Late Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary / Edition 1

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Part of the Blackwell Readings in the History of Philosophy series, this survey of late modern philosophy focuses on the key texts and philosophers of the period whose beliefs changed the course of western thought.

  • Gathers together the key texts from the most significant and influential philosophers of the late modern era to provide a thorough introduction to the period.
  • Features the writings of Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Leibniz, Kant, Rousseau, Bentham and other leading thinkers.
  • Examines such topics as empiricism, rationalism, and the existence of God.
  • Readings are accompanied by expert commentary from the editors, who are leading scholars in the field.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is an excellent anthology with selections that areshrewdly chosen and insightfully introduced, including several inethics that are unusual but quite important, such as Adam Smith,Richard Price, and Mary Wollstonecraft.”
Stephen Darwall, University of Michigan

“A rich and wisely chosen collection of keyeighteenth-century texts, distinctive in covering not onlyepistemology and metaphysics, but moral and politicalphilosophy.” Kenneth P. Winkler, Wellesley College

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Elizabeth S. Radcliffe is Professor of Philosophy at SantaClara University. Her areas of specialization include Hume, ethicaltheory, motivational psychology, and seventeenth- andeighteenth-century philosophy. She is the author of On Hume(2000), editor of A Companion to Hume (Blackwell, 2007), andwas co-editor of the journal Hume Studies from 2000 to 2005.

Richard McCarty is Associate Professor of Philosophy atEast Carolina University. His research focuses on Kant and thehistory of modern philosophy.

Fritz Allhoff is Assistant Professor of Philosophy atWestern Michigan University. His main areas of research are ethicaltheory, applied ethics, and the philosophy of biology/science. Hiswork has been published in, among other places, the AmericanJournal of Bioethics, the Cambridge Quarterly of HealthcareEthics, History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, theInternational Journal of Applied Philosophy, and theKennedy Institute of Ethics Journal.

Anand Jayprakash Vaidya is Assistant Professor ofPhilosophy at San José State University. His research is inmetaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of mind.

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Table of Contents


General Introduction.

Part I: Empiricism.


1. Essay concerning Human Understanding: John Locke.

2. Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous in Opposition toSceptics and Atheists: George Berkeley.

3. An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding: David Hume.

4. A Treatise of Human Nature: David Hume.

Part II: Critics of Empiricism.


5. New Essays concerning Human Understanding: Gottfried WilhelmLeibniz.

6. The Leibniz–Clarke Correspondence: Gottfried Leibnizand Samuel Clarke.

7. An Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of CommonSense: Thomas Reid.

Part III: Kant’s Critique of Rationalism andEmpiricism.


8. Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics: Immanuel Kant.

Part IV: Arguments for the Existence of God.


9. A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God: SamuelClarke.

10. Natural Theology: William Paley.

11. Dialogues concerning Natural Religion: David Hume.

12. Critique of Pure Reason: Immanuel Kant.

Part V: Political Philosophy.


13. Second Treatise on Government: John Locke.

14. Of the Original Contract: David Hume.

15. On the Social Contract: Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Part VI: Moral Philosophy.


16. Discourse concerning the Unchangeable Obligations of NaturalReligion: Samuel Clarke.

17. A Treatise of Human Nature: David Hume.

18. A Review of the Principal Questions in Morals: RichardPrice.

19. The Theory of Moral Sentiments: Adam Smith.

20. Lectures on Ethics: Immanuel Kant.

21. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: Immanuel Kant.

22. Essays on the Active Powers of the Human Mind: ThomasReid.

23. An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation:Jeremy Bentham.

24. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: MaryWollstonecraft.

Suggestions for Further Reading.


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