Abstract

This paper examines Anne Conway’s “argument from love” in the Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy. This argument, supported by a further argument, which I will call the “argument from pain”, undermines the dualist dichotomy between mind and matter by appealing to a vitalist similarity princi- ple. My goal is three-fold: first, to contribute to a close systematic reconstruction and analysis of Conway’s arguments, which so far is largely lacking in the literature; second, to argue that these arguments are richer and more compelling than some commentators have thought; finally, to show that Conway’s vitalist response of Cartesian and Morean dualism, far from being wedded to old dichotomies, is in fact reminiscent of mod- ern-day feminist critiques.