In the mid-seventeenth century a movement of self-styled experimental philosophers emerged in Britain. Originating in the discipline of natural philosophy amongst Fellows of the fledgling Royal Society of London, it soon spread to medicine and by the eighteenth century had impacted moral and political philosophy and even aesthetics. Earlymodern experimental philosophers gave epistemic priority to observation and experiment over theorising and speculation. They decried the use of hypotheses and system-building without recourse to experiment and, in (...) some quarters, developed a philosophy of experiment. The movement spread to the Netherlands and France in the early eighteenth century and later impacted Germany. Its important role in earlymodernphilosophy was subsequently eclipsed by the widespread adoption of the Kantian historiography of modernphilosophy, which emphasised the distinction between rationalism and empiricism and had no place for the historical phenomenon of earlymodern experimental philosophy. The re-emergence of interest in earlymodern experimental philosophy roughly coincided with the development of contemporary x-phi and there are some important similarities between the two. (shrink)
The view of language is greatly changed from earlymodernphilosophy to later modernphilosophy and to postmodern philosophy. The linguistic question in earlymodernphilosophy, which is characterized by rationalism and empiricism, is discussed in this paper. Linguistic phenomena are not at the center of philosophical reflections in earlymodernphilosophy. The subject of consciousness is at the center of the philosophy, which makes language serve purely (...) as an instrument for representing thoughts. Locke, Leibniz and Descartes consider language from a representationalist point of view. To them, language itself is idealized and represents thought as if it were thought representing itself. Like the structural linguist Saussure, the founders of phenomenology and analytical philosophy give much attention to the logical or static structure of language, and stick up for the representationalism of earlymodernphilosophy. However, their successors refuse to accept this attitude, meaning the final collapse of representationalism. (shrink)
This paper argues that earlymodern 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 earlymodern 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)
It is a challenge in teaching earlymodernphilosophy to balance historical faithfulness to the arguments and concerns of earlymodern philosophers and interpreting them as relevant to the kinds of thinking that contemporary undergraduate students find plausible. Earlymodernphilosophy is unique, however, in applying modern scientific method directly to problems concerning nonphysical aspects of reality that our contemporary scientific thought, and with it mainstream contemporary culture, no longer find amenable (...) in their own, independent right to reliable reasoned approaches. At the same time, earlymodernphilosophy often also takes seriously purely conceptual or logically consequential thought in the investigation of these topics, as our mainstream contemporary culture does not. This kind of thought, we argue, is distinctive of philosophy in general and appropriate to nonphysical aspects of reality. Earlymodernphilosophy, then, offers a bridge between the kind of reasoned, objective thought our mainstream culture finds plausible and thought about nonphysical reality or, in general, the thought that characterizes philosophy. (shrink)
The articles in the symposium “Teaching EarlyModernPhilosophy: New Approaches” provide theoretical reflections and practical advice on new ways of teaching undergraduate survey courses in earlymodernphilosophy. This introduction lays out the rationale for the symposium and summarizes the articles that compose it.
This Oxford Handbook examines the radical transformation of worldview taking place in the period from the middle of the 16th century to the early 18th century. The intention of the volume is to cover both well-known and undeservedly less well-known philosophical texts by placing these works in their historical context which includes tight interconnections with other disciplines as well as historical and political events. By proceeding in this manner the editors hope to recover a meaning of “philosophy” that (...) comes closer to the way its earlymodern proponents would have understood and practiced it. The editors also point to the reader-friendly character of this Handbook: in addition to grouping chapters in five categories, cross-references to chapters or pages dealing with the same issues make it possible for readers to consult the book selectively. (shrink)
The ethos of Justin Smith’s Nature, Human Nature, & Human Difference is expressed in the narrative of Anton Wilhelm Amo (~1703-53), an African-born slave who earned his doctoral degree in Philosophy at a European university and went on to teach at the Universities of Jena and Halle. Smith identifies Amo as a time-marker for diverging interpretations of race: race as inherently tethered to physical difference and race as inherited essential difference. Further, these interpretations of race are fastened to the (...) discourse of science and human diversity within modern Europe. Smith’s thesis maintains that the rise of the concept of race in philosophy begins with a divorcing of the soul from human nature and a movement to a naturalistic classification of human beings through taxonomies (e.g. botany, mineralogy and zoology), which dissolved into this dichotomy: an essential difference between people of reason and people of nature. (shrink)
'The History of Western Philosophy of Religion' brings together an international team of over 100 leading scholars to provide authoritative exposition of how history's most important philosophical thinkers - from antiquity to the present day - have sought to analyse the concepts and tenets central to Western religious belief, especially Christianity. Divided chronologically into five volumes, 'The History of Western Philosophy of Religion' is designed to be accessible to a wide range of readers, from the scholar looking for (...) original insight and the latest research findings to the student wishing for a masterly encapsulation of a particular philosopher's views. Together these volumes provide an indispensable resource for anyone conducting research or teaching in the philosophy of religion and related fields, such as theology, religious studies, the history of philosophy, and the history of ideas. (shrink)
An international team of over 100 leading scholars has been brought together to provide authoritative exposition of how history's most important philosophical thinkers - fron antiquity to the present day - have sought to analyse the concepts and tenets central to Western religious belief, especially Christianity. Divided, chronologically, into five volumes, _The History of Western Philosophy of Religion_ is designed to be accessible to a wide range of readers, from the scholar looking for original insight and the latest research (...) findings to the student wishing for a masterly encapsulation of a particular philosopher's views. It will become the standard reference in the field. Features: each volume opens with a general introduction, presenting an overview of philosophy of religion in the period each essay opens with a brief biography, then outlines and analyses that philosopher's contribution to thinking on religion, and concludes with key further reading essays are cross-referenced, highlighting the development of major ideas and influences across history each volume closes with a chronology, presenting a contextual guide to the main religious, political, cultural and artistic events of the period each volume contains its own bibliography and index. (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 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 – neither mechanical nor teleological. (shrink)
Earlymodern 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 on such philosophers as Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza and Locke was profound and is ripe for reassessment. This collection of essays offers precisely that. Leading historians of philosophy explore the connections between Hellenistic and earlymodernphilosophy 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)
This book offers a comprehensive treatment of the philosophical system of the seventeenth-century philosopher Pierre Gassendi. Gassendi's importance is widely recognized and is essential for understanding earlymodern philosophers and scientists such as Locke, Leibniz and Newton. Offering a systematic overview of his contributions, LoLordo situates Gassendi's views within the context of sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century natural philosophy as represented by a variety of intellectual traditions, including scholastic Aristotelianism, Renaissance Neo-Platonism, and the emerging mechanical philosophy. (...) LoLordo's work will be essential reading for historians of earlymodernphilosophy and science. (shrink)
The Cambridge Companion to EarlyModernPhilosophy 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 earlymodern 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 earlymodern period. (shrink)
_ A Companion to EarlyModern Philosophy_ is a comprehensive guide to the most significant philosophers and philosophical concepts of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe. Provides a comprehensive guide to all the important modern philosophers and modern philosophical movements. Spans a wide range of philosophical areas and problems, including metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of science, ethics, political philosophy and aesthetics. Written by leading scholars in the field. Represents the most up-to-date research in the history of (...) class='Hi'>earlymodernphilosophy. Serves as an excellent supplement to primary readings. (shrink)
This ambitious and important book, first published in 2001, provides a 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-modernphilosophy, science, and ideas. (shrink)
Scholarship in the history of modernphilosophy has changed dramatically in the last hundred years. Early in the twentieth century, philosophers such as Bertrand Russell and others regularly wrote on historical topics and figures, albeit from the perspective of their own contemporary concerns. But gradually, interest in the historical Descartes, Kant, and other figures fell off as more analytical approaches came to dominate. This lasted until the late 1960's, which saw a profound renaissance in historical scholarship. Philosophers (...) rediscovered the vitality of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century philosophy, using both analytical approaches--which look at historical problems through a contemporary conceptual lens--and historical approaches, which reconstruct the views of philosophers from within their conceptual framework. There is now a vital, international community engaged in this scholarship. This volume showcases the best work now being written on a wide range of issues in earlymodernphilosophy--a period in which numerous philosophical problems that continue to engage us today were first identified by Locke, Berkeley, Kant, Spinoza, Leibniz, and Descartes. Collectively the articles exemplify the diversity of methodological perspectives currently being employed by some of the most distinguished, internationally recognized experts in the field. (shrink)
Three general accounts of causation stand out in earlymodernphilosophy: Cartesian interactionism, occasionalism, and Leibniz's preestablished harmony. The contributors to this volume examine these theories in their philosophical and historical context. They address them both as a means for answering specific questions regarding causal relations and in their relation to one another, in particular, comparing occasionalism and the preestablished harmony as responses to Descartes's metaphysics and physics and the Cartesian account of causation. Philosophers discussed include Descartes, (...) Gassendi, Malebranche, Arnauld, Leibniz, Bayle, La Forge, and other, less well-known figures. (shrink)
Mit dem Handbuch Departure for Modern Europe, das die Beiträge des 2007 ausgetragenen Ersten Internationalen Kongresses der European Society for EarlyModernPhilosophy enthält, liegt erstmalig eine von Experten internationalen Ranges ...
Oxford Studies in EarlyModernPhilosophy 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 earlymodern thought.
Oxford Studies in EarlyModernPhilosophy presents a selection of the best current work in the history of earlymodernphilosophy. It 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.
Richard Kennington , a professor for many years at Pennsylvania State University and the Catholic University of America, was renowned for his insight in reading and teaching earlymodernphilosophy. Although he published articles and spoke widely, never before have his writings been collected in a book. On Modern Origins deftly shows how modern thinkers assessed the errors of the classical tradition and established in its place a philosophy that fuses a new meaning of (...) nature and of theory with humanitarian goals. This volume is an essential source for scholars seeking to understand the contemporary significance of the dawning of the modern era. (shrink)
This volume examines the distinctive and important role played by humanism in the development of earlymodernphilosophy. 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 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.
Part of the Blackwell Readings in the History of Philosophy series, this survey of earlymodernphilosophy focuses on the key texts and philosophers of the period whose beliefs changed the course of western thought.
This paper examines the pressures leading two very different EarlyModern philosophers, Descartes and Locke, to invoke two ways in which thought is directed at objects. According to both philosophers, I argue, the same idea can simultaneously count as “of” two different objects—in two different senses of the phrase ‘idea of’. One kind of intentional directedness is invoked in answering the question What is it to think that thus-and-so? The other kind is invoked in answering the question What (...) accounts for the success of our proper methods of inquiry? For Descartes as well as Locke, the two kinds of “ofness” come apart as a result of strong rationalist commitments. However, I will suggest that even if we reject such commitments, we go wrong if we assume that a single kind of intentional directedness suffices to address both questions. (shrink)
In Metaphysical Themes: 1274–1671, Robert Pasnau compares the medieval and earlymodern approaches to the material-immaterial divide and suggests the medievals held the advantage on this issue. I argue for the opposite conclusion. I also argue against his suggestion that we should approach the divide through the notion of a special type of extension for immaterial entities, and propose that instead we should focus on their indivisibility.
Causality and Mind presents seventeen of Nicholas Jolley's essays on earlymodernphilosophy, which focus on two main themes. One theme is the continuing debate over the nature of causality in the period from Descartes to Hume. Jolley shows that, despite his revolutionary stance, Descartes did no serious re-thinking about causality; it was left to his unorthodox disciple Malebranche to argue that there is no place for natural causality in the new mechanistic picture of the physical world. (...) Several essays explore critical reactions to Malebranche's occasionalism in the writings of Leibniz, Berkeley, and Hume, and show how in their different ways Leibniz and Hume respond to Malebranche by re-instating the traditional view that science is the search for causes. A second theme of the volume is the set of issues posed by Descartes' innovations in the philosophy of mind. It is argued that Malebranche is once again a pivotal figure. In opposition to Descartes Malebranche insists that ideas, the objects of thought, are not psychological but abstract entities; he thus opposes Descartes' 'dustbin theory of the mind'. Malebranche also challenges Descartes' assumption that intentionality is a mark of the mental and his commitment to the superiority of self-knowledge over knowledge of body. Other essays discuss the debate over innate ideas, Locke's polemics against Descartes' theory of mind, and the issue of Leibniz's phenomenalism. A major aim of the volume is to show that philosophers in the period are systematic critics of their contemporaries and predecessors. (shrink)
In this volume Smith examines the earlymodern 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 pre-suppositions about mechanism, substance, and cause informed the interpretations offered by those conducting empirical research on animal reproduction. Composed of essays written by an international team of leading scholars, the book offers a fresh perspective on some of the basic problems (...) in earlymodernphilosophy. It also considers how these basic problems manifested themselves within an area of scientific inquiry that had not previously received much consideration by historians of philosophy. (shrink)
In Causation & Laws of Nature in EarlyModernPhilosophy, Walter Ott offers us a fascinating account of the development of theories of causation and laws of nature in the earlymodern period. The central theme of the book traces the development of two approaches to causation in the period: the “top-down analysis” and the “bottom-up analysis.” According to the former approach, the laws of nature are not “fixed by the natures of the objects they (...) govern.” Rather, the content of the laws of nature depends solely on God and the contents of God’s will . The latter approach, on the other hand, holds that the “course of nature is fixed by the properties of created beings” . On this approach, a fire’s burning, for example, is a function of the powers of the fire and the wood, not the will of God. Ott treats Descartes and Malebranche as paradigm cases of the top-down approach, and Locke and Pierre-Sylvain Regis as examples of the bottom-up approach, with Boyle displaying hints of both approaches.Central to Ott’s treatment is situating the earlymodern debate in the context of the dominant Aristotelian Scholastic position on causation . Ott argues that the Scholastic position was, among other things, a bottom-up view that treated true. (shrink)
Earlymodern philosophers after Ren? Descartes are commonly distinguished as either rationalists or empiricists: rationalists are understood to agree with Descartes that reason is the source of knowledge, while empiricists are seen to emphasize the role of the senses within processes of knowledge acquisition. In recent years, this classic distinction has increasingly come under scrutiny. It is objected that, in its simplicity, the distinction tends to conceal the various cross-categorial influences thinkers of the earlymodern era (...) had on each other.1 In "The History of Scepticism,"2 Richard Popkin provided an alternative approach to earlymodernphilosophy: instead of focusing on the opposition between the two rival camps of empiricists and rationalists, he tells us to concentrate on "la crisepyrrhonienne,"3 for it is this crisis that lay at the heart of earlymodernphilosophy and preoccupied rationalists as much as empiricists. (shrink)
After a spate of monographs on Pierre Gassendi in the mid-1990s, the scholarly discussion of this most difficult French philosopher has largely been confined to the pages of scholarly journals. Except for Sylie Taussig's fine translation of Gassendi's Latin letters into French, and an issue of Dix-septième siècle devoted to the thinker, no major book-length study has appeared. Antonia LoLordo fills this gap in Pierre Gassendi and the Birth of EarlyModernPhilosophy. Her aim is "defamiliarizing the (...)earlymodern philosophic landscape" by introducing Gassendi as a major player in a diverse topography of thought. In her analysis, LoLordo articulates and critiques the philosophic content of Gassendi's various works, as well as challenging the interpretations of some of his modern exegetes, most notably, O. R. Bloch and Margaret J. Osler.LoLordo focuses on Gassendi's natural philosophy, epistemology, and ontology. Her contention that Gassendi "was a central figure in seventeenth-century philosophy" will come as no surprise to those familiar with the course of earlymodernphilosophy. LoLordo systematically treats Gassendi's major and minor works, especially his early anti. (shrink)
When Spinoza described his dream of a black, scabby Brazilian, was the image indicative of a larger pattern of racial discrimination? Should todays readers regard racist comments and theories in the texts of 17th- and 18th-century philosophers as reflecting the prejudices of their time or as symptomatic of philosophical discourse? This article discusses whether a critical discussion of race is itself a form of racism and whether supposedly minor prejudices are evidence of a deeper social pathology. Given historical hindsight, we (...) may read such discussion of race in earlymodernphilosophy as a sign of the incipient struggle against prejudice, a sign that we can recognize and use in the struggles of our own time. Key Words: colonialism the concept of haunting essentialism David Hume Immanuel Kant racism Benedict Spinoza. (shrink)
Given the difficulties of Pierre Bayle’s writing—its occasional nature, its digressive and wandering style, and its sheer size—it is no small task to present him as an author of a coherent metaphysical doctrine. But Todd Ryan does just that in this cogently-argued analysis of Bayle’s encounters with, among others, Descartes, Malebranche, Locke, Leibniz, and Spinoza. We are thus invited, as the subtitle indicates, to “rediscover earlymodernphilosophy” by way of Bayle’s philosophical engagements.The main fault line in (...) Bayle scholarship concerns the sincerity of the philosopher’s religious and philosophical commitments, and scholars have had recourse to biographical and contextual scholarship to solve some of these problems. Ryan sidesteps context, simply approaching Bayle’s texts as coherent arguments and analyzing them philosophically—a fruitful approach generally. That said, he periodically finds himself drawn into the debates about Bayle’s intentions, since he wishes to insist upon a single coherent interpretation of the philosopher as a Cartesian, something that requires one to confront instances where Bayle expresses doubts about Cartesian principles. Ryan’s strategy is to insist that Bayle takes evidence to be “a matter of degree. (shrink)
Alan Stewart - Francis Bacon and the Transformation of Early-ModernPhilosophy - Journal of the History of Philosophy 40:4 Journal of the History of Philosophy 40.4 542-543 Book Review Francis Bacon and the Transformation of Early-ModernPhilosophy Stephen Gaukroger. Francis Bacon and the Transformation of Early-ModernPhilosophy. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Pp. xii + 249. Cloth, $59.95. Paper, $21.95. In Stephen Gaukroger's new study, Francis Bacon is lauded (...) all too familiarly as the inaugurator of "the transformation of philosophy into science, and philosophers into scientists" . But it's far from the old story: Gaukroger sees Bacon not as progenitor of the Scientific Revolution or revered Father of Modern Science, but as launching "the first systematic, comprehensive attempt to transform the early-modern.. (shrink)
Margaret J. Osler - EarlyModernPhilosophy: Mind, Matter, and Metaphysics - Journal of the History of Philosophy 44:3 Journal of the History of Philosophy 44.3 478-479 Christia Mercer and Eileen O'Neill, editors. EarlyModernPhilosophy: Mind, Matter, and Metaphysics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. Pp. xxi + 298. Cloth, $55.00. The editors of this collection of essays by the late Margaret Wilson's former students and colleagues present this book "as a (...) snapshot of state-of-the-art history of earlymodernphilosophy" . Many of the usual suspects make an appearance in these pages: Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Malebranche, and Kant. A couple of new faces also come on stage: Damaris Cudworth , best known as Locke's companion but presented here as a philosopher in her own right, and the Cartesian Bernard le Bouvier de.. (shrink)
Though Spinoza's definition of God at the beginning of the Ethics unequivocally asserts that God has infinitely many attributes, the reader of the Ethics will find only two of these attributes discussed in any detail in Parts Two through Five of the book. Addressing this intriguing gap between the infinity of attributes asserted in E1d6 and the discussion merely of the two attributes of Extension and Thought in the rest of the book, Jonathan Bennett writes: Spinoza seems to imply that (...) there are other [attributes] – he says indeed that God or Nature has “infinite attributes.” Surprising as it may seem, there are reasons to think that by this Spinoza did not mean anything entailing that there are more than two attributes. In this paper I will argue that Bennett’s claim is fundamentally wrong and deeply misleading. I do think, however, that addressing Bennett’s challenge will help us better understand Spinoza’s notion of infinity. I will begin by summarizing Bennett’s arguments. I will then turn to examine briefly the textual evidence for and against his reading. Then I will respond to each of Bennett’s arguments, and conclude by pointing out theoretical considerations which, I believe, simply refute his reading. (shrink)
This volume collects contributions from leading scholars of earlymodernphilosophy from a wide variety of philosophical and geographic backgrounds. The distinguished contributors offer very different, competing approaches to the history of philosophy.
Normativity has long been conceived as more properly pertaining to the domain of thought than to the domain of nature. This conception goes back to Kant and still figures prominently in contemporary epistemology, philosophy of mind and ethics. By offering a collection of new essays by leading scholars in earlymodernphilosophy and specialists in contemporary philosophy, this volume goes beyond the point where nature and normativity came apart, and challenges the well-established opposition between these (...) all too neatly separated realms. It examines how the mind’s embeddedness in nature can be conceived as a starting point for uncovering the links between naturally and conventionally determined standards governing an agent’s epistemic and moral engagement with the world. The original essays are grouped in two parts. The first part focuses on specific aspects of theories of perception, thought formation and judgment. It gestures towards an account of normativity that regards linguistic conventions and natural constraints as jointly setting the scene for the mind’s ability to conceptualise its experiences. The second part of the book asks what the norms of desirable epistemic and moral practices are. Key to this approach is an examination of human beings as parts of nature, who act as natural causes and are determined by their sensibilities and sentiments. Each part concludes with a chapter that integrates features of the historical debate into the contemporary context.. (shrink)
In a powerful and original contribution to the history of ideas, Hannah Dawson explores the intense preoccupation with language in early-modernphilosophy, and presents a groundbreaking analysis of John Locke's critique of words. By examining a broad sweep of pedagogical and philosophical material from antiquity to the late seventeenth century, Dr Dawson explains why language caused anxiety in writers such as Montaigne, Bacon, Descartes, Hobbes, Gassendi, Nicole, Pufendorf, Boyle, Malebranche and Locke. Locke, Language and Early-Modern (...)Philosophy demonstrates that new developments in philosophy, in conjunction with weaknesses in linguistic theory, resulted in serious concerns about the capacity of words to refer to the world, the stability of meaning, and the duplicitous power of words themselves. Dr Dawson shows that language so fixated all manner of early-modern authors because it was seen as an obstacle to both knowledge and society. She thereby uncovers a novel story about the problem of language in philosophy, and in the process reshapes our understanding of early-modern epistemology, morality and politics. (shrink)
Rival Enlightenments, first published in 2001, is a major reinterpretation of earlymodern German intellectual history. Ian Hunter approaches philosophical doctrines as ways of fashioning personae for envisaged historical circumstances, here of confessional conflict and political desacralization. He treats the civil philosophy of Pufendorf and Thomasius and the metaphysical philosophy of Leibniz and Kant as rival intellectual cultures or paideiai, thereby challenging all histories premised on Kant's supposed reconciliation and transcendence of the field. This study reveals (...) the extraordinary historical self-consciousness of the civil philosophers, who repudiated university metaphysics as inimical to the intellectual formation of those administering desacralized territorial states. The book argues that the marginalization of civil philosophy in post-Kantian philosophical history may itself be seen as a continuation of the struggle between the rival enlightenments. Combining careful and well-documented scholarship with vivid polemic, Hunter presents penetrating insights for philosophers and historians alike. (shrink)
_Time and the Science of the Soul in EarlyModern Philosophy_ traces the complex and productive connections established between time and the soul from late Aristotelianism to the natural and political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes and René Descartes.
__Early ModernPhilosophy Reconsidered: Essays in Honor of Paul Hoffman __is an international collection of essays from both well-established and younger scholars. In keeping with the example of Hoffman’s own work, the essays are written in the spirit of promoting serious philosophical engagement with the historical figures they discuss. Among the philosophers whose views are explored in the collection are Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Berkeley, and Kant.
Oxford University Press is proud to announce an annual volume presenting a selection of the best new work in the history of philosophy.Oxford Studies in EarlyModernPhilosophy will focus on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries - the period that begins, very roughly, with Descartes and his contemporaries and ends with Kant. It will also publish papers on thinkers or movements outside of that framework, provided they are important in illuminating earlymodern thought. The (...) core of the subject matter will, of course, be philosophy and its history. But the volume's papers will reflect the fact that philosophy in this period was much broader in scope that it is now taken to be, and included a great deal of what currently belongs to the natural sciences: so the notion of 'philosophy' will be interpreted rather broadly. Furthermore, philosophy in the period was closely connected with other disciplines, such as theology, and with larger questions of social, political, and religious history. Again, while maintaining a focus on philosophy, the volumes will also include articles that examine the larger intellectual, social, and political context of earlymodernphilosophy.The articles in OSEMP will be of importance to specialists within the discipline, but the editors also intend that they should appeal to a larger audience of philosophers, intellectual historians, and others who are interested in the development of modern thought. (shrink)
Oxford University Press is proud to present the second volume in a new annual series, presenting a selection of the best current work in the history of philosophy.Oxford Studies in EarlyModernPhilosophy 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 will also publish papers on thinkers or movements outside of that framework, provided they are important (...) in illuminating earlymodern thought.The articles in OSEMP will be of importance to specialists within the discipline, but the editors also intend that they should appeal to a larger audience of philosophers, intellectual historians, and others who are interested in the development of modern thought. (shrink)