Seminar on Anne Conway; 1st of November, Helsinki

A Seminar on Anne Conway

Prof. Christia Mercer (Columbia University) will give a seminar on Anne Conway's classic work "The Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy" (1690) on 1st of November, 9-12 in U40 A110 (A-wing, 1st floor). The participants are asked to read Conway's short work and Prof. Mercer's introduction to it (material is available from mroinila (at)

Conway's "Principles" was the most important philosophical work written by a woman philosopher in the 17th century and widely praised in its time. Although neglected for centuries, the "Principles" is an impressive attempt to solve a broad range of philosophical and theological problems drawing heavily from Christian, Jewish and Platonist sources. Previous scholars have discussed Conway's vitalism, but Professor Mercer offers the first attempt to understand the entirety of Conway's metaphysics.

Christia Mercer is well-known for her work on contextualizing Early Modern philosophy. Her "Leibniz's Metaphysics: Its Origins and Development" (2001) is an essential work on early Leibniz. She is also the general editor of a book series titled "Oxford Philosophical Concepts." Besides her work on Conway, she is presently working on methodology and Platonism in Early Modern thought.

All interested are also welcomed to the corresponding seminar of the Philosophical Psychology, Morality and Politics CoE (Academy of Finland) 13-16 in Auditorium IV, Main Building, Unioninkatu 34, 2nd floor (Helsinki), where Prof. Mercer will give a talk "Anne Conway's Radical Rationalism", accompanied with a paper "Spinoza's Mereology" by Ericka Tucker (Pomona) and "Leibniz and the Amour pur-controversy" by Markku Roinila (Helsinki). Students can gain three study points by reading the texts, attending both seminars and writing a ten-page essay on Conway which will be reviewed by  Prof. Mercer.  For more information and reading materials, contact mroinila (at)