Lady Anne Conway’s Vitalism

I argue these are the premise/conclusion forms of two distinct arguments Conway holds and that these two arguments combined form Conway’s vitalism.

Argument for Infinity of Creatures:

(P1) God’s nature is to act.

(p2) God acts by creating creatures.

(P3) Where God exists, God creates.

(P4) God exists in all infinite spaces.

(C5) God acts by creating creatures in all infinite spaces.

–> What this argument gives Conway is infinite creatures and no empty space; monads.

Argument for No Dead Matter:

(P1) God is the creator of all creatures.

(P2) God’s communicable attributes and reality are of life.

(P3) God creates creatures analogous to God’s communicable attributes and reality.

(P4) Dead matter does not share the same attributes nor the same reality with God.

(L5) Dead matter is not a creature of God. (P1-P4)

(P6) If dead matter is not a creature of God, then dead matter does not exist.

(P7) Dead matter is not a creature of God. (L5)

(C8) Dead matter does not exist.

–> What this gives Conway is the conclusion that all that exists is essentially alive spirit.

–> Put these two arguments together and this gives Conway infinite monads, exisiting in infinite spaces, that are all essentially alive spirit–>i.e. Conway’s vitalism.

These arguments were taken from chapter 2, chapter 3, and chapter 7 of Conway’s Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy. Link: http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/assets/pdfs/conway1692_1.pdf 

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