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Eileen O'Neill


E315 South College

Eileen O’Neill received her BA from Barnard College and her PhD from Princeton University. Before coming to UMass in 1995, she taught at the University of Notre Dame, Queens College, and The Graduate Center, CUNY; she has also had visiting positions at Harvard University and Amherst College. The American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Mellon Foundation have awarded her fellowships, grants and stipends. In 2009, ten institutions joined Barnard College in sponsoring an international conference,“Women, Philosophy, and History: A Conference in Celebration of Eileen O’Neill,” at which scholars used O’Neill’s research as a point of departure for new narratives in the history of philosophy. She is Co-Editor of the book series, Oxford New Histories of Philosophy.

Professor O’Neill’s research is in the history of early modern philosophy, with a focus on four projects: (1) metaphysical issues concerning causation, especially mind-body causation; (2) the recovery and evaluation of early modern women’s philosophical writings; (3) metaphysical and epistemological issues concerning the gendering of cognitive faculties; and (4) issues concerning historical methodology and the writing of a history of feminist philosophy.


Edited Books

  • Early Modern Philosophy: Mind, Matter, and Metaphysics, edited with Christia Mercer (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).
  • Margaret Cavendish, Observations upon Experimental Philosophy (1668), edited and annotated with introduction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001).

Articles and Book Chapters

  •  “Margaret Cavendish, Stoic Antecedent Causes, and Early Modern Occasional Causes,” Revue philosophique de la France et de l'étranger 3 (July-September, 2013): 311-26.
  •  “The Equality of Men and Women,” in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Early Modern Europe, ed. Desmond Clarke and Catherine Wilson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 445-74.
  • “Mary Astell on the Causation of Sensation,” in Mary Astell: Reason, Gender, Faith, ed. William Kolbrener and Michal Michelson (Aldershhot/Butlington, VT: Ashgate Press, 2007), 145-63.
  • "Justifying the Inclusion of Women in Our Histories of Philosophy: The Case of Marie de Gournay," in The Blackwell Guide to Feminist Philosophy, ed. Linda Alcoff and Eva Kittay (Malden, MA/Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2007), 17- 42.
  • "Women Cartesians, 'Feminine Philosophy,' and Historical Exclusion," in Feminist Interpretations of Descartes, ed. Susan Bordo (University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999), 232-57.
  • "Disappearing Ink: Early Modern Women Philosophers and Their Fate in History," in Philosophy in a Feminist Voice, ed. Janet Kourany (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998), 17-62.
  • "Influxus Physicus," in Causation in Early Modern Philosophy, ed. Steven Nadler (University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993), 27-55.
  • "Mind-Body Interaction and Metaphysical Consistency:  A Defense of Descartes," Journal of the History of Philosophy, XXV, 2 (April, 1987): 227-45.