Ideas about soul and body – about thinking or remembering, mind and life, brain and self – remain both diverse and controversial in our neurocentric age. The history of these ideas is significant both in its own right and to aid our understanding of the complex sources and nature of our concepts of mind, cognition, and psychology, which are all terms with puzzling, difficult histories. These topics are not the domain of specialists alone, and studies of emotion, perception, or reasoning (...) have never been isolated theoretical endeavours. As Francis Bacon described human philosophy or ‘the knowledge of ourselves’, within which he located the study of body, soul, and mind, it ‘deserveth the more accurate handling, by how much it toucheth us more nearly’ (1605/ 2000: 93). The history of ideas in these domains is particularly challenging given the practical dimensions and implications of theories of mind. Because theories of human nature and debates about body and mind do ‘touch us’ so ‘nearly’, they attract and can thus reveal, in specific historical contexts, interconnected discourses or associations which may be quite unlike our own. So there are no neat boundaries around a historical category of ‘seventeenth-century British philosophy of the soul’. The central topic of this chapter can be thought of either as pneumatology, the doctrine or science of spirits and souls, or as continuous with the ‘psychologia’ or psychology of Aristotelian traditions (Park and Kessler 1988; Hatfield 1995: 184-6). In neither case, however, should we expect any deep unity to be provided by history, geography, discipline, or subject-matter. (shrink)
This paper argues that early modern experimental philosophy emerged as the dominant member of a pair of methods in natural philosophy, the speculative versus the experimental, and that this pairing derives from an overarching distinction between speculative and operative philosophy that can be ultimately traced back to Aristotle. The paper examines the traditional classification of natural philosophy as a speculative discipline from the Stagirite to the seventeenth century; medieval and early modern attempts to articulate a scientia experimentalis; and the tensions (...) in the classification of natural magic and mechanics that led to the introduction of an operative part of natural philosophy in the writings of Francis Bacon and John Johnston. The paper concludes with a summary of the salient discontinuities between the experimental/speculative distinction of the mid-seventeenth century and its predecessors and a statement of the developments that led to the ascendance of experimental philosophy from the 1660s. (shrink)
From scientia to science Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9483-3 Authors Peter R. Anstey, Department of Philosophy, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, 9054 New Zealand Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Today, John Locke is recognized as one of the most important and formative philosophical influences on the modern world. His imprint is still felt in political and legal thought, in educational theory, moral theory and in the theory of knowledge. Lockes key works, Two Treatises of Government , and the monumental An Essay Concerning Human Understanding , provoked lively debate when they were first published in 1690 and remain standard texts in undergraduate philosophy courses throughout the English-speaking world and beyond. (...) It is not surprising therefore that Locke scholarship is a burgeoning force in the history of philosophy and that his ideas and arguments are repeatedly alluded to in current philosophical debate. Indeed, since the publication of the first series of Locke: Critical Assessments in 1991, Locke research has proceeded apace, and it is now fitting that a second Critical Assessments series be published. Of particular importance in recent work on Locke has been research into the colonial contexts of his political writings; a more nuanced and historically grounded approach to Lockes writings on natural philosophy; and a theological turn in Locke scholarship that has centred on the content and reception of his The Reasonableness of Christianity . Each of these new trends is represented in this second series, as are recent contributions to long-standing debates concerning Lockean interpretation and influence. (shrink)
Bringing together some of the world's leading Locke scholars, this collection provides an entre;e into the cutting-edge of the study of John Locke's philosophy. The nine chapters cover the breadth of Locke's philosophical interests from natural philosophy to politics and theology, from Locke's famous Essay concerning human understanding to his Two Treatises of Government. This volume provides a fresh analysis of many of the key ideas of this seminal thinker while simultaneously exploring new territory by the examination of manuscript materials (...) and some of Locke's ancillary publications which have never before been discussed. Topics examined include: *method in natural philosophy *Locke's concept of justice *Locke and colonialism *Locke's moral philosophy *Locke's Christology *Lockean logic Building upon expertise in textual scholarship and a rich awareness of Locke's intellectual and political context, this collection takes us a step closer to the historical Locke. At the same time however, it impresses upon us the power that many of Locke's ideas still exert today. This book will be of vital interest to philosophers and to all students of the history of ideas. (shrink)