Elisabeth on Free Will, Preordination, and Philosophical Doubt
Reuter, M. (2021). Elisabeth on Free Will, Preordination, and Philosophical Doubt. In S. Ebbersmeyer, & S. Hutton (Eds.), Elisabeth of Bohemia (1618–1680) : A Philosopher in her Historical Context (pp. 163-176). Springer International Publishing. Women in the History of Philosophy and Sciences, 9. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-71527-4_9
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Elisabeth is widely known as a critic of René Descartes' account of mind--body interaction and scholarly interpretations of her view on the will most often pose the question about the freedom of the will in relation to bodily impulses such as the passions. This chapter takes a different perspective and focuses on the problem of the compatibility of free will and providence, as it is discussed in a sequence of six letters that Elisabeth and Descartes wrote between September 1645 and January 1646. The chapter focuses on this specific metaphysical problem in order to ask what Elisabeth's remarks on the topic can tell about her general philosophical method as well as about her particular philosophical worries. The chapter divides into three parts. The first part discusses Elisabeth's initial philosophical interest in the question of free will and providence, and recounts the arguments presented by her and Descartes. The second part discusses the philosophical foundation for Descartes' position and Elisabeth's criticism of this position. The final part compares Elisabeth's criticism of Descartes' account of the compatibility of free will and providence with her criticism of his account of mind--body interaction, which she develops in her three first letters to him, written in 1643. It is argued that at the core of both criticisms we find Elisabeth's search for answers based on reason and a dissatisfaction with Descartes' reliance on the incomprehensible nature of God as a basis for some of his philosophical arguments. ...
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Parent publication ISBN978-3-030-71526-7
Is part of publicationElisabeth of Bohemia (1618–1680) : A Philosopher in her Historical Context
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Reuter, Martina (Tigertext, 2018)I år firar prinsessan Elisabeth av Böhmen (1618-80) 400-årsjubileum. Hon var dotter till kung Fredrik V av Böhmen och Elizabeth Stuart, och växte upp i exil under 30-åriga kriget. Fadern regerade bara en vinter och hennes ...
Reuter, Martina; Svensson, Frans (Routledge, 2019)The introduction gives a brief overview of some important developments in recent scholarship on René Descartes and Baruch Spinoza. It is argued that there has been a shift of focus, away from Descartes-the-dualist towards ...
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Reuter, Martina (Routledge, 2019)The chapter examines what we can know about gender from the perspective of the three primary notions introduced by Descartes in his correspondence with Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia. The first section discusses how the ...