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Catharine Cockburn on unthinking immaterial substance : souls, space, and related matters.

Thomas, Emily (2015) 'Catharine Cockburn on unthinking immaterial substance : souls, space, and related matters.', Philosophy compass., 10 (4). pp. 255-263.


The early modern Catharine Cockburn wrote on a wide range of philosophical issues and recent years have seen an increasing interest in her work. This paper explores her thesis that immaterial substance need not think. Drawing on existing scholarship, I explore the origin of this thesis in Cockburn and show how she applies it in a novel way to space. This thesis provides a particularly useful entry point into Cockburn's philosophy, as it emphasises the importance of her metaphysics and connects with many of her further philosophical views. This paper shows that it is rewarding to consider Cockburn's philosophical views as a holistic system.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Thomas, E. (2015), Catharine Cockburn on Unthinking Immaterial Substance: Souls, Space, and Related Matters. Philosophy Compass, 10(4): 255-263, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:21 November 2014
Date deposited:05 December 2016
Date of first online publication:06 April 2015
Date first made open access:06 April 2017

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