Jonathan Shaheen: "Places Incorporated"

The Higher Seminar in Theoretical Philosophy and The Higher Seminar in the History of Philosophy

Jonathan Shaheen, Ghent University and Stockholm University: "Places Incorporated: Cavendish on Body and Place as 'but one thing'”

This paper gives an account of Cavendish's understanding of body and place as "but one thing." It begins with an extended discussion intended to establish that Cavendish means "but one thing" claims as numerical identity claims. It then discusses various consequences of her understanding of the numerical identity of body and place: the impossibility of change of place without change of body, the possibility of motion in a plenum, the availability within her materialism of various accounts of local motion, and the robustness of her theory of mixture against some objections from her intellectual contact Walter Charleton. A concluding discussion emphasizes the importance of "but one thing'' claims to a general picture of Cavendish's materialism as a metaphysics of only bodies.