David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
History and Theory 44 (1):72–90 (2005)
In this essay I examine and discuss the concept “system of philosophy” as a methodological tool in the history of philosophy; I do so in two moves. First I analyze the historical origin of the concept in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Thereafter I undertake a discussion of its methodological weaknesses—a discussion that is not only relevant to the writing of history of philosophy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but also to the writing of history of philosophy in our times, where the concept remains an important methodological tool. My first move is to analyze Jacob Brucker’s employment of the concept in his influential history of philosophy, Historia critica philosophiae, dating from 1742–1744. To Brucker, a “system of philosophy” is characterized by the following four features: it is autonomous in regard to other, non-philosophical disciplines; all doctrines stated within the various branches of philosophy can be deduced from one principle; as an autonomous system it comprises all branches of philosophy; the doctrines stated within these various branches of philosophy are internally coherent. Brucker employed the concept on the entire history of philosophy, and he gave it a defining role in regard to two other methodological concepts, namely “eclecticism” and “syncretism,” which he regarded as more or less successful forms of systematic philosophy. My second move is to point out the weakness of the concept of “system of philosophy” as a methodological tool in the history of philosophy. I argue that the interdisciplinary nature of much premodern philosophy makes Brucker’s methodological concept “system of philosophy” inadequate, and that we may be better off leaving it behind in our future exploration of premodern philosophy
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Thomas Albert Howard (1999). Jacob Burckhardt, Religion, and the Historiography of "Crisis" and "Transition". Journal of the History of Ideas 60 (1):149-164.
Helwig Schmidt-Glintzer, Achim Mittag & Jörn Rüsen (eds.) (2005). Historical Truth, Historical Criticism, and Ideology: Chinese Historiography and Historical Culture From a New Comparative Perspective. Brill.
John Inglis (1998). Spheres of Philosophical Inquiry and the Historiography of Medieval Philosophy. Brill.
N. Peyrieras & M. Morange (2002). The Study of Lysogeny at the Pasteur Institute (1950-1960): An Epistemologically Open System. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 33 (3):419-430.
Aviezer Tucker (ed.) (2009). A Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography. Wiley-Blackwell.
Elisabeth Pacherie (2001). Conscious Experience and Concept-Forming Abilities. Acta Analytica 16 (26):45-52.
Claire Norton (ed.) (2007). Nationalism, Historiography, and the (Re)Construction of the Past. New Academia Pub..
Gregorio Piaia (2001). Brucker Versus Rorty? On the 'Models' of the Historiography of Philosophy. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 9 (1):69 – 81.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads36 ( #54,910 of 1,410,216 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #155,456 of 1,410,216 )
How can I increase my downloads?