Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences

Living Edition
| Editors: Dana Jalobeanu, Charles T. Wolfe

Liberty, Women on

  • Jacqueline BroadEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20791-9_424-1



In the seventeenth century and early 1700s, several women thinkers discuss the concept of liberty in its various metaphysical, moral, and political guises. Among these women are Elisabeth of Bohemia, Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, Mary Astell, Gabrielle Suchon, Damaris Cudworth Masham, Sarah Chapone, Catharine Trotter Cockburn, and Emilie Du Châtelet. Some of these writers touch on issues to do with freedom and determinism, such as the problem of reconciling the existence of human free will with a purely materialist theory of causation. Some raise problems for free will based on the fact that the mind is frequently incapable of overcoming the influence of the passions and other antecedent causes. Others extend their views about human agency to moral and political issues concerning liberty, with a specific focus on the freedom of women as a socio-political group (for overviews, see Broad and Detlefsen 2017; Broad 2014a).


Related Topics

Women philosophers Metaphysics Feminism Education Marriage 
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy Department, School of Philosophical, Historical and International StudiesMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Ruth Hagengruber
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Humanwissenschaften, PhilosophieUniversität PaderbornPaderbornDeutschland