David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Oxford University Press (2008)
This landmark study examines the role played by the rediscovery of the writings of the ancient atomists, Epicurus and Lucretius, in the articulation of the major philosophical systems of the seventeenth century, and, more broadly, their influence on the evolution of natural science and moral and political philosophy. The target of sustained and trenchant philosophical criticism by Cicero, and of opprobrium by the Christian Fathers of the early Church, for its unflinching commitment to the absence of divine supervision and the finitude of life, the Epicurean philosophy surfaced again in the period of the Scientific Revolution, when it displaced scholastic Aristotelianism. Both modern social contract theory and utilitarianism in ethics were grounded in its tenets. Catherine Wilson shows how the distinctive Epicurean image of the natural and social worlds took hold in philosophy, and how it is an acknowledged, and often unacknowledged presence in the writings of Descartes, Gassendi, Hobbes, Boyle, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley. With chapters devoted to Epicurean physics and cosmology, the corpuscularian or "mechanical" philosophy, the question of the mortality of the soul, the grounds of political authority, the contested nature of the experimental philosophy, sensuality, curiosity, and the role of pleasure and utility in ethics, the author makes a persuasive case for the significance of materialism in seventeenth-century philosophy without underestimating the depth and significance of the opposition to it, and for its continued importance in the contemporary world. Lucretius's great poem, On the Nature of Things, supplies the frame of reference for this deeply-researched inquiry into the origins of modern philosophy
|Keywords||Epicureans (Greek philosophy Atomism Materialism Mechanism (Philosophy Philosophy, Modern|
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|Buy the book||$68.86 used (24% off) $85.04 new (6% off) $90.00 direct from Amazon Amazon page|
|Call number||B512.W55 2008|
|ISBN(s)||0199238812 9780199238811 0191553522 9780191553523|
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Citations of this work BETA
Peter Loptson (2012). Hume and Ancient Philosophy. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (4):741 - 772.
Peter Machamer, J. E. Mcguire & Hylarie Kochiras (2012). Newton and the Mechanical Philosophy: Gravitation as the Balance of the Heavens. Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):370-388.
Martin Lipscomb (2013). Some May Beg to Differ: Individual Beliefs and Group Political Claims. Nursing Philosophy 14 (4):254-270.
Keith Ansell-Pearson (2011). Beyond Compassion: On Nietzsche's Moral Therapy in Dawn. [REVIEW] Continental Philosophy Review 44 (2):179-204.
Eric Schliesser (2011). Spinoza on the Politics of PhilosophicalUnderstanding Susan James and Eric Schliesser Angels and Philosophers: With a New Interpretation of Spinoza's Common Notions. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (3pt3):497-518.
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