Feeling the Way to Truth: Women, Reason, and the Development of Modern Philosophy


ACLS Fellowship Program




This project argues that historians of philosophy need to rethink core assumptions about seventeenth-century philosophy, and that the writings of medieval and early modern women play a much more significant part in that history than has been recognized. Relying on recent scholarship by literary and intellectual historians and research on early modern spiritual meditations and the philosophy of Anne Conway (1631-1679), this book shows that a major part of the history of philosophy needs to be rewritten. The project entails a new narrative about early modern philosophy: there is no such thing as early modern rationalism; rather, there are various affective means for the subject to reorient itself as it feels its way to a proper use of reason and rational truths.