- Notes on Contributors
- Essences and Kinds
- From Causes to Laws
- Space and Time
- The Mechanical Philosophy
- Machines, Souls, and Vital Principles
- The Soul
- Qualities and Sensory Perception
- The Passions
- Language and Semiotics
- Form, Reason, and Method
- Instruments of Knowledge
- Picturability and Mathematical Ideals of Knowledge
- Virtue and Vice
- Egoism and Morality
- Realism and Relativism in Ethics
- The Free Will Problem
- The Equality of Men and Women
- Natural Law as Political Philosophy
- Sovereignty and Obedience
- Conceptions of God
- The Epistemology of Religious Belief
- Religious Toleration
Abstract and Keywords
This article explores the debate on the equality of men and women in early modern Europe. It suggests that both scepticism and Cartesianism provided new arguments to establish the equal capabilities and entitlements of women and men. In this debate, traditional metaphysics was seen once again to support prejudices rather than evidence-based arguments. This article describes some of the most prominent feminist works during this period, including those of Anne Thérèse de Lambert, Gabrielle Suchon, François Poullain De La Barre, and Marie De Gournay.
Eileen O'Neill is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts‐Amherst. She published the first modern edition of Margaret Cavendish's Observations upon Experimental Philosophy (Cambridge, 2001); co‐edited, with Christia Mercer, Early Modern Philosophy: Mind, Matter and Metaphysics (Oxford, 2005), and is co‐editing, with Marcy Lascano, Feminist History of Philosophy (forthcoming, Springer).
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