Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy focuses on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries--the extraordinary period of intellectual flourishing that begins, very roughly, with Descartes and his contemporaries and ends with Kant. It also publishes papers on thinkers or movements outside of that framework, provided they are important in illuminating early modern thought.
Debates in Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings and Contemporary Responses provides an in-depth, engaging introduction to important issues in modern philosophy. It presents 13 key interpretive debates to students, and ranges in coverage from Descartes' Meditations to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. -/- Debates include: -/- Did Descartes have a developed and consistent view about how the mind interacts with the body? Was Leibniz an idealist, or did he believe in corporeal substances? What is Locke's theory of personal identity? (...) Could there be a Berkeleian metaphysics without God? Did Hume believe in causal powers? What is Kant's transcendental idealism? -/- Each of the thirteen debates consists of a well known article or book chapter from a living philosopher, followed by a new response from a different scholar, specially commissioned for this volume. Every debate is prefaced by an introduction written for those coming upon the debates for the first time and followed by an annotated list for further reading. The volume starts with an introduction that explains the importance and relevance of the modern period and its key debates to philosophy and ends with a glossary that covers terms from both the modern period and the study of the history of philosophy in general. -/- Debates in Modern Philosophy will help students evaluate different interpretations of key texts from modern philosophy, and provide a model for constructing their own positions in these debates. (shrink)
Here is the concluding volume of Sir Anthony Kenny's monumental four-volume history of philosophy, the first major single-author narrative history to appear for several decades. In this volume, Kenny tells the fascinating story of the development of philosophy in the modern world, from the early nineteenth century to the end of the millennium. Alongside (and intertwined with) extraordinary scientific advances, cultural changes, and political upheavals, the last two centuries have seen some of the most intriguing and original developments in (...) philosophical thinking, which have transformed our understanding of ourselves and our world. In the first part of the book, Kenny offers a lively narrative introducing the major thinkers in their historical context. Among those we meet are the great figures of continental European philosophy, from Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche to Heidegger, Sartre, and Derrida; the Pragmatists such as C.S. Pierce and William James, who first developed a distinctively American philosophical tradition; Marx, Darwin, and Freud, the non-philosophers whose influence on philosophy was immense; and Wittgenstein and Russell, friends and colleagues who set the agenda for analytic philosophy in the twentieth century. Kenny then proceeds to guide the reader lucidly through the nine main areas of philosophical work in the period, offering a serious engagement with ideas and arguments about logic, language, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, politics, and the existence of God. Graced with many beautiful illustrations, Philosophy in the Modern World concludes Kenny's stimulating history of the intellectual development of Western civilization, allowing readers to trace the birth and growth of philosophy from antiquity to the present day. (shrink)
Sir Anthony Kenny's engaging new multi-volume history of Western philosophy now advances into the modern era. The Rise of Modern Philosophy captures the fascinating story of the emergence, from the early sixteenth to the early nineteenth century, of the great ideas and intellectual systems that shaped modern thought. Kenny introduces us to some of the world's most original and influential thinkers and helps us gain an understanding of their famous works. The great minds we meet include Rene (...) Descartes, traditionally seen as the founder of modern philosophy; the great British philosophers Hobbes, Locke, and Hume; continental thinkers such as Spinoza, Liebniz, and Hegel; and the towering figure of Immanuel Kant, who perhaps more than any other made philosophy what it is today. Kenny first tells the story of modern philosophy chronologically: his lively, accessible narrative brings the philosophers to life and fills in the historical and intellectual background to their work. It is ideal as the first thing to read for someone new to this wonderfully creative period. Kenny then backtracks to look closely at each of the main areas of philosophical exploration in this period: knowledge and understanding; the nature of the physical universe; metaphysics (the most fundamental questions there are about existence); mind and soul; the nature and content of morality; political philosophy; and God. The book also features many intriguing and beautiful illustrations which evoke the human and social side of philosophy. Anyone who is interested in the evolution of modern thought will find this a book a treasure. (shrink)
The history of modern philosophy is a major topic in philosophy and is crucial to an understanding of the advent of feminist philosophy. Feminism and Modern Philosophy introduces fundamental topics in modern philosophy from a feminist perspective. It takes the student through the subject step by step by looking at the main thinkers most usually examined on a course in modern philosophy and by examining the role of gender in studying classic philosophical texts. The book covers (...) the following structure looking at the ideas and work of the important thinkers in this period: * Rereading the canon * The attack on modernist philosophical reason * The nature of "Man" * The search for male allies * Discovering women philosophers * Are there universal philosophical truths? * The function of history within the discipline of philosophy Each chapter looks closely at the way in which the traditional philosophical canon has been re-interpreted by feminist theory and examines the implications for our interpretation of specific texts. It looks at, for example: * A feminist critique of Cartesian rationalism * The implications of Locke's state of nature for the idea of the family * An appreciation of Hume's unique "collaboration" with Annette Baier Chapters close with a summary and the book contains an extensive annotated bibliography. Andrea Nye's style is student friendly and will be ideal for anyone coming to the topic for the first time. It will be appropriate for philosophy as well as gender studies courses looking at the development of modern Western thought. (shrink)
The philosophy of Immanuel Kant is the watershed of modern thought, which irrevocably changed the landscape of the field and prepared the way for all the significant philosophical movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This volume, which complements The Cambridge Companion to Kant, covers every aspect of Kant's philosophy, with a particular focus on his moral and political philosophy. It also provides detailed coverage of Kant's historical context and of the enormous impact and influence that his work has (...) had on the subsequent history of philosophy. The bibliography also offers extensive and organized coverage of both classical and recent books on Kant. This volume thus provides the broadest and deepest introduction currently available on Kant and his place in modern philosophy, making accessible the philosophical enterprise of Kant to those coming to his work for the first time. (shrink)
Humanism and Early Modern Philosophy is an original and timely volume that examines the distinctive and important role played by humanism in the development of early modern philosophy. Focusing on individual authors as well as intellectual trends, this collection of essays aims to portray the humanist movement as an essential part of the philosophy of the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Early modern philosophers looked for inspiration to the later ancient thinkers when they rebelled against the dominant Platonic and Aristotelian traditions. The impact of the Hellenistic philosophers (principally the Stoics, Epicureans, and Skeptics) on such philosophers as Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, and Locke was profound and is ripe for reassessment. This collection of new essays offers precisely that. Leading historians of philosophy explore the connections between Hellenistic and early modern philosophy in ways that take advantage of new scholarly and (...) philosophical advances. The essays display a challenging range of methods and will be an invaluable point of reference for philosophers, historians of ideas and classicists. (shrink)
The Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Philosophy is a comprehensive introduction to the central topics and changing shape of philosophical inquiry in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It explores one of the most innovative periods in the history of Western philosophy, extending from Montaigne, Bacon and Descartes through Hume and Kant. During this period, philosophers initiated and responded to major intellectual developments in natural science, religion, and politics, transforming in the process concepts and doctrines inherited from ancient and medieval (...) philosophy. In this Companion, leading specialists examine early modern treatments of the methodological and conceptual foundations of natural science, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, logic and language, moral and political philosophy, and theology. A final chapter looks forward to the philosophy of the Enlightenment. This will be an invaluable guide for all who are interested in the philosophical thought of the early modern period. (shrink)
Part of the Blackwell Readings in the History of Philosophy series, this survey of early modern philosophy focuses on the key texts and philosophers of the period whose beliefs changed the course of western thought. Assembles the key texts from the most significant and influential philosophers of the early modern era to provide a thorough introduction to the period. Features the writings of the major philosophical, scientific, and political thinkers of the time, including Descartes, Hobbes, Leibniz and Spinoza. (...) Focuses on the development and growth of Rationalism which stressed reason, logic, and experimentation in the pursuit of truth. Readings are accompanied by expert commentary from the editors, who are leading scholars in the field. (shrink)
This ambitious and important book provides the first truly general account of Francis Bacon as a philosopher. It describes how Bacon transformed the values that had underpinned philosophical culture since antiquity by rejecting the traditional idea of a philosopher as someone engaged in contemplation of the cosmos. The book explores in detail how and why Bacon attempted to transform the largely esoteric discipline of natural philosophy into a public practice through a program in which practical science provided a model that (...) inspired many from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. Stephen Gaukroger shows that this reform of natural philosophy was dependent on the creation of a new philosophical persona: a natural philosopher shaped through submission to the dictates of Baconian method. This book will be recognized as a major contribution to Baconian scholarship, of special interest to historians of early-modern philosophy, science, and ideas. (shrink)
"Modern" philosophy in the West is said to have begun with Bacon and Descartes. Their methodological and metaphysical writings, in conjunction with the discoveries that marked the seventeenth-century scientific revolution, are supposed to have interred both Aristotelian and scholastic science and the philosophy that supported it. But did the new or "modern" philosophy effect a complete break with what preceded it? Were Bacon and Descartes untainted by scholastic influences? The theme of this book is that the new and (...) traditional philosophies have much more in common than the orthodox account suggests. The contributors consider not only modernity in metaphysics and the sciences but also the claims of Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Spinoza to have invented "modern" ethics and politics. These two aspects of "modernity" in philosophy are connected for the first time. The book offers a broad view of the early modern philosophers, covering not only the much-studied major figures but also relatively neglected writers: Mersenne, Gassendi, White, and Sergeant. (shrink)
Part of the Blackwell Readings in the History of Philosophy series, this survey of late modern philosophy focuses on the key texts and philosophers of the period whose beliefs changed the course of western thought. Gathers together the key texts from the most significant and influential philosophers of the late modern era to provide a thorough introduction to the period. Features the writings of Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Leibniz, Kant, Rousseau, Bentham and other leading thinkers. Examines such topics as (...) empiricism, rationalism, and the existence of God. Readings are accompanied by expert commentary from the editors, who are leading scholars in the field. (shrink)
Modern Jewish philosophy emerged in the seventeenth century, with the impact of the new science and modern philosophy on thinkers who were reflecting upon the nature of Judaism and Jewish life. This collection of new essays examines the work of several of the most important of these figures, from the seventeenth to the late-twentieth centuries, and addresses themes central to the tradition of modern Jewish philosophy: language and revelation, autonomy and authority, the problem of evil, messianism, the (...) influence of Kant, and feminism. Included are essays on Spinoza, Mendelssohn, Cohen, Buber, Rosenzweig, Fackenheim, Soloveitchik, Strauss, and Levinas. Other thinkers discussed include Maimon, Benjamin, Derrida, Scholem, and Arendt. The sixteen original essays are written by a world-renowned group of scholars especially for this volume and give a broad and rich picture of the tradition of modern Jewish philosophy over a period of four centuries. (shrink)
THE BOOK TAKES A LARGE NUMBER OF ISSUES WITHIN CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY (E.G., ATTRIBUTES OF GOD, ATONEMENT, SACRAMENTS, ESCHATOLOGY); ALLOWS TWO THEOLOGIANS (MOSTLY MODERN) TO PRESENT OPPOSED VIEWS ON THE SUBJECT IN QUESTION; AND THEN ILLUSTRATES HOW THE DEBATE HAS BEEN INFLUENCED BY, OR COULD BE DEEPENED BY, REFERENCE TO CONTEMPORARY CONTINENTAL PHILOSOPHY OF VARIOUS SORTS. THE PHILOSOPHERS DISCUSSED INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: ADORNO, BARTHES, BENJAMIN, BLOCH, DELEUZE, DERRIDA, FOUCAULT, GADAMER, HEGEL, HEIDEGGER, KIERKEGAARD, LEVI-STRAUSS, LEVINAS, MARECHAL, RICOEUR. THOUGH THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND (...) IS EXPLAINED, THE STRESS IS VERY MUCH ON ASSESSMENT OF THE ARGUMENTS INVOLVED. (shrink)
For decades Continental theorists from Derrida to Deleuze have engaged in provocative, penetrating, and often extensive examinations of modern philosophers-studies that have opened up new ways to think about figures such as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, and Kant. This volume, for the first time, gives this work its due. A systematic rereading of early modern philosophers in the light of recent Continental philosophy, it exposes overlooked but critical aspects of sixteenth- through eighteenth-century philosophy even as it (...) brings to light certain historical assumptions that have colored-and distorted-our understanding of modernist thought. This volume thus retrieves modern thinkers from the modernistic ways in which they have been portrayed since the nineteenth century at the same time, it enhances our view of the roots and concerns of current Continental thought. What claims does the early modern period have on contemporary philosophy? How have recent theorists engaged this material, and why? In answer, some of these essays explore how major Continental theorists such as Derrida, Deleuze, Le Doeuff, Irigaray, Kristeva, and Althusser explicate the ideas of classical modern thinkers others draw on recent Continental insights to examine the doctrines of modern philosophers beginning with Machiavelli and ending with Kant. Together they show how current Continental theory reinvigorates the study of the history of modern philosophers by transforming not only how we interpret their answers to certain questions, but also how we understand the very nature of these questions. (shrink)
Following on the arguments adumbrated in his previous works, Piotr Hoffman here argues that the notion of and concern with violence are not limited to political philosophy but in fact form the essential component of philosophy in general. The acute awareness of the ever-present possibility of violence, Hoffman claims, filters into and informs ontology and epistemology in ways that require careful analysis. In his previous book, Doubt, Time, Violence , Hoffman explored the theme of violence in relation to Descartes' problematic (...) of doubt and Heidegger's work on temporality. The pivotal notion deriving from that investigation is the notion of the other as the ultimate limit of one's powers. In effect, Hoffman argues, our practical mastery of the natural environment still leaves intact the limitation of human agents by each other. In a violent environment, the other emerges as an insurmountable obstacle to one's aims and purposes or as an inescapable danger which one is powerless to hold at bay. The other is thus the focus of an ultimate resistance to one's powers. The special status of the other, as Hoffman articulates it, is at the root of several key notions around which modern philosophy has built its problematic. Arguing here that when the theme of violence is taken into account many conceptual tensions and puzzles receive satisfying solutions, Hoffman traces the theme through the issue of things versus properties; through Kant's treatment of causality, necessity, and freedom in the Critique of Pure Reason; and through the early parts of Hegel's Logic. The result is a complete reorientation and reinterpretation of these important texts. Violence in Modern Philosophy offers patient and careful textual clarification in light of Hoffman's central thesis regarding the other as ultimate limit. With a high level of originality, he shows that the theme of violence is the hidden impulse behind much of modern philosophy. Hoffman's unique stress on the constitutive importance of violence also offers a challenge to the dominant "compatibilist" tradition in moral and political theory. Of great interest to all philosophers, this work will also provide fresh insights to anthropologists and all those in the social sciences and humanities who occupy themselves with the general theory of culture. (shrink)
An Introduction to Modern European Philosophy , contains scholarly but accessible essays by nine British academics on Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Maritain, Hannah Arendt, Habermas, Foucault, and the 'Events' of 1968. Written for English-speaking readers, it describes the varied traditions within 19th- and 20th-century European philosophy, reflecting the dynamism and plurality within the European tradition and presenting opposing points of view. It deals with both French and German philosophers, plus Kierkegaard, and is (...) not confined to any one school of thought. It has been purged of jargon but contains a glossary of important technical terms. There is a bibliography of further reading and website information at the end of each chapter. (shrink)
Classical Modern Philosophy introduces students to the famous philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries and explores their most important works. Jeffrey Tlumak takes the reader on a chronological journey from Descartes to Kant, tracing the themes that run through the period and their interrelations. The main texts covered are: · Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy · Spinoza's Ethics · Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding · Leibniz's Discourse on Metaphysics and Monadology · Berkeley's Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human (...) Knowledge · Hume's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding and Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion · Kant's C ritique of Pure Reason and Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics Classical Modern Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction is the ideal textbook to accompany a course in the history of modern philosophy, but each chapter can also be studied alone as an introduction to the featured philosopher or work. Jeffrey Tlumak outlines and assesses prominent interpretations of the texts, and surveys the legacy of each great thinker. (shrink)
On the History of Modern Philosophy is a key transitional text in the history of European philosophy. In it, F. W. J. Schelling surveys philosophy from Descartes to German Idealism and shows why the Idealist project is ultimately doomed to failure. The lectures trace the path of philosophy from Descartes through Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant, Fichte, Jacobi, to Hegel and Schelling's own work. The extensive critiques of Hegel prefigure many of the arguments to be found in Feuerbach, Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche, (...) Heidegger, and Derrida. This is the first English translation of On the History of Modern Philosophy. In his introduction Andrew Bowie sets the work in the context of Schelling's career and clarifies its philosophical issues. The translation will be of special interest to philosophers, intellectual historians, literary theorists, and theologians. (shrink)
In this paper I make a case for a genuine and legitimate role for philosophy in modern Islamic culture. However, I argue that in order to make any progress towards reinstating such philosophical activity, we need to look deep into the nature and essence of modern philosophy. In this paper I aim to do this precisely by challenging modern philosophy’s self conception as an absolute critique (i.e. a critique of everything/anything). I argue that such a conception is (...) not only misconceived, it is also ideological in character. Looking back to its origins, I develop a genealogy of modern philosophy’s self-understanding in order to deconstruct it and disassociate it from other possible alternative conceptions of philosophy. I argue that we should reject the notion of philosophy as absolute critique, as it is ideologically motivated and oppressive. Instead, I argue for a more modest conception of philosophy as a subject which provides tools for developing human powers of reflection. (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)
The Nikolais/Louis Dance Technique provides the definite resource for understanding and practicing the influential dance technique developed by two pioneers of modern dance, Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis. The Nikolais/Louis technique is presented in a week-to-week classroom manual, providing an indispensable tool for teachers and students of this widely studied movement practice. Theoretical background for further reading is set off from the manual for those interested in deeper study. Their philosophy and methodology span a broad readership and offer an (...) important addition to dance literature and American cultural history. (shrink)
This is the first book-length study of Descartes's metaphysics to place it in its immediate historical context, the Late Scholastic philosophy of thinkers such as Suárez against which Descartes reacted. Jorge Secada views Cartesian philosophy as an 'essentialist' reply to the 'existentialism' of the School, and his discussion includes careful analyses and original interpretations of such central Cartesian themes as the role of scepticism, intentionality and the doctrine of the material falsity of ideas, universals and the relation between sense and (...) understanding, causation and the proofs of the existence of God, the theory of substance, and the dualism of mind and matter. His study offers a picture of Descartes's metaphysics that is both novel and philosophically illuminating. (shrink)
Yoga has come to be an icon of Indian culture and civilization, and it is widely regarded as being timeless and unchanging. Based on extensive ethnographic research and an analysis of both ancient and modern texts, Yoga in Modern India challenges this popular view by examining the history of yoga, focusing on its emergence in modern India and its dramatically changing form and significance in the twentieth century. Joseph Alter argues that yoga's transformation into a popular activity (...) idolized for its health value is based on modern ideas about science and medicine. Alter centers his analysis on an interpretation of the seminal work of Swami Kuvalayananda, one of the chief architects of the Yoga Renaissance in the early twentieth century. From this point of orientation he explores current interpretations of yoga and considers how practitioners of yogic medicine and fitness combine the ideas of biology, physiology, and anatomy with those of metaphysics, transcendence, and magical power. The first serious ethnographic history of modern yoga in India, this fluently written book is must reading not only for students and scholars but also practitioners who seek a deeper understanding of how yoga developed over time into the exceedingly popular phenomenon it is today. (shrink)
"Dr. Scruton writes with an unusual clarity and fluency, and is always a pleasure to read . . . this is certainly a book which you could give to anyone who was curious about philosophy and expect them to learn a lot from it." Alan Ryan, author of Bertrand Russell: A Political Life.
For centuries debates about reason and its Other have animated and informed philosophy, art, science, and politics throughout Western civilization but nowhere, arguably, as deeply and turbulently as in Germany. This book explores the myriad issues surrounding these debates.
Machine generated contents note: Selected Papers from Presentations at the Sixth Conference of the International Society for Studies in European Ideas (ISSEI), University of Haifa, Israel, 16-21 August 1998 -- An Answer to the Question 'What Is Counter-Enlightenment?' -- Graeme Garrard, Cardiff University -- Spinoza's Response to the Enlightenment Tradition -- David A. Freeman, Washburn University -- Hermeneutics, Contextualization and Historicity: From Hegel to -- Ricoeur, through the Neo-Kantians and Phenomenology -- Joseph M. de Torre, University of Asia and the (...) Pacific -- The Relationship between Memory and Reason in Kant -- Steven M. DeLue, Miami University -- Selected Papers on "The Philosophy of David Hume" Presented at the -- Tenth International Conference on the Enlightenment, University College, -- Dublin, Ireland, 25-31 July 1999 -- Hume and the First-Person Perspective in Natural Epistemology -- Peter Loptson, University of Guelph -- David Hume, Moral Painter -- Adam Potkay, College of William and Mary -- Hume Disposed -- Michael D. Garral, The Johns Hopkins University -- Rethinking Hume's Newtonian and Kant's Copernican Analogies -- Joseph Gonda, Glendon College, York University -- Hume's Motivational Naturalism and the Kantian Challenge -- John Partridge, The Johns Hopkins University -- Humean Multiculturalism -- H. A. Bassford, University College of the Fraser Valley -- Philosophical Doubts and Common Life in David Hume -- Toshihiko Ise, Ritsumeikan University. (shrink)
A collection of new essays on causation in the period from Galileo to Lady Mary Shepherd (roughly 1600-1850). Contributors: David Wootton, Tad Schmaltz, William Eaton and Robert Higgerson, Eric Schliesser, Pauline Phemister, Timothy Stanton, Peter Millican, Constantine Sandis, Boris Hennig, Angela Breitenbach, Stathis Psillos, and Martha Brandt Bolton.
The Young Karl Marx is an innovative and important new study of Marx’s early writings. These writings provide the fascinating spectacle of a powerful and imaginative intellect wrestling with complex and significant issues, but they also present formidable interpretative obstacles to modern readers. David Leopold shows how an understanding of their intellectual and cultural context can illuminate the political dimension of these works. An erudite yet accessible discussion of Marx’s influences and targets frames the author’s critical engagement with Marx’s (...) account of the emergence, character, and (future) replacement of the modern state. This combination of historical and analytical approaches results in a sympathetic, but not uncritical, exploration of such fundamental themes as alienation, citizenship, community, antisemitism, and utopianism. The Young Karl Marx is a scholarly and original work which provides a radical and persuasive reinterpretation of Marx’s complex and often misunderstood views of German philosophy, modern politics, and human flourishing. (shrink)
Jean bodin (b. 1530, Angers, France—d. June 1596, Laon, France) Jean Bodin was a French political philosopher whose exposition of the principles of stable government was widely influential in Europe at a time when medieval systems were ...
Plato's Republic: the argument with Polemarchus.--Plato's Republic: the argument with Thrasymachus.--Plato's Republic: the nature of the soul.--Plato's Republic: the comparison between the soul and the state.--Plato's Republic: the proof that the most just man is the happiest.--Aristotle's definition of moral virtue and Plato's account of justice in the soul.--Purposive action.--A comparison of Kant's idealism with that of Berkeley.--The syntheses of sense and understanding in Kant's Kritik of pure reason.--The schematism of the categories in Kant's Kritik of pure reason.--The concept of (...) evolution. (shrink)
We have been accustomed at least since Kant and mainstream history of philosophy to distinguish between the ‘mechanical’ and the ‘teleological’; between a fully mechanistic, quantitative science of Nature exemplified by Newton (or Galileo, or Descartes) and a teleological, qualitative approach to living beings ultimately expressed in the concept of ‘organism’ – a purposive entity, or at least an entity possessed of functions. The beauty of this distinction is that it seems to make intuitive sense and to map onto historical (...) and conceptual constellations in medicine, physiology and the related natural-philosophical discussions on the status of the body versus that of the machine. In this presentation I argue that the distinction between mechanism and teleology is imprecise and flawed, on the basis of a series of examples: the presence of ‘functional’ or ‘purposive’ features even in Cartesian physiology; work such as that of Richard Lower’s on animal respiration; the fact that the model of the ‘body-machine’ is not at all a mechanistic reduction of organismic properties to basic physical properties but on the contrary a way of emphasizing the uniqueness of organic life; and the concept of ‘animal economy’ in vitalist medical theory, which I present as a kind of ‘teleo-mechanistic’ concept of organism (borrowing a term of Timothy Lenoir’s which he used to discuss 19th-century embryology) – neither mechanical nor teleological. (shrink)
This remarkable book is the most comprehensive study ever written of the history of moral philosophy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Its aim is to set Kant's still influential ethics in its historical context by showing in detail what the central questions in moral philosophy were for him and how he arrived at his own distinctive ethical views. The book is organised into four main sections, each exploring moral philosophy by discussing the work of many influential philosophers of the (...) seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In an epilogue the author discusses Kant's view of his own historicity, and of the aims of moral philosophy. In its range, in its analyses of many philosophers not discussed elsewhere, and in revealing the subtle interweaving of religious and political thought with moral philosophy, this is an unprecedented account of the evolution of Kant's ethics. (shrink)
Philosophers are often asked for their views on the "meaning of the times." But how should philosophy deal with world events? And what makes a philosopher more qualified than anyone else to editorialize in the daily paper? In this book, Descombes's intention is not to offer his own reading of the signs of the times, but to interrogate modern philosophers about how they come up with the barometers they use to tell us about modern reason and the spirit (...) of the times. For Descombes, a "philosophical discourse of modernity" should be rejected, for the true subject of modernity belongs not to philosophers, but to writers, moralists, and sociologists of individualism. (shrink)
Anne Conway was an extraordinary figure in a remarkable age. Her mastery of the intricate doctrines of the Lurianic Kabbalah, her authorship of a treatise criticising the philosophy of Descartes, Hobbes, and Spinoza, and her scandalous conversion to the despised sect of Quakers indicate a strength of character and independence of mind wholly unexpected (and unwanted) in a woman at the time. Translated for the first time into modern English, her Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy (...) is the most interesting and original philosophical work written by a woman in the seventeenth century. Her radical and unorthodox ideas are important not only because they anticipated the more tolerant, ecumenical, and optimistic philosophy of the Enlightenment, but also because of their influence on Leibniz. This fully annotated edition includes an introduction which places Conway in her historical and philosophical contexts, together with a chronology of her life and a bibliography. (shrink)
This is a critical introduction to modern French philosophy, commissioned from one of the liveliest contemporary practitioners and intended for an English-speaking readership. The dominant 'Anglo-Saxon' reaction to philosophical development in France has for some decades been one of suspicion, occasionally tempered by curiosity but more often hardening into dismissive rejection. But there are signs now of a more sympathetic interest and an increasing readiness to admit and explore shared concerns, even if these are still expressed in a very (...) different idiom and intellectual context. Vincent Descombes offers here a personal guide to the main movements and figures of the last forty-five years. He traces over this period the evolution of thought from a generation preoccupied with the 'three H's' - Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger, to a generation influenced since about 1960 by the 'three masters of suspicion' - Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. In this framework he deals in turn with the thought of Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, the early structuralists, Foucault, Althusser, Serres, Derrida, and finally Deleuze and Lyotard. The 'internal' intellectual history of the period is related to its institutional setting and the wider cultural and political context which has given French philosophy so much of its distinctive character. (shrink)
The Contradictions of Modern Moral Philosophy is a highly original and radical critique of contemporary moral theory. Johnston skillfully demonstrates how much of recent moral philosophy runs aground on the issue of whether we can make correct moral judgements. His analysis begins with an insightful discussion of the divisions within moral philosophy. On one hand many philosophers deny that it is possible to make correct judgements on other peoples actions; on the other, they remain preoccupied with distinguishing between what (...) is "right" and "wrong". Paul Johnston shows how much recent moral philosophy consists of unsuccessful attempts to eliminate this contradiction. (shrink)
This edited volume, aimed at both students and researchers in philosophy, mathematics and history of science, highlights leading developments in the overlapping areas of philosophy and the history of modern mathematics. It is a coherent, wide ranging account of how a number of topics in the philosophy of mathematics must be reconsidered in the light of the latest historical research and how a number of historical accounts can be deepened by embracing philosophical questions.
This book examines the early modern science of generation, which included the study of animal conception, heredity, and fetal development. Analyzing how it influenced the contemporary treatment of traditional philosophical questions, it also demonstrates how philosophical presuppositions about mechanism, substance, and cause informed the interpretations offered by those conducting empirical research on animal reproduction. Composed of cutting-edge essays written by an international team of leading scholars, the book offers a fresh perspective on some of the basic problems in early (...)modern philosophy. (shrink)
Kierkegaard and Modern Continental Philosophy provides a radical alternative to modern continental critiques of traditional philosophy. Michael Weston examines the possibility of an ethical critique of philosophy and questions the jurisdiction of philosophy over both ethics and religion. He explores Kierkegaard's writings in light of the modern continental thinking that has sought to "overcome" or "end" philosophy. Nietzsche and later thinkers such as Heidegger and Derrida challenged the metaphysical tradition in philosophy and undermined the credibility of ethics (...) and religion. Kierkegaard's work, while acknowledged as a precursor to these developments, has been criticized for its continuing dependence on metaphysical assumptions. Weston offers a major re-assessment of Kierkegaard's philosophy and argues that its radical nature has been overlooked. He identifies the comic and ironic tone infusing Kierkegaard's work and examines the philosopher's practice of publishing under bizarre pseudonyms. Weston argues that Kierkegaard's writings engage in an ethical critique of philosophy; they identify ethics as the non-philosophical site from which philosophy can be criticized. The book demonstrates how this ethical critique applies not only to metaphysics but also to modern continental thought. (shrink)
A clear and engaging presentation of history's most influential Eastern thinkers Eastern Philosophy provides a detailed but accessible analysis of the work of nearly sixty thinkers from all of the major Eastern philosophical traditions, from the earliest times to the present day. Covering systems, schools, and individuals, Eastern Philosophy presents founder figures such as Zoroaster and Mohammed as well as modern thinkers such as Nishida Kitaro, perhaps the preeminent figure within modern Japanese philosophy. From Buddhism to Islam, Confucius (...) to Gandhi, the systems of Indian philosophy to the Kyoto School, concepts and individuals are introduced in a lively and lucid narrative. Eastern Philosophy is a thought-provoking and stimulating exploration of fundamental ideas and an array of personalities that is sure to encourage further investigation. A comprehensive glossary, Web resources, and a bibliography further enhance the volume. (shrink)