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Eric Schliesser [76]Eric S. Schliesser [4]
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Profile: Eric Schliesser (University of Ghent)
  1. Eric Schliesser (2013). On Reading Newton as an Epicurean: Kant, Spinozism and the Changes to the Principia. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):416-428.
  2.  55
    Eric Schliesser (2012). Newton and Spinoza: On Motion and Matter (and God, of Course). Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):436-458.
    This study explores several arguments against Spinoza's philosophy that were developed by Henry More, Samuel Clarke, and Colin Maclaurin. In the arguments on which I focus, More, Clarke, and Maclaurin aim to establish the existence of an immaterial and intelligent God precisely by showing that Spinoza does not have the resources to adequately explain the origin of motion. Attending to these criticisms grants us a deeper appreciation for how the authority derived from the empirical success of Newton's enterprise was used (...)
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  3. Eric Schliesser (2013). Newtonian Emanation, Spinozism, Measurement and the Baconian Origins of the Laws of Nature. Foundations of Science 18 (3):449-466.
    The first two sections of this paper investigate what Newton could have meant in a now famous passage from “De Graviatione” (hereafter “DeGrav”) that “space is as it were an emanative effect of God.” First it offers a careful examination of the four key passages within DeGrav that bear on this. The paper shows that the internal logic of Newton’s argument permits several interpretations. In doing so, the paper calls attention to a Spinozistic strain in Newton’s thought. Second it sketches (...)
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  4.  31
    Eric Schliesser (2011). Newton's Substance Monism, Distant Action, and the Nature of Newton's Empiricism: Discussion of H. Kochiras “Gravity and Newton's Substance Counting Problem”. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):160-166.
    This paper is a critical response to Hylarie Kochiras’ “Gravity and Newton’s substance counting problem,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 40 267–280. First, the paper argues that Kochiras conflates substances and beings; it proceeds to show that Newton is a substance monist. The paper argues that on methodological grounds Newton has adequate resources to respond to the metaphysical problems diagnosed by Kochiras. Second, the paper argues against the claim that Newton is committed to two speculative doctrines attributed to (...)
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  5.  50
    Andrew Janiak & Eric Schliesser (eds.) (2012). Interpreting Newton: Critical Essays. Cambridge University Press.
    Machine generated contents note: Introduction Andrew Janiak and Eric Schliesser; Part I. Newton and his Contemporaries: 1. Newton's law-constitutive approach to bodies: a response to Descartes Katherine Brading; 2. Leibniz, Newton and force Daniel Garber; 3. Locke's qualified embrace of Newton's Principia Mary Domski; 4. What geometry postulates: Newton and Barrow on the relationship of mathematics to nature Katherine Dunlop; Part II. Philosophical Themes in Newton: 5. Cotes' queries: Newton's Empiricism and Conceptions of Matter Zvi Biener and Chris Smeenk; 6. (...)
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  6. Eric Schliesser, Spinoza and the Philosophy of Science: Mathematics, Motion, and Being.
    This chapter argues that the standard conception of Spinoza as a fellow-travelling mechanical philosopher and proto-scientific naturalist is misleading. It argues, first, that Spinoza’s account of the proper method for the study of nature presented in the Theological-Political Treatise (TTP) points away from the one commonly associated with the mechanical philosophy. Moreover, throughout his works Spinoza’s views on the very possibility of knowledge of nature are decidedly sceptical (as specified below). Third, in the seventeenth-century debates over proper methods in the (...)
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  7. Spencer J. Pack & Eric Schliesser (2006). Smith's Humean Criticism of Hume's Account of the Origin of Justice. Journal of the History of Philosophy 44 (1):47-63.
    It is argued that Adam Smith criticizes David Hume's account of the origin of and continuing adherence to the rule of law for being not sufficiently Humean. Hume explained that adherence to the rule of law originated in the self-interest to restrain self-interest. According to Smith, Hume does not pay enough attention to the passions of resentment and admiration, which have their source in the imagination. Smith's offers a more naturalistic and evolutionary account of the psychological pre-conditions of the establishment (...)
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  8. Eric Schliesser (2010). Philosophical Relations, Natural Relations, and Philosophic Decisionism in Belief in the External World: Comments on P. J. E. Kail, Projection and Realism in Hume's Philosophy. [REVIEW] Hume Studies 36 (1):67-76.
    My critical comments on Part I of P. J. E. Kail's Projection and Realism in Hume's Philosophy are divided into two parts. First, I challenge the exegetical details of Kail's take on Hume's important distinction between natural and philosophical relations. I show that Kail misreads Hume in a subtle fashion. If I am right, then much of the machinery that Kail puts into place for his main argument does different work in Hume than Kail thinks. Second, I offer a brief (...)
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  9. Eric Schliesser (2011). Newton's Challenge to Philosophy: A Programmatic Essay. Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 1 (1):101-128.
    I identify a set of interlocking views that became (and still are) very influential within philosophy in the wake of Newton’s success. These views use the authority of natural philosophy/mechanics to settle debates within philosophy. I label these “Newton’s Challenge.”.
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  10. Zvi Biener & Eric Schliesser (eds.) (2014). Newton and Empiricism. Oxford UP.
    This is the first volume of original commissioned papers on the subject of Newton and empiricism. The chapters, contributed by a leading team of both established and younger international scholars, explore the nature and extent of Newton's relationship to a variety of empiricisms and empiricists.
     
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  11. Eric Schliesser (2009). Hume’s Attack on Newton’s Philosophy. Enlightenment and Dissent 25:167-203.
    In this paper, I argue that major elements of Hume’s metaphysics and epistemology are not only directed at the inductive argument from design which seemed to follow from the success of Newton’s system, but also have far larger aims. They are directed against the authority of Newton’s natural philosophy; the claims of natural philosophy are constrained by philosophic considerations. Once one understands this, Hume’s high ambitions for a refashioned ‘true metaphysics’ or ‘first philosophy’, that is, Hume’s ‘Science of Human Nature’, (...)
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  12. Eric Schliesser (2005). Wonder in the Face of Scientific Revolutions: Adam Smith on Newton's 'Proof' of Copernicanism. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 13 (4):697 – 732.
    (2005). Wonder in the face of scientific revolutions: Adam Smith on Newton's ‘Proof’ of Copernicanism. British Journal for the History of Philosophy: Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 697-732. doi: 10.1080/09608780500293042.
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  13.  17
    Mogens Laerke, Justin E. H. Smith & Eric Schliesser (eds.) (2013). Philosophy and Its History: Aims and Methods in the Study of Early Modern Philosophy. OUP USA.
    This volume collects contributions from leading scholars of early modern philosophy from a wide variety of philosophical and geographic backgrounds. The distinguished contributors offer very different, competing approaches to the history of philosophy.
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  14. Leonidas Montes & Eric Schliesser (eds.) (2006). New Voices on Adam Smith. Routledge.
    n recent years, there has been a resurgence of academic interest in Adam Smith. As a consequence, a large number of PhD dissertations on Smith have been written by international scholars - in different languages, and in many diverse disciplines, including economics, women’s studies, philosophy, science studies, political theory and english literature: diversity which has enriched the area of study. In response to this activity, and in order to making these contributions more easily accessible to other Smith scholars, Leonidas Montes (...)
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  15.  56
    Eric Schliesser (2005). Galilean Reflections on Milton Friedman’s "Methodology of Positive Economics," with Thoughts on Vernon Smith’s "Economics in the Laboratory". Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (1):50-74.
    In this article, the author offers a discussion of the evidential role of the Galilean constant in the history of physics. The author argues that measurable constants help theories constrain data. Theories are engines for research, and this helps explain why the Duhem-Quine thesis does not undermine scientific practice. The author connects his argument to discussion of two famous papers in the history of economic methodology, Milton Friedman's 'Methodology of Positive Economics', which appealed to example of Galilean Law of Fall (...)
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  16.  84
    Eric Schliesser (2004). Hume's Missing Shade of Blue Reconsidered From a Newtonian Perspective. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 2 (2):164-175.
  17. Eric S. Schliesser, Friedman, Positive Economics, and the Chicago Boys.
    In this paper I investigate two denials in Milton Friedman's Nobel Lecture (1976). The first is [i] the denial that 'Economics and its fellow social sciences' ought to be 'regarded more nearly as branches of philosophy.' The second is [ii] the denial that economics is 'enmeshed with values at the outset because they deal with human behaviour' (267). I show that Friedman's appeal to his methodology in the Nobel lecture fails on conceptual grounds internal to Friedman's methodology. Moreover, I show (...)
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  18.  20
    Eric Schliesser (2013). The Methodological Dimension of the Newtonian Revolution. Metascience 22 (2):329-333.
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  19.  10
    Eric Schliesser & George E. Smith, Huygens's 1688 Report to the Directors of the Dutch East India Company on the Measurement of Longitude at Sea and the Evidence It Offered Against Universal Gravity.
    When Christiaan Huygens prepared the 1686/1687 expedition to the Cape of Good Hope on which his pendulum clocks were to be tested for their usefulness in measuring longitude at sea, he also gave instructions to Thomas Helder to perform experiments with the seconds-pendulum. This was prompted by Jean Richer's 1672 finding that a seconds-pendulum is 1 1/4 lines shorter in Cayenne than in Paris. Unfortunately, Helder died on the voy¬age, and no data from the seconds-pendulum ever reached Huygens. He nevertheless (...)
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  20.  41
    Eric Schliesser (2005). SOME PRINCIPLES OF ADAM SMITH's NEWTONIAN METHODS IN THE WEALTH OF NATIONS. Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology 23 (1):33-74.
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  21.  59
    Eric Schliesser, The Surprising Weberian Roots to Milton Friedman's Methodology.
    The main point of this paper is to contribute to understanding Milton Friedman’s (1953) “The Methodology of Positive Economics” (hereafter F1953), one of the most influential statements of economic methodology of the twentieth century, and, in doing so, help discern the non trivial but complex role of philosophic ideas in the shaping of economic theorizing and economists’ self-conception. It also aims to contribute to a better understanding of the theoretical origins of the so-called ‘Chicago’ school of economics. In this paper, (...)
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  22.  88
    Eric Schliesser, Without God: Gravity as a Relational Property of Matter in Newton.
    In this paper I interpret Newton’s speculative treatment of gravity as a relational, accidental property of matter that arises through what Newton calls “the shared action” of two bodies of matter. In doing so, I expand and extend on a hint by Howard Stein. However, in developing the details of my interpretation I end up disagreeing with Stein’s claim that for Newton a single body can generate a gravity/force field. I argue that when Newton drafted the first edition of the (...)
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  23.  14
    Susan James & Eric Schliesser (2011). Spinoza on the Politics of Philosophical Understanding. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111:497 - 518.
    In this paper I offer three main challenges to James (2011). All three turn on the nature of philosophy and secure knowledge in Spinoza. First, I criticize James's account of the epistemic role that experience plays in securing adequate ideas for Spinoza. In doing so I criticize her treatment of what is known as the 'conatus doctrine' in Spinoza in order to challenge her picture of the relationship between true religion and philosophy. Second, this leads me into a criticism of (...)
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  24.  36
    Eric Schliesser (2003). The Obituary of a Vain Philosopher: Adam Smith's Reflections on Hume's Life. Hume Studies 29 (2):327-362.
  25.  9
    Eric Schliesser, The Separation of Economics From Virtue: A Historical-Conceptual Introduction.
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  26.  21
    Eric Schliesser, Review of Steven Shaviro The Universe of Things – On Speculative Realism. [REVIEW]
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  27.  66
    Eric Schliesser (2008). Hume's Newtonianism and Anti-Newtonianism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    David Hume's philosophy, especially the positive project of his science of man, is often thought to be modeled on Newton's successes in natural philosophy. Hume's self-described experimental method (see the subtitle to Treatise) and the resemblance of his rules of reasoning (Treatise, 1.3.15)1 with Newton's are said to be evidence for this position (Noxon 1973; De Pierris 2002). Hume encourages this view of his project by employing Newtonian metaphors: he talks of an attraction in the mental world on a par (...)
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  28.  47
    Eric Schliesser (2008). D. D. Raphael,The Impartial Spectator: Adam Smith's Moral Philosophy,and Leonidas Montes,Adam Smith in Context: A Critical Reassessment of Some Central Components of His Thought:The Impartial Spectator: Adam Smith's Moral Philosophy;Adam Smith in Context: A Critical Reassessment of Some Central Components of His Thought. Ethics 118 (3):569-575.
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  29.  65
    Eric Schliesser (2005). ON THE ORIGIN OF MODERN NATURALISM: THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BERKELEY's RESPONSE TO A NEWTONIAN INDISPENSIBILITY ARGUMENT. Philosophica 76:45-66.
    I call attention to Berkeley’s treatment of a Newtonian indispensability argument against his own main position. I argue that the presence of this argument marks a significant moment in the history of philosophy and science: Newton’s achievements could serve as a separate and authoritative source of justification within philosophy. This marks the presence of a new kind of naturalism. A long the way, I argue against the claim tha t there is no explicit opposition or distinction between “philosophy” and “science” (...)
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  30. Eric S. Schliesser, From Adam Smith to Darwin.
    In this paper I call attention to Adam Smith’s 'Considerations Concerning the First Formation of Languages' in order to facilitate understanding Adam Smith from a Darwinian perspective. By ‘Darwinian’ I mean a position that explains differential selection over time through natural mechanisms. First, I argue that right near the start of Wealth of Nations Smith signals that human nature has probably evolved over a very long amount of time. Second, I connect this evidence with an infamous passage on infanticide in (...)
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  31.  48
    Eric Schliesser (2007). 11. “Two Definitions of ‘Cause,’ Newton, and the Significance of the Humean Distinction Between Natural and Philosophical Relations,”. Journal of Scottish Philosophy, 5 (1):83-101.
    The main aim of this paper is to explore why it is so important for Hume to defi ne ‘cause’ as he does. This will shed light on the signifi cance of the natural/philosophical relation (hereafter NPR) distinction in the Treatise. Hume's use of the NPR distinction allows him to dismiss on general grounds conceptions of causation at odds with his own. In particular, it allows him to avoid having to engage in detailed re-interpretation of potentially confl icting theories formulated (...)
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  32.  96
    Eric Schliesser, “Gravity as a Relational Quality of Matter in Newton's Treatise:”.
    In this paper I clarify what Newton could have meant when he insisted that gravity is a real force. I interpret Newton’s speculative treatment of gravity as a relational, accidental quality of matter that arises through what Newton calls “the shared action” of two bodies. I argue that when Newton drafted the first edition of the Principia in the mid 1680s, he thought that (at least a part of) the cause of gravity is the disposition inherent in any individual body, (...)
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  33.  12
    Eric Schliesser (2007). 'Hume's Newtonianism and Anti-Newtonianism', In: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. In Thaddeus Metz (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  34.  63
    Eric Schliesser (2011). Interpreting Spinoza: Critical Essays. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (4):822 - 826.
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Volume 19, Issue 4, Page 822-826, July 2011.
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  35.  58
    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.
    In this paper I offer three main challenges to James (2011). All three turn on the nature of philosophy and secure knowledge in Spinoza. First, I criticize James's account of the epistemic role that experience plays in securing adequate ideas for Spinoza. In doing so I criticize her treatment of what is known as the ‘conatus doctrine’ in Spinoza in order to challenge her picture of the relationship between true religion and philosophy. Second, this leads me into a criticism of (...)
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  36.  26
    Eric Schliesser (2011). Spinoza's Conatus as an Essence Preserving, Attribute-Neutral Immanent Cause: Toward a New Interpretation of Attributes and Modes. In Keith Allen & Tom Stoneham (eds.), Causation and Modern Philosophy. Routledge 3--65.
  37.  42
    Eric Schliesser (2011). Four Species of Reflexivity and History of Economics in Economic Policy Science. Journal of the Philosophy of History 5 (3):425-445.
    This paper argues that history of economics has a fruitful, underappreciated role to play in the development of economics, especially when understood as a policy science. This goes against the grain of the last half century during which economics, which has undergone a formal revolution, has distanced itself from its `literary' past and practices precisely with the aim to be a more successful policy science. The paper motivates the thesis by identifying and distinguishing four kinds of reflexivity in economics. The (...)
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  38.  53
    Eric Schliesser, Inventing Paradigms, Monopoly, Methodology, and Mythology at 'Chicago': Nutter and Stigler.
    This paper focuses on Warren Nutter’s The Extent of Enterprise Monopoly in the United States, 1899-1939. This started out as a (1949) doctoral dissertation at The University of Chicago, part of Aaron Director’s Free Market Study. Besides Director, O.H. Brownlee and Milton Friedman were closely involved with supervising it. It was published by The University of Chicago Press in 1951. In the 1950s the book was explicitly understood as belonging to the “Chicago School” (Dow and Abernathy 1963). By articulating the (...)
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  39.  64
    Eric S. Schliesser, Prophecy, Eclipses and Whole-Sale Markets: A Case Study on Why Data Driven Economic History Requires History of Economics, a Philosopher's Reflection.
    In this essay, I use a general argument about the evidential role of data in ongoing inquiry to show that it is fruitful for economic historians and historians of economics to collaborate more frequently. The shared aim of this collaboration should be to learn from past economic experience in order to improve the cutting edge of economic theory. Along the way, I attack a too rigorous distinction between the history of economics and economic history. By drawing on the history of (...)
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  40.  58
    Eric Schliesser, From Adam Smith to Darwin; Some Neglected Evidence.
    In this paper I call attention to Adam Smith’s “Considerations Concerning the First Formation of Languages” in order to facilitate understanding Adam Smith from a Darwinian perspective. By ‘Darwinian’ I mean a position that explains differential selection over time through natural mechanisms. First, I argue that right near the start of Wealth of Nations Smith signals that human nature has probably evolved over a very long amount of time. Second, I connect this evidence with an infamous passage on infanticide in (...)
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  41.  19
    Eric Schliesser, Philosophic Prophecy.
    The main task for philosophers is introducing, clarifying, articulating, or simply redirecting concepts as—to echo Quine’s poetic formulation— “devices for working a manageable structure into the flux of experience.” I sometimes use “coining concepts” as shorthand for this task. When the concepts are quantitative they are part of a possible science ; when the concepts are qualitative they can be part of a possible philosophy . Of course, in practice, concepts are oft en stillborn, while others have multiple functions in (...)
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  42.  53
    Eric Schliesser, Copernican Revolutions Revisited in Adam Smith by Way of David Hume.
    In this paper I revisit Adam Smith’s treatment of Copernicanism and Newtonianism in his essay, “The History of Astronomy” (hereafter: “Astronomy”), in light of a surprisingly ignored context: David Hume. This remark will strike most scholars of Adam Smith as unfounded—David Hume’s philosophy is often invoked as a source of Smith’s approach in the “Astronomy” or as its target. Yet, Hume’s occasional remarks on Copernicanism nor his treatment of the history of science in the History of England (1754-62, but revised (...)
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  43.  13
    Eric Schliesser, Review of Steven Kates, Defending the History of Economic Thought. [REVIEW]
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  44.  30
    Eric Schliesser (2012). Inventing Paradigms, Monopoly, Methodology, and Mythology at 'Chicago': Nutter, Stigler, and Milton Friedman. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):160-171.
  45. Eric Schliesser (2008). Review of DD Raphael (2007). The Impartial Spectator: Adam Smith's Moral Philosophy and Leonidas Montes (2004) Adam Smith in Context. [REVIEW] Ethics 118:569-575.
     
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  46.  39
    Eric Schliesser (2008). Review of Douglas Hedley, Sarah Hutton (Eds.), Platonism at the Origins of Modernity: Studies on Platonism and Early Modern Philosophy. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (8).
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  47.  11
    Eric Schliesser, Newton and Newtonianism.
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  48.  10
    Eric Schliesser (2014). Toland and Adam Smith's Posthumous Work. Diametros 40:115-125.
    In this paper I offer a speculative answer to the question why Adam Smith, who burned nearly all of his papers, arranged for posthumous publication for a number of his essays. I rely on a number of hints in those essays and put them in the context of eighteenth century natural philosophy. I argue that those hints trace back to John Toland and Spinozism.
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  49.  11
    Eric Schliesser (forthcoming). Insiders and Outsiders in Seventeenth-Century Philosophy. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  50.  29
    Eric Schliesser (2007). Review of Knud Haakonssen (Ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Adam Smith. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (8).
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