Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008)
AbstractPierre Gassendi (b. 1592, d. 1655) was a French philosopher, scientific chronicler, observer, and experimentalist, scholar of ancient texts and debates, and active participant in contemporary deliberations of the first half of the seventeenth century. His significance in early modern thought has in recent years been rediscovered and explored, towards a better understanding of the dawn of modern empiricism, the mechanical philosophy, and relations of modern philosophy to ancient and medieval discussions. Through an arch-empiricism—tempered by adherence to key elements of Church doctrine—Gassendi views metaphysics as a realm for speculation grounded in the possibility of empirical confirmation, logic as a psychologistic and probabilistic enterprise, knowledge of the external world as built on and subject to sensory-based evidence, and ethics in quasi-hedonist, possibly quantifiable terms. His philosophy is a constant review of other sources, a thorough consideration of the landscape into which his own empiricism fits and represents an alternative to contrasting claims, past and present. Other hallmarks of his thought include an atomist matter theory, explorations and defenses of the new physics, objections to the Meditations, and refutations of contemporary Aristotelians and mystical thinkers. His presentation of an empiricism, atomism, and new cosmology in historical and philosophical context greatly advanced the community of scholarship in his day, and represents a then-new model of research and exposition.
Similar books and articles
When Did Pierre Gassendi Become a Libertine?Margaret Osler - 2005 - In John Hedley Brooke & Ian Maclean (eds.), Heterodoxy in Early Modern Science and Religion. Oxford University Press.
Gassendi's Ethics: Freedom in a Mechanistic Universe.Lisa T. Sarasohn - 1996 - Cornell University Press.
Gassendi on Human Knowledge of the Mind.Antonia LoLordo - 2005 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 87 (1):1-21.
Gassendi's Reintrepretation of the Galilean Theory of Tides.Carla Rita Palmerino - 2004 - Perspectives on Science 12 (2):212-237.
Pierre Gassendi: From Aristotelianism to a New Natural Philosophy.Richard A. Watson - 1990 - International Studies in Philosophy 22 (3):92-93.
Pierre Gassendi and the Birth of Early Modern Philosophy. [REVIEW]Larry M. Jorgensen - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (4):615-617.
Pierre Gassendi and the Birth of Early Modern Philosophy.Jude P. Dougherty - 2007 - Review of Metaphysics 61 (1):141-142.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
Of Dreams, Demons, and Whirlpools: Doubt, Skepticism, and Suspension of Judgment in Descartes's Meditations.Jan Forsman - 2021 - Dissertation, Tampere University
Transcendental Arguments, Conceivability, and Global Vs. Local Skepticism.Moti Mizrahi - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (2):735-749.
References found in this work
The History of Scepticism: From Savonarola to Bayle.Richard Popkin - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
The Battle of the Gods and Giants: The Legacies of Descartes and Gassendi, 1655-1715.Thomas M. Lennon - 1993 - Princeton University Press.
Pierre Gassendi and the Birth of Early Modern Philosophy.Antonia LoLordo - 2006 - Cambridge University Press.
Divine Will and the Mechanical Philosophy: Gassendi and Descartes on Contingency and Necessity in the Created World.Margaret J. Osler - 1994 - Cambridge University Press.