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Anne Conway as a Priority Monist : a reply to Gordon-Roth.

Thomas, Emily (2020) 'Anne Conway as a Priority Monist : a reply to Gordon-Roth.', Journal of the American Philosophical Association., 6 (3). pp. 275-284.


For early modern metaphysician Anne Conway, the world comprises creatures. In some sense, Conway is a monist about creatures: all creatures are one. Yet, as Jessica Gordon-Roth (2018) has astutely pointed out, that monism can be understood in very different ways. One might read Conway as an ‘existence pluralist’: creatures are all composed of the same type of substance, but many substances exist. Alternatively, one might read Conway as an ‘existence monist’: there is only one created substance. Gordon-Roth has done the scholarship a great favor by illuminating these issues in Conway. However, this article takes issue with Gordon-Roth's further view that Conway ‘oscillates’ between the extremes of existence pluralism and monism. In its place, I argue we should read Conway as a priority monist: the whole of creation is ontologically prior to its parts.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This article will be published in a revised form in Journal of the American Philosophical Association. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © American Philosophical Association 2018.
Date accepted:04 January 2019
Date deposited:09 January 2019
Date of first online publication:20 January 2020
Date first made open access:01 February 2019

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