A Companion to Rationalism

A Companion to Rationalism

by Alan Nelson (Editor)


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This book is a wide-ranging examination of rationalist thought in philosophy from ancient times to the present day.

  • Written by a superbly qualified cast of philosophers
  • Critically analyses the concept of rationalism
  • Focuses principally on the golden age of rationalism in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries
  • Also covers ancient rationalism, nineteenth-century rationalism, and rationalist themes in recent thought
  • Organised chronologically
  • Various philosophical methods and viewpoints are represented

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118360620
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 11/06/2012
Series: Blackwell Companions to Philosophy Series , #129
Pages: 524
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Alan Nelson is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine. He is a leading scholar of the great philosophical systems of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and has published widely on rationalism in the history of philosophy and in the philosophy of science.

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors ix

Acknowledgments xi

List of Abbreviations xii

Introduction xiv

Part I The Core of Rationalism 1

1 The Rationalist Impulse 3
Alan Nelson

2 The Rationalist Conception of Substance 12
Thomas M. Lennon

3 Rationalist Theories of Sense Perception and Mind–Body Relation 31
Gary Hatfield

4 Rationalism and Education 61
David Cunning

Part II The Historical Background 83

5 Plato’s Rationalistic Method 85
Hugh H. Benson

6 Rationalism in Jewish Philosophy 100
Steven Nadler

7 Early Modern Critiques of Rationalist Psychology 119
Antonia LoLordo

8 Rationalism and Method 137
Matthew J. Kisner

9 Cartesian Imaginations: The Method and Passions of Imagining 156
Dennis L. Sepper

Part III The Heyday of Rationalism 177

10 Descartes’ Rationalist Epistemology 179
Lex Newman

11 Rationalism and Representation 206
Kurt Smith

12 The Role of the Imagination in Rationalist Philosophies of Mathematics 224
Lawrence Nolan

13 Idealism and Cartesian Motion 250
Alice Sowaal

14 Leibniz on Shape and the Cartesian Conception of Body 262
Timothy Crockett

15 Leibniz on Modality, Cognition, and Expression 282
Alan Nelson

16 Rationalist Moral Philosophy 302
Andrew Youpa

17 Spinoza, Leibniz, and the Rationalist Reconceptions of Imagination 322
Dennis L. Sepper

18 Kant and the Two Dogmas of Rationalism 343
Henry E. Allison

Part IV Rationalist Themes in Contemporary Philosophy 361

19 Rationalism in the Phenomenological Tradition 363
David Woodruff Smith

20 Rationalist Elements of Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy 379
Paul Livingston

21 Prouvést and the Rationalist Conception of the Self 399
Alan Nelson

22 Rationalism in Science 408
David Stump

23 Rational Decision Making: Descriptive, Prescriptive, or Explanatory? 425
Jonathan Michael Kaplan

24 What is a Feminist to do with Rational Choice? 450
Mariam Thalos

25 Rationalism in the Philosophy of Donald Davidson 468
Richard N. Manning

Index 488

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

A Companion to Rationalism is impressive both for the high quality of the essays it contains and for their remarkable range, from metaphysics and epistemology to ethics and practical reasoning, and from Plato through the seventeenth century “continental rationalists” to contemporary philosophy. The volume is essential reading for anyone interested in the many manifestations of what Nelson calls “the rationalist impulse.”
–Don Garrett, New York University

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