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Christia Mercer
Columbia University
  1. The Contextualist Revolution in Early Modern Philosophy.Christia Mercer - 2019 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 57 (3):529-548.
    while no one was looking, contextualism replaced rational reconstructionism as the dominant methodology among English-speaking early modern historians of philosophy. In this paper, I expose the contours of this silent revolution, show that rational reconstructionism is a thing of the past among early modern historians, and examine the current state of early modern scholarship.1 As the contextualist revolution has increasingly widened our perspective and revealed the period’s philosophical diversity, it has encouraged early modernists to develop new skills and expertise. I (...)
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  2. Descartes’ Debt to Teresa of Ávila, or Why We Should Work on Women in the History of Philosophy.Christia Mercer - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (10):2539-2555.
    Despite what you have heard over the years, the famous evil deceiver argument in Meditation One is not original to Descartes. Early modern meditators often struggle with deceptive demons. The author of the Meditations is merely giving a new spin to a common rhetorical device. Equally surprising is the fact that Descartes’ epistemological rendering of the demon trope is probably inspired by a Spanish nun, Teresa of Ávila, whose works have been ignored by historians of philosophy, although they were a (...)
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  3.  55
    Leibniz' Metaphysics. Its Origins and Development.Christia Mercer - 2001 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
    This book offers a major reassessment of Leibniz's metaphysics. Christia Mercer has exposed the underlying doctrines of Leibniz's philosophy. By analysing Leibniz's early works she demonstrates that the metaphysics of pre-established harmony developed many years earlier than previously believed and for reasons which have not been understood. As a result of this analysis she has unearthed a philosophical school that Leibniz scholars have not recognized. A much deeper understanding of some of Leibniz's key doctrines emerges. Moreover, since the Leibniz that (...)
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  4. Leibniz’s Metaphysics: Its Origins and Development.Christia Mercer - 2004 - Philosophical Quarterly 54 (214):177-180.
     
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  5. The Methodology of the Meditations: Tradition and Innovation.Christia Mercer - 2014 - In David Cunning (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Descartes’ Meditations. Cambridge University Press. pp. 23-47.
    Descartes intended to revolutionize seventeenth-century philosophy and science. But first he had to persuade his contemporaries of the truth of his ideas. Of all his publications, Meditations on First Philosophy is methodologically the most ingenuous. Its goal is to provoke readers, even recalcitrant ones, to discover the principles of “first philosophy.” The means to its goal is a reconfiguration of traditional methodological strategies. The aim of this chapter is to display the methodological strategy of the Meditations. The text’s method is (...)
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  6.  8
    Anne Conway’s Metaphysics of Sympathy.Christia Mercer - 2019 - In Eileen O’Neill & Marcy P. Lascano (eds.), Feminist History of Philosophy: The Recovery and Evaluation of Women’s Philosophical Thought. Springer. pp. 49-73.
    The main goal of this chapter is to present the basic components of Anne Conway’s metaphysics of sympathy. To that end, I will explicate her concepts of God or first substance and second substance or Christ with special emphasis on the key role that the second substance plays in her philosophy. I argue that one of the keys to Conway’s system lies in her reinterpretation of the Christian narrative about suffering. She combines Christian imagery with ancient and modern ideas in (...)
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  7. The Vitality and Importance of Early Modern Aristotelianism.Christia Mercer - 1993 - In Tom Sorell (ed.), The Rise Of Modern Philosophy: The Tension Between the New and Traditional Philosophies from Machiavelli to Leibniz. Oxford University Press.
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  8. Metaphysics: The Early Period to the Discourse on Metaphysics.Christia Mercer & Robert C. Sleigh Jr - 1994 - Leibniz.
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  9. Knowledge and Suffering in Early Modern Philosophy: G.W. Leibniz and Anne Conway.Christia Mercer - 2012 - In Sabrina Ebbersmeyer (ed.), Emotional Minds. De Gruyter. pp. 179.
  10. Platonism in Early Modern Natural Philosophy: The Case of Leibniz and Conway.Christia Mercer - 2012 - In Christoph Horn James Wilberding (ed.), Neoplatonic Natural Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
  11.  12
    The Philosophical Roots of Western Misogyny.Christia Mercer - 2018 - Philosophical Topics 46 (2):183-208.
    In this paper, I examine the arguments offered by prominent ancient philosophers and medical theorists to justify the view that female bodies are imperfect or “mutilated” compared to male bodies from which it is supposed to follow that women are morally inferior to men. These arguments rendered men superior to women and justified the need for women to subjugate themselves to their procreative powers and to the wisdom of their superiors. Western sexism and misogyny has its roots here. It is (...)
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  12. Leibniz and His Master: The Correspondence with Thomasius.Christia Mercer - 2004 - In P. Lodge (ed.), Leibniz and his Correspondents. Cornell University Press.
  13. Platonism and Philosophical Humanism on the Continent.Christia Mercer - 2002 - In Steven Nadler (ed.), A Companion to Early Modern Philosophy. Blackwell.
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  14. Leibniz and Spinoza on Substance and Mode.Christia Mercer - 1999 - In Derk Pereboom (ed.), Rationalists. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 273-300.
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  15. Kontinuität Und Mechanismus: Zur Philosophie des Jungen Leibniz in Ihrem Ideengeschichtlichen Kontext. [REVIEW]Richard Arthur, Christia Mercer, Justin Smith & Catherine Wilson - 1997 - The Leibniz Review 7:25-64.
  16. .Christia Mercer (ed.) - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
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  17. Early Modern Philosophy: Mind, Matter, and Metaphysics.Christia Mercer (ed.) - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
    This volume showcases the best current work now being written on a wide range of issues in early modern philosophy, when some of the most influential current philosophical problems were first identified by figures like Locke, Berkeley, Kant, Spinoza, and Descartes. Collectively the articles exemplify the wide range of methodological perspectives currently being employed by top figures in the field. Indeed the selling point of the volume is the very high level of the fourteen contributors, each of whom has a (...)
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  18. G. W. Leibniz, "De Summa Rerum: Metaphysical Papers, 1675-76". [REVIEW]Christia Mercer - 1995 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 33 (4):689.
     
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  19.  42
    Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz: Sämtliche Schriften und Briefe.Christia Mercer - 2000 - The Leibniz Review 10:61-72.
    Working on Leibniz’s vast essays and texts can seem overwhelming. As exciting as it is to study the details of the Monadology and Discourse on Metaphysics, the Theodicy and the letters to Arnauld, it can be terrifying to sit back and think that there are thousands of other pages of equally sublime and often more difficult philosophical material. The personal notes are particularly daunting. Because Leibniz wrote these for himself, it is often difficult to grasp his reasoning and decipher his (...)
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  20. Humanist Platonism in Seventeenth-Century Germany.Christia Mercer - 1999 - London Studies in the History of Philosophy 1:238-58.
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  21. Leibniz and Sleigh on Substantial Unity.Christia Mercer - 2005 - In Donald Rutherford J. A. Cover (ed.), Leibniz: Nature and Freedom. Oxford University Press.
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  22. Leibniz and Sleigh.Christia Mercer - 2005 - In Donald Rutherford J. A. Cover (ed.), Leibniz: Nature and Freedom. Oxford University Press. pp. 44.
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  23.  18
    Leibniz and the Rational Order of Nature (Review).Christia Mercer - 1998 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 36 (1):139-141.
  24. Leibniz and the German Tradition of the Power of Language.Christia Mercer - 2005 - In D. Berlioz F. Nef (ed.), Leibniz et les puissances du langage. Vrin.
     
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  25.  75
    Leibniz and the Kabbalah.Christia Mercer - 1995 - The Leibniz Review 5:27-28.
    Anyone interested in Leibniz, the Kabbalah, the Cambridge Platonists, Gnosticism, Platonism, or seventeenth-century metaphysics will want to read Allison P. Coudert’s Leibniz and the Kabbalah. Coudert argues that core features of Leibniz’s mature philosophy were directly influenced by the Kabbalah in general and Francis Mercury van Helmont’s Lurianic Kabbalah in particular. This is a provocative thesis to which Coudert brings an impressive amount of scholarly detective work. Her argument in brief goes as follows: there are important differences between the philosophy (...)
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  26. Leibniz on Knowledge and God.Christia Mercer - 2002 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 76 (4):531-550.
    Scholars have long noted that, for Leibniz, the attributes or Ideas of God are the ultimate objects of human knowledge. In this paper, I go beyond these discussions to analyze Leibniz’s views about the nature and limitations of such knowledge. As with so many other aspects of his thought, Leibniz’s position on this issue—what I will call his divine epistemology—is both radical and conservative. It is also not what we might expect, given other tenets of his system. For Leibniz, “God (...)
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  27. Leibniz on Mathematics, Methodology, and the Good: A Reconsideration of the Place of Mathematics in Leibniz's Philosophy.Christia Mercer - 2006 - Early Science and Medicine 11 (4):424-454.
    Scholars have long been interested in the relation between Leibniz, the metaphysician-theologian, and Leibniz, the logician-mathematician. In this collection, we consider the important roles that rhetoric and the "art of thinking" have played in the development of mathematical ideas. By placing Leibniz in this rhetorical tradition, the present essay shows the extent to which he was a rhetorical thinker, and thereby answers the question about the relation between his work as a logician-mathematician and his other work. It becomes clear that (...)
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  28. Leibniz's Teachers: Their Eclecticism and Platonism.Christia Mercer - 1999 - In S. Brown (ed.), The Philosophy of the Young Leibniz. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  29. Mechanizing Aristotle: Leibniz and Reformed Philosophy.Christia Mercer - 1999 - Oxford Studies in the History of Philosophy:117-152.
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  30. Mechanizing Aristotle: Leibniz and Reformed Philosophy.Christia Mercer - 1997 - In M. A. Stewart (ed.), Studies in Seventeenth-Century European Philosophy. Clarendon Press.
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  31. Material Difficulties: Matter and the Metaphysics of Resurrection in Early Modern Natural Philosophy.Christia Mercer - 2005 - Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 26 (2):123-135.
    When Bruno was burned at the stake in 1600, philosophers were still inclined to offer natural explanations in Aristotelian terms. Neither the physical proposals of Bruno himself, nor those of other prominent non-Aristotelians like Paracelsus had diminished the power of the explanatory model offered by the scholastics. For those philosophers watching the demise of Bruno in the Campo dei Fiori in Rome, the burning of the wood and its subsequent effects would have been explained adequately in terms of matter and (...)
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  32. Prefacing the Theodicy.Christia Mercer - 2014 - In Larry M. Jorgensen & Samuel Newlands (eds.), New Essays on Leibniz's Theodicy. Oxford University Press. pp. 13-42.
    The Preface to Leibniz's famous Theodicy offers a perspective on the work that has been insufficiently studied. In this paper, I ask that we step back from the main text of the Theodicy and attend to its Preface. I show that the latter performs two crucial preparatory tasks that have not been properly appreciated. The first is to offer a public declaration of what I call Leibniz’s radical rationalism. The Preface assumes that any attentive rational being is capable of divine (...)
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  33.  45
    Queen Christina of Sweden and Her Circle: The Transformation of a Seventeenth-Century Philosophical Libertine.Christia Mercer - 1993 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 31 (2):289-291.
  34.  54
    Reply to Cees Leijenhorst’s Review of Leibniz’s Metaphysics.Christia Mercer - 2002 - The Leibniz Review 12:81-87.
    In his thoughtful and generous review of my book, Leibniz’s Metaphysics: Its Origins and Development, Cees Leijenhorst accepts many of its most radical conclusions: that Leibniz’s metaphysics evolved out of an attempt to combine ideas gathered from the great philosophers of the past and to do so in a manner that would solve the theological, legal, and philosophical questions that most concerned him; that although Leibniz’s notion of substance developed out of his interpretation of the philosophy of Aristotle, his conception (...)
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  35.  6
    Reply to Cees Leijenhorst’s Review of Leibniz’s Metaphysics.Christia Mercer - 2002 - The Leibniz Review 12:81-87.
    In his thoughtful and generous review of my book, Leibniz’s Metaphysics: Its Origins and Development, Cees Leijenhorst accepts many of its most radical conclusions: that Leibniz’s metaphysics evolved out of an attempt to combine ideas gathered from the great philosophers of the past and to do so in a manner that would solve the theological, legal, and philosophical questions that most concerned him; that although Leibniz’s notion of substance developed out of his interpretation of the philosophy of Aristotle, his conception (...)
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  36.  14
    Susanna Akerman, "Queen Christina of Sweden and Her Circle: The Transformation of a Seventeenth-Century Philosophical Libertine". [REVIEW]Christia Mercer - 1993 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 31 (2):289.
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  37. The Aristotelianism at the Core of Leibniz's Philosophy.Christia Mercer - 2002 - In C. H. Leijenhorst J. M. M. H. Thijssen & C. H. Lüthy (eds.), The Dynamics of Aristotelian Natural Philosophy from Antiquity to the Seventeenth Century. Brill Academic Publisher.
  38. The General Metaphysics of Nature: Plotinus on Logos / Lloyd P. Gerson. The Significance of 'Physics' in Porphyry : The Problem of Body and Matter / Andrew Smith. Self-Motion and Reflection : Hermias and Proclus on the Harmony of Plato and Aristotle on the Soul / Stephen Menn. Nature in Proclus : From Irrational Immanent Principle to Goddess / Alain Lernould. Platonism in Early Modern Natural Philosophy : The Case of Leibniz and Conway. [REVIEW]Christia Mercer - 2012 - In James Wilberding & Christoph Horn (eds.), Neoplatonism and the Philosophy of Nature. Oxford Up.
     
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  39. The Platonism at the Core of Leibniz's Metaphysics: God and Knowledge.Christia Mercer - 2008 - In S. Hutton (ed.), Platonism and the Origins of Modernity: The Platonic Tradition and the Rise of Modern Philosophy. Ashgate Press.