Malebranche's Dialogues on Metaphysics and on Religion is in many ways the best introduction to his thought, and provides the most systematic exposition of his philosophy as a whole. In it, he presents clear and comprehensive statements of his two best-known contributions to metaphysics and epistemology, namely, the doctrines of occasionalism and vision in God; he also states his views on such central issues as self-knowledge, the existence of the external world and the problem of theodicy. His skilful (...) handling of the dialogue form enables the reader to see how he responds to objections made to his earlier work The Search after Truth. This edition presents a translation of the text which is clear, readable and more accurate than any of its predecessors, together with an introduction that analyses Malebranche's central teachings and explains the importance of the Dialogues in the context of seventeenth-century philosophy. (shrink)
This volume contains a close translation, suitable for students without a knowledge of Greek, of the seventh and eighth books of Aristotle's Metaphysics, together with a thorough and careful philosophical commentary. In these difficult books, which are central to his metaphysical system, Aristotle discusses the nature of perceptible reality. In particular, he discusses which of matter and form might be the basic reality of things, and he frequently contrasts his own view of form with the Platonic view. Several other (...) topics are treated which are of central importance to his metaphysics, such as the notions of essence and definition, the status of universals, and the concept of a unity. (shrink)
The Metaphysics of Morals is Kant's major work in applied moral philosophy in which he deals with the basic principles of rights and of virtues. It comprises two parts: the 'Doctrine of Right', which deals with the rights which people have or can acquire, and the 'Doctrine of Virtue', which deals with the virtues they ought to acquire. Mary Gregor's translation, revised for publication in the Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy series, is the only complete translation of (...) the whole text, and includes extensive annotation on Kant's difficult and sometimes unfamiliar vocabulary. A new introduction by Roger Sullivan sets the work in its historical and philosophical context. This volume will be of wide interest to students of ethics and of legal and political philosophy. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals ranks alongside Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics as one of the most profound and influential works in moral philosophy ever written. In Kant's own words its aim is to search for and establish the supreme principle of morality, the categorical imperative. Kant argues that every human being is an end in himself or herself, never to be used as a means by others, and that moral obligation is an expression (...) of the human capacity for autonomy or self-government. This edition presents the acclaimed translation of the text by Mary Gregor, together with an introduction by Christine M. Korsgaard that examines and explains Kant's argument. (shrink)
A distinguished group of scholars of ancient philosophy here presents a systematic study of the twelfth book of Aristotle's Metaphysics. Book Lambda, which can be regarded as a self-standing treatise on substance, has been attracting particular attention in recent years, and was chosen as the focus of the fourteenth Symposium Aristotelicum, from which this volume is derived.
Giordano Bruno's notorious public death in 1600, at the hands of the Inquisition in Rome, marked the transition from Renaissance philosophy to the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century. In his philosophical works he addressed such delicate issues as the role of Christ as mediator and the distinction, in human beings, between soul and matter. This volume presents new translations of Cause, Principle and Unity, in which he challenges Aristotelian accounts of causality and spells out the implications of Copernicanism (...) for a new theory of an infinite universe, and of two essays on magic, On Magic and A General Account of Bonding, in which he interprets earlier theories about magical events in the light of the unusual powers of natural phenomena. (shrink)
Antoine Arnauld and Pierre Nicole were philosophers and theologians associated with Port-Royal Abbey, a centre of the Catholic Jansenist movement in seventeenth-century France. Their enormously influential Logic or the Art of Thinking, which went through five editions in their lifetimes, treats topics in logic, language, theory of knowledge and metaphysics, and also articulates the response of 'heretical' Jansenist Catholicism to orthodox Catholic and Protestant views on grace, free will and the sacraments. In attempting to combine the categorical theory of (...) the proposition with a Cartesian account of knowledge, their Logic represents the classical view of judgment which inspired the modern transformation in logic and semantic theory by Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein and recent philosophers. This edition presents a new translation of the text, together with a historical introduction and suggestions for further reading. (shrink)
The search for God is dictated not from without but from a profound sense of one's own moral being and worthiness to be happy. The core of Immanuel Kant's argument remains relevant to the experience of ordinary men and women. He wished to strengthen, not undermine, belief in God and in the spiritual nature of humankind. This 1763 essay is imporrtant in understanding the development of Kant's thought. It exposed the flaw in the Cartesian argument that the existence of a (...) perfect being could be deduced from an idea or concept of such. Similarly, Kant saw the problem inherent in the Leibnizian view of a philosophical system modeled on mathematics: a philosopher who, like a mathematician, began with an arbitrary definition remained trapped in a circle of words. In The One Possible Basis for a Demonstration of the Existence of God , Kant diverged from the familiar forms of ontological argument. The result was a brilliant approach to divine being that anticipated his mature Critique of Pure Reason. With this Bison Book edition, The One Possible Basis appears in paperback for the first time. Gordon Treash's English translation, the only modern one, faces pages containing the original German. Treash, who is a professor of philosophy at Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick, edited, with Paul A. Bogaard, Metaphysics as Foundation: Essays in Honor of Ivor Leclerc . Also available as a Bison Book is Kant's last major essay, The Conflict of the Faculties (1992). (shrink)
This is a new revised version of Dr. Laslett's standard edition of Two Treatises. First published in 1960, and based on an analysis of the whole body of Locke's publications, writings, and papers. The Introduction and text have been revised to incorporate references to recent scholarship since the second edition and the bibliography has been updated.
Although utterly convinced of the truth of Christianity, Anselm of Canterbury struggled to make sense of his religion. He considered the doctrines of faith an invitation to question, to think, and to learn; and he devoted his life to confronting and understanding the most elusive aspects of Christianity. His writings on matters such as free will, the nature of truth, and the existence of God make Anselm one of the greatest theologians and philosphers in history, and this translation provides readers (...) with their first opportunity to read his most important works within a single volume. (shrink)
James Harrington (1611-77) was a pioneer in applying the methods of Machiavelli and other civic humanists to English political society and its landed structure. In the century after his death, his ideas were adapted to become an important ingredient in the vocabulary of both English and American political opposition to the methods of Hanoverian parliamentary monarchy. There has been no complete edition of Harrington's writings since 1771, or of Oceana, his best-known work, since 1924. This is a modernised edition, and (...) includes all of his prose works on political subjects. The critical introduction attempts to revalue the evidence concerning Harrington's life and writings, to locate them in the context of Civil War, Commonwealth and Puritan thinking and to trace the development of Harringtonian and neo-Harringtonian ideology during subsequent generations. (shrink)
James VI and I united the crowns of England and Scotland. His books are fundamental sources of the principles which underlay the union. In particular, his Basilikon Doron was a best-seller in England and circulated widely on the Continent. Among the most important and influential British writings of their period, the king's works shed light on the political climate of Shakespeare's England and the intellectual background to the civil wars which afflicted Britain in the mid-seventeenth century. James' political philosophy (...) was a moderated absolutism, with an emphasis on the monarch's duty to rule according to law and the public good. Locke quoted his speech to parliament of 1610 approvingly, and Hobbes likewise praised 'our most wise king'. This edition is the first to draw on all the early texts of James' books, with an introduction setting them in their historical context. (shrink)
Plotinus (c. AD 205-270) can be regarded as the greatest Greek philosopher of late Antiquity, and as the father of Neoplatonism. His Enneads (`the nines') are now recognised as seminal works in the development of Western thought. This book is the only detailed scholarly commentary available on this part of Plotinus' work, and should be invaluable to all scholars interested in ancient philosophy and early Christian theology. All Greek in the commentary is translated.
The acceptance of Newton’s ideas and Newtonianism in the early German Enlightenment is usually described as hesitant and slow. Two reasons help to explain this phenomenon. One is that those who might have adopted Newtonian arguments were critics of Wolffianism. These critics, however, drew on indigenous currents of thought, pre-dating the reception of Newton in Germany and independent of Newtonian science. The other reason is that the controversies between Wolffians and their critics focused on metaphysics. Newton’s reputation, however, (...) was that of a mathematician, and one point, on which Wolffians and their opponents agreed, was that mathematics was of no use in the solution of metaphysical questions. The appeal to Newton as an authority in metaphysics, it was argued, was the fault of Newton’s over-zealous disciples in Britain, who tried to transform him from a mathematician into the author of a general philosophical system. It is often argued that the Berlin Academy after 1743 included a Newtonian group, but even there the reception of Newtonianism was selective. Philosophers such as Leonhard Euler were also reluctant to be labelled ‘Newtonians’, because this implied a dogmatic belief in Newton’s ideas. Only after the mid-eighteenth century is ‘Newtonianism’ increasingly accepted in the sense of a philosophical system.Author Keywords: Natural philosophy; Mathematics; Metaphysics; Isaac Newton; Newtonianism; German Enlightenment. (shrink)
"I know of no religious writer more pertinent to our time."—T. S. Eliot, Introduction to Pensees Intended to prove that religion is not contrary to reason, Pascal's Pensees rank among the liveliest and most eloquent defenses of Christianity. Motivated by the seventeenth-century view of the supremacy of human reason, Pascal (1623–1662) had intended to write an ambitious apologia for Christianity in which he argued the inability of reason to address metaphysical problems. His untimely death prevented the work's completion, but the (...) fragments published posthumously in 1670 as Pensees remain a vital part of religious and philosophical literature. W. F. Trotter translation. Introduction by T. S. Eliot. (shrink)
Patriarcha -- The freeholder's grand inquest touching the king and his parliament -- Observations upon Aristotle's politiques touching forms of government -- Directions for obedience to government in dangerous or doubtful times -- Observations concerning the originall of government -- The anarchy of a limited or mixed monarchy -- The necessity of the absolute power of all kings.
Dating from about the third century A.D., the Yoga Sutra distills the essence of the physical and spiritual discipline of yoga into fewer than two hundred brief aphorisms. It is the core text for any study of meditative practice, revered for centuries for its brilliant analysis of mental states and of the process by which inner liberation is achieved. Yet its difficulties are legendary, and until now, no translation has made it fully accessible. This new translation, hailed by Yoga Journal (...) for its "unsurpassed readability," is by one of the leading Sanskrit scholars of our time, whose Bhagavad Gita has become a recognized classic. It includes an introduction to the philosophy and psychology underlying the Yoga Sutra , the full text with explanatory commentary, and a glossary of key terms in Sanskrit and English. (shrink)