Rise of Modern Philosophy: The Tension Between the New and Traditional Philosophies

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"Modern" philosophy in the West is said to have begun with Bacon and Descartes. Their methodological and metaphysical writings, in conjunction with the discoveries that marked the seventeenth-century scientific revolution, are supposed to have interred both Aristotelian and scholastic science and the philosophy that supported it. But did the new or "modern" philosophy effect a complete break with what preceded it? Were Bacon and Descartes untainted by scholastic influences? The theme of this book is that the new...
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Overview


"Modern" philosophy in the West is said to have begun with Bacon and Descartes. Their methodological and metaphysical writings, in conjunction with the discoveries that marked the seventeenth-century scientific revolution, are supposed to have interred both Aristotelian and scholastic science and the philosophy that supported it. But did the new or "modern" philosophy effect a complete break with what preceded it? Were Bacon and Descartes untainted by scholastic influences? The theme of this book is that the new and traditional philosophies have much more in common than the orthodox account suggests. The contributors consider not only modernity in metaphysics and the sciences but also the claims of Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Spinoza to have invented "modern" ethics and politics. These two aspects of "modernity" in philosophy are connected for the first time. The book offers a broad view of the early modern philosophers, covering not only the much-studied major figures but also relatively neglected writers: Mersenne, Gassendi, White, and Sergeant.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198239536
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/8/1993
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.63 (w) x 8.75 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors
List of Abbreviations
Introduction 1
Pt. I Overviews
1 Scepticism and Modernity 15
2 The Vitality and Importance of Early Modern Aristotelianism 33
Pt. II 'Modern' Method, Metaphysics, Music, and Theology
3 Francis Bacon, Authority, and the Moderns 71
4 Mersenne and Modern Learning: The Debate over Music 89
5 'Torn between Two Obligations': The Compromise of Thomas White 107
6 Ancients, Moderns, and the History of Philosophy: Gassendi's Epicurean Project 129
7 A New Start? Cartesian Metaphysics and the Emergence of Modern Philosophy 145
8 Tradition and Novelty: Descartes and Some Cartesians 167
9 The Contagious Communication of Strong Imaginations: History, Modernity, and Scepticism in the Philosophy of Malebranche 197
10 Leibniz: Modern, Scholastic, or Renaissance Philosopher? 213
11 Locke, Sergeant, and Scientific Method 231
Pt. III Modernity in Morals and Politics
12 The Question of Machiavelli's Modernity 253
13 Morals and Modernity in Descartes 273
14 Spinoza thc Stoic 289
15 Hobbes: Ancient and Modern 317
Index 337
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