Phl. 302
Dr. Uzgalis
Paper Topics

The Work of Women Philosophers

There were a number of women philosophers during the period we are studying. Their work is starting to receive more and more attention from scholars. As it does, we will have more and more material to work with. You might start by going to the Philosophers section of this web site and looking at the files on women philosophers during the 17th and 18th century. If you are looking for sources for a paper, check the "Sources" for the timelines.

Locke's friend Lady Masham, for example. She was the daughter of a distinguished philosopher -- the Cambridge Platonist Ralph Cudworth, had a close intellectual relationship with Locke, and corresponded about the philosophical positions of both her father and Locke with such notables as Leibniz. Another is Ann Viscountess Conway who is associated with yet another interesting Cambridge philosopher, Henry Moore. Articles about both these women can be found in Hypatia, Vol. 4. No. 1, Spring 1989. These articles have additional refernces. There were also notable correspondences between Descartes and Princess Elisabeth concerning the mind/body problem. See Margaret Wilson ed., The Essential Descartes, pp. 373-80 for a start. Catherine Cocburne is still another. We now have her works in the library. An excellent book called Hypatia's Daughters has an article in it by Martha Bolton about Cocburne. In some cases it is going to be hard to get hold of the relevant materials. So if you decide to do one of these women you should start early trying to get hold of the materials.

You would need to focus on one of these women and try to deal with some of the interpretive problems associated with their work.