The Cavendish Circle: Philosophical Networks in the 17th Century

April 30, 2024
Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage, Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Aula Valent
Malcanton Marcorà, Dorsoduro 3484/D
Venice 30123


  • European Union (Research Executive Agency)
  • Center for Renaissance and Early Modern Thought


University of Venice
University of Venice

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Papers presented in the workshop investigate ways in which philosophical and scientific ideas were discussed and circulated through the mediation and within the context of the so-called “Cavendish Circle” during the 1640s.

By gathering five expert contributors, this event aims to shed light on a vibrant intellectual context, which was seminal for the advancement of the ideas of pivotal thinkers in the history of European philosophy, such as Thomas Hobbes, René Descartes, Margaret Cavendish, Pierre Gassendi, Kenelm Digby, and Walter Charleton.

Papers discussed in the workshop will be submitted for a special issue in Hobbes Studies (forthcoming in 2025).

The event takes place 30 years after the publication of one of the most important studies of the Cavendish Circle to date, namely the special issue The Cavendish Circle in The Seventeenth Century 9:2 (1994, ed. Timothy Raylor).

Invited speakers:

Julia Borcherding (University of Cambridge)
Stephen Clucas (Birkbeck, University of London)
Karolina Hübner (Cornell University)
Antonia LoLordo (University of Virginia)
Timothy Raylor (Carleton College)


9:15 : Breakfast

9:40 : Oberto Marrama and Pietro Daniel Omodeo, Welcome and introduction

10:00 - 11:15 : Timothy Raylor, "Hobbes and the Cavendish family"

11:15 - 12:30 : Stephen Clucas, "Modus notandi: Charles Cavendish’s notes on Thomas Hobbes and Walter Warner"

Lunch break

13:45 - 15:00 : Karolina Hübner, "What kind of a materialist is Cavendish?"

15:00 - 16:15 : Julia Borcherding, "A whole is greater than its parts: Cavendish and Hobbesian materialism"

Coffee break

16:30 - 17:45 : Antonia LoLordo, "The activity of matter in Cavendish and Gassendi"

For questions and information: [email protected]

This event is part of the MSCA-PF project MC-EuCon “Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673) in the history of European ideas of consciousness” (PI Oberto Marrama, GA n. 101064483), and is funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the REA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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