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Anne Conway

The work by Anne Conway considered today to be a philosophical treatise in most ways has a lot of common with a number of works by contemporary philosophers and other great thinkers. The work, The Principles of the Most Modern and Ancient Philosophy was published later after she had already died. The work was published in 1930 while the author died in 1690 (Hutton 1). The Principles by Anne Conway in her way of argument were mostly based on logical deduction; therefore, her work is very suitable where there is a need for logical and analytic treatment.

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The treatise is a representation of the work on Platonic metaphysics, in this work she develops her philosophy through the existence and various attributes associated with God. Anne’s framework is the hierarchy that is tripartite, ontologically based on various ‘species’, with the one on the top of the hierarchy being God, who is the creator and the source of all (Broad 17). Christ is defined as being in the middle of the hierarchy and acts as the ‘middle nature’, whose main work is to link the man with God. Man is the third species, and she refers to the man as the ‘Creature’.

God being the creator of everything is perfect, wise, good, and just. What links God and his creation is the principle of likeness; therefore, as God is just and good, according to the principle of likeness his creation is just and good as well. There is also a spirit created by God but it is not like God, it is made of particles that are referred to as monads. Everything that was created is living, and all are capable to perceive and move; Anne Conway did not believe in the being existence as a material body.

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The principles of the man being good and just is a principle that shows that the evil that happens today occurs because the men have chosen to not to take the bridge or the link with the creator. She was of the opinion that there were no corporeal substances as this would not work well with the nature of God, who is what life is. The incorporeal created substance is well different from what is considered to be divine, mainly due to the way it multiplies and also its mutability, but it is important to note that the numerous regular mutability monads which have been created by God, will be a constitution of an obverse reflection of the infinity, unity, eternity and the way how God never changes.

The relationship of God and his creatures is developed through the ‘middle nature’, which is a link that God uses to communicate his justice, life, his action, and his goodness to the creatures. The ‘middle nature’ is able to partake in God’s nature and also the nature of creation, therefore, acting as a buffer between God and all his creatures. Therefore, all the created things are perceived to be a continuum, and they are able to comprehend mutability which is a tool to increase perfection (Waithe 63). According to Anne, spiritual perfectionism is a process that has dual elements, which are the morals and the metaphysical.

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All things have the capacity of being spirit-like, which is a state that can be defined as being of a more refined spiritual substance. Also everything has the probability to be better including the capacity to enhance goodness. Evil is where the creatures choose to escape from the goodness or the perfection that is associated with God. Suffering is the process of regaining the lost perfection. Hell is not eternal as God will only punish finite wrong doing by his creatures with finite punishment and not with the eternal hell as he is a just God.

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