philosophy: Margaret Cavendish’s Philosophical Letters (1664) Abstract: The autobiographical terms in which Margaret Cavendish’s writing is often read obscure the degree to which she engaged with her intellectual heritage. Philosophical Letters (1664) in particular has been interpreted as Cavendish’s bid to establish her friendship and parity with her philosophical peers, but her argument has broader implications. She uses the genre of the familiar letter, or letter of friendship, to demonstrate that her philosophical ideas issue from sociable principles. Cavendish opens with a discussion of Hobbes’ Leviathan ostensibly focused upon non-political issues. However her political views are implied through the inherently sociable form of the letter. Cavendish uses the friendship letter to portray sociability as natural, and therefore, an ideal basis for the restored royalist polity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Parergon Australian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Inc. (ANAZAMEMS, Inc.)

Familiar Epistolary Philosophy: Margaret Cavendish’s Philosophical Letters (1664)

Parergon, Volume 26 (2) – Jan 21, 2009

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Publisher
Australian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Inc. (ANAZAMEMS, Inc.)
Copyright
Copyright © Australian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Inc. (ANAZAMEMS, Inc.)
ISSN
1832-8334
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract: The autobiographical terms in which Margaret Cavendish’s writing is often read obscure the degree to which she engaged with her intellectual heritage. Philosophical Letters (1664) in particular has been interpreted as Cavendish’s bid to establish her friendship and parity with her philosophical peers, but her argument has broader implications. She uses the genre of the familiar letter, or letter of friendship, to demonstrate that her philosophical ideas issue from sociable principles. Cavendish opens with a discussion of Hobbes’ Leviathan ostensibly focused upon non-political issues. However her political views are implied through the inherently sociable form of the letter. Cavendish uses the friendship letter to portray sociability as natural, and therefore, an ideal basis for the restored royalist polity.

Journal

ParergonAustralian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Inc. (ANAZAMEMS, Inc.)

Published: Jan 21, 2009

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