The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Philosophy by Knud Haakonssen

By Knud Haakonssen

Greater than thirty eminent students from 9 varied international locations have contributed to The Cambridge background of Eighteenth-Century Philosophy - the main accomplished and updated background of the topic on hand in English. For the eighteenth century the dominant inspiration in philosophy used to be human nature and so it really is round this idea that the paintings is established. this enables the individuals to supply either unique explorations of the epistemological, metaphysical and moral issues that proceed to face on the vanguard of philosophy, and to voice a severe angle to the historiography in the back of this emphasis in philosophical suggestion. while there's due sensitivity to ancient context with specific emphasis at the connections among philosophy, technology, and theology. This judiciously balanced, systematic, and finished account of the full of Western philosophy within the interval can be a useful source for philosophers, highbrow historians, theologians, political theorists, historians of technological know-how and literary students.

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In the first and earliest of these, from around The history of eighteenth-century philosophy 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 23 1770, Kant divides modern philosophy into dogmatic and critical, the latter represented by Locke. While Kant clearly drew on Jean Henri Samuel Formey’s Kurzgefassete Historie der Philosophie (Berlin, 1763; first in French, Amsterdam, 1760), it is to Kant’s merit that he brings Locke up to parity with Leibniz. Formey devotes only a few lines to Locke as a ‘logician’ in a work which is heavily dependent upon Brucker, including the latter’s perverse view that Wolff is the epitome of eclecticism.

First, the eclectic ideal of going beyond sectarianism in philosophy lent the history of philosophy temporal direction; instead of the traditional largely a-temporal comparison of schools, the promise of progress and the threat of decline became prominent features of debate and quickly merged with more general ideas of humanity’s progressivism. This was, however, a highly ambivalent attitude, for the eclectic idea of learning through methodical comparison soon led to a renewed form of the a-temporal ideal, namely, that of not only learning systematically (in the sense of methodically) from the sects but of overcoming them by the creation of a systematic philosophy, a philosophy that need not pay attention to the argumentative situation in which it finds itself among the various schools of thought.

35 See the body of work reviewed in Nancy Tuana, ‘The Forgetting of Gender and the New Histories of Philosophy’, and Eileen O’Neill’s Comments on Tuana, in Teaching New Histories of Philosophy, ed. J. B. Schneewind (Princeton, NJ, 2005). 36 See Hochstrasser, Natural Law Theories. 37 Christian Garve’s Uebersicht der vornehmsten Principien der Sittenlehre, von dem Zeitalter des Aristoteles an bis auf die unsre Zeiten (Breslau, 1798). , 12th edn. (Berlin, 1923–8), 3: 344–6. 39 Lewis White Beck, ‘From Leibniz to Kant’, in The Age of German Idealism, eds.

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