The Light of the Soul: Theories of Ideas in Leibniz, Malebranche, and Descartes / Edition 1

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The concept of an "idea" played a central role in 17th-century theories of mind and knowledge, but philosophers were divided over the nature of ideas. This book examines an important, but little-known, debate on this question in the work of Leibniz, Malebranche, and Descartes. Looking closely at the issues involved, as well as the particular context in which the debate took place, Jolley demonstrates that the debate has serious implications for a number of major topics in 17th-century philosophy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An excellent book....An engaging and stimulating tour of a series of fascinating philosophical debates which constitute central dimensions of the seventeenth-century philosophical tradition....Should generate substantial reconsideration of the notion of ideas and of the conception of mind in a period when Platonism, along the new science, was increasingly influential."—Review of Metaphysics

"A significant study of a central topic in modern philosophy....Jolley manages to illuminate a host of related topics in epistemology and the philosophy of mind, and succeeds quite admirably in offering a philosophically stimulating, historically rich discussion of the nature of ideas. Consequently, this book should be purchased by every academic library supporting undergraduate degree programs in philosophy."—Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198238195
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/10/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Lexile: 1330L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

University of California, San Diego
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Table of Contents

1: Introduction; 2: Descartes: The Theory of Ideas; 3: Descartes: Innate Ideas; 4: Malebranche: The Theory of Ideas; 5: Malebranche: Vision in God; 6: Malebranche: Vision in God and Occasionalism; 7: Malebranche: Ideas and Self-Knowledge; 8: Leibniz: Ideas and Illumination; 9: Leibniz: The Defence of Innate Ideas; 10: Leibniz: Innate Ideas, Reflection, and Self-Knowledge; 11: Some Further Developments; Bibliography; Index.

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