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  1.  98
    Spinoza and the Logical Limits of Mental Representation.Galen Barry - 2019 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (1):5.
    This paper examines Spinoza’s view on the consistency of mental representation. First, I argue that he departs from Scholastic tradition by arguing that all mental states—whether desires, intentions, beliefs, perceptions, entertainings, etc.—must be logically consistent. Second, I argue that his endorsement of this view is motivated by key Spinozistic doctrines, most importantly the doctrine that all acts of thought represent what could follow from God’s nature. Finally, I argue that Spinoza’s view that all mental representation is consistent pushes him to (...)
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  2.  7
    Habits of Mind A Brand New Condillac.Jeremy Dunham - 2019 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (1):1.
    Is there anything in the mind that was not first in the senses? According to the received view, the French empiricist Étienne Bonnot de Condillac’s answer to this was a firm “No”. Unlike Locke, who accepted the existence of innate faculties, Condillac rejected the existence of all innate structure and instinctive behaviours. Everything, therefore, is learned. In this article, I argue that from at least the writing of his 1754 Traité des sensations, this reading fails to capture the true nature (...)
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  3.  11
    Virtual Union, the Seeds of Hatred, and the Fraternal Joining of Hands: Leibniz and Toleration.Mogens Laerke - 2019 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (1):6.
    In this paper, I am interested in the conception of toleration that can be gleaned from the political and theological texts of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. I argue that Leibniz did not defend a notion of toleration comparable to a standard modern conception. The modern conception is very often traced back to a constellation of writers contemporary with Leibniz including Locke, Bayle, and Spinoza. It involves an inclusive embrace of diversity, religious and otherwise, and an affirmation of toleration as a fundamental (...)
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  4.  69
    Boyle’s Reductive Occasionalism.Daniel Layman - 2019 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (1):2.
    Was Robert Boyle an occasionalist? And if so, what kind of occasionalist was he? These questions have long troubled commentators, as Boyle’s texts often seem to offer both endorsements of occasionalism and affirmations of bodies’ causal powers. I argue that Boyle’s position is best understood as reductive occasionalism, according to which bodily powers are relations between bodies and God’s action in the world, and there is no causal efficacy in bodies that is not strictly identical to God’s nomological causal efficacy.
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  5.  2
    Virtual Union, the Seeds of Hatred, and the Fraternal Joining of Hands: Leibniz and Toleration.Mogens Lærke - 2019 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (1).
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  6. Berkeley’s Best System: An Alternative Approach to Laws of Nature.Walter Ott - 2019 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (1):4.
    Contemporary Humeans treat laws of nature as statements of exceptionless regularities that function as the axioms of the best deductive system. Such ‘Best System Accounts’ marry realism about laws with a denial of necessary connections among events. I argue that Hume’s predecessor, George Berkeley, offers a more sophisticated conception of laws, equally consistent with the absence of powers or necessary connections among events in the natural world. On this view, laws are not statements of regularities but the most general rules (...)
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  7.  6
    François Lamy’s Cartesian Refutation of Spinoza’s Ethics.Jack Stetter - 2019 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (1):7.
    François Lamy, a Benedictine monk and Cartesian philosopher whose extensive relations with Arnauld, Bossuet, Fénélon, and Malebranche put him into contact with the intellectual elite of late-seventeenth-century France, authored the very first detailed and explicit refutation of Spinoza’s Ethics in French, Le nouvel athéisme renversé. Regrettably overlooked in the secondary literature on Spinoza, Lamy is an interesting figure in his own right, and his anti-Spinozist work sheds important light on Cartesian assumptions that inform the earliest phase of Spinoza’s critical reception (...)
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  8.  81
    Staying Optimistic: The Trials and Tribulations of Leibnizian Optimism.Lloyd Strickland - 2019 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (1):1-21.
    The oft-told story of Leibniz’s doctrine of the best world, or optimism, is that it enjoyed a great deal of popularity in the eighteenth century until the massive earthquake that struck Lisbon on 1 November 1755 destroyed its support. Despite its long history, this story is nothing more than a commentators’ fiction that has become accepted wisdom not through sheer weight of evidence but through sheer frequency of repetition. In this paper we shall examine the reception of Leibniz’s doctrine of (...)
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  9.  12
    Absential Suspension: Malebranche and Locke on Human Freedom.Julie Walsh & Thomas M. Lennon - 2019 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (1):1-17.
    This paper treats a heretofore-unnoticed concept in the history of the philosophical discussion of human freedom, a kind of freedom that is not defined solely in terms of the causal power of the agent. Instead, the exercise of freedom essentially involves the non-occurrence of something. That being free involves the non-occurrence, that is, the absence, of an act may seem counterintuitive. With the exception of those specifically treated in this paper, philosophers tend to think of freedom as intimately involved with (...)
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