For many early modern philosophers, particularly those influenced by Aristotle’s Physics and De anima, time had an intimate connection to the human rational soul. This connection had wide-ranging implications for metaphysics, natural philosophy and politics: at its heart was the assumption that man was not only a rational, but also a temporal, animal.
In Time and the Science of the Soul in Early Modern Philosophy, Michael Edwards traces this connection from late Aristotelian commentaries and philosophical textbooks to the natural and political philosophy of two of the best-known ‘new philosophers’ of the seventeenth century, Thomas Hobbes and René Descartes. The book demonstrates both time’s importance as a philosophical problem, and the intellectual fertility and continued relevance of Aristotelian philosophy into the seventeenth century.
About the Author
Michael Edwards, Ph.D. (2006), University of Cambridge, is Gurnee Hart Fellow and College Lecturer in History at Jesus College, Cambridge. He has published widely on early modern intellectual history and the history of science.
Table of Contents
PART I: ARISTOTELIAN AND LATE SCHOLASTIC THEORIES OF TIME AND THE SOUL
Chapter 1: Metaphysics and Natural Philosophy
Chapter 2: Psychology, the Science of the Soul
PART II: TIME AND THE SCIENCE OF THE SOUL IN THE NEW PHILOSOPHY
Chapter 3: Descartes
Chapter 4: Hobbes
Conclusion: Time and the Science of the Soul between Disciplines