Descartes on Forms and Mechanisms

Author: Helen Hattab
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521518925
Release Date: 2009-07-23
Genre: Mathematics

This book traces Descartes' groundbreaking theory of scientific explanation back to the mathematical demonstrations of Aristotelian physics, in the light of the arguments for and against substantial forms which were available to him. Will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in the philosophy and science of the early modern period.

Rene Descartes Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guide

Author: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199808732
Release Date: 2010-06-01
Genre: Philosophy

This ebook is a selective guide designed to help scholars and students of social work find reliable sources of information by directing them to the best available scholarly materials in whatever form or format they appear from books, chapters, and journal articles to online archives, electronic data sets, and blogs. Written by a leading international authority on the subject, the ebook provides bibliographic information supported by direct recommendations about which sources to consult and editorial commentary to make it clear how the cited sources are interrelated related. This ebook is a static version of an article from Oxford Bibliographies Online: Philosophy, a dynamic, continuously updated, online resource designed to provide authoritative guidance through scholarship and other materials relevant to the study Philosophy. Oxford Bibliographies Online covers most subject disciplines within the social science and humanities, for more information visit www.oxfordbibligraphies.com.

Spinoza and Dutch Cartesianism

Author: Alexander X. Douglas
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191046353
Release Date: 2015-02-05
Genre: Philosophy

Alexander X. Douglas offers a new understanding of Spinoza's philosophy by situating it in its immediate historical context. He defends a thesis about Spinoza's philosophical motivations and then bases an interpretation of his major works upon it. The thesis is that much of Spinoza's philosophy was conceived with the express purpose of rebutting a claim about the limitations of philosophy made by some of his contemporaries. They held that philosophy is intrinsically incapable of revealing anything of any relevance to theology, or in fact to any study of direct practical relevance to human life. Spinoza did not. He believed that philosophy reveals the true nature of God, and that God is nothing like what the majority of theologians, or indeed of religious believers in general, think he is. The practical implications of this change in the concept of God were profound and radical. As Douglas shows, many of Spinoza's theories were directed towards showing how the separation his opponents endeavoured to maintain between philosophical and non-philosophical (particularly theological) thought was logically untenable.

Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy

Author: Daniel Garber
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191634529
Release Date: 2012-11-08
Genre: Philosophy

Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy is an annual series, presenting a selection of the best current work in the history of early modern philosophy. It focuses on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries — the extraordinary period of intellectual flourishing that begins, very roughly, with Descartes and his contemporaries and ends with Kant. It also publishes papers on thinkers or movements outside of that framework, provided they are important in illuminating early modern thought. The articles in OSEMP will be of importance to specialists within the discipline, but the editors also intend that they should appeal to a larger audience of philosophers, intellectual historians, and others who are interested in the development of modern thought.

The Science of the Mind

Author: Owen J. Flanagan
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262560569
Release Date: 1991
Genre: Psychology

Consciousness emerges as the key topic in this second edition of Owen Flanagan's popular introduction to cognitive science and the philosophy of psychology. in a new chapter Flanagan develops a neurophilosophical theory of subjective mental life. He brings recent developments in the theory of neuronal group selection and connectionism to bear on the problems of the evolution of consciousness, qualia, the unique first-personal aspects of consciousness, the causal role of consciousness, and the function and development of the sense of personal identity. He has also substantially revised the chapter on cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence to incorporate recent discussions of connectionism and parallel distributed processing.

Descartes Dualism

Author: Gordon Baker
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134854257
Release Date: 2005-08-18
Genre: Philosophy

Was Descartes a Cartesian Dualist? In this controversial study, Gordon Baker and Katherine J. Morris argue that, despite the general consensus within philosophy, Descartes was neither a proponent of dualism nor guilty of the many crimes of which he has been accused by twentieth century philosophers. In lively and engaging prose, Baker and Morris present a radical revision of the ways in which Descartes' work has been interpreted. Descartes emerges with both his historical importance assured and his philosophical importance redeemed.

Essays on Descartes

Author: Paul Hoffman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199717540
Release Date: 2009-04-17
Genre: Philosophy

This is a collection of Paul Hoffman's wide-ranging essays on Descartes composed over the past twenty-five years. The essays in Part I include his celebrated "The Unity of Descartes' Man," in which he argues that Descartes accepts the Aristotelian view that soul and body are related as form to matter and that the human being is a substance; a series of subsequent essays elaborating on this interpretation and defending it against objections; and an essay on Descartes' theory of distinction. In the essays in Part II he argues that Descartes retains the Aristotelian theory of causation according to which an agent's action is the same as the passion it brings about, and explains the significance of this doctrine for understanding Descartes' dualism and physics. In the essays in Part III he argues that Descartes accepts the Aristotelian theory of cognition according to which perception is possible because things that exist in the world are also capable of a different way of existing in the soul, and he shows how this theory figures in Descartes' account of misrepresentation and in the controversy over whether Descartes is a direct realist or a representationalist. The essays in Part IV examine Descartes' theory of the passions of the soul: their definition; their effect on our happiness, virtue, and freedom; and methods of controlling them.

Ideas and Mechanism

Author: Margaret Dauler Wilson
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400864980
Release Date: 2014-07-14
Genre: Philosophy

For more than three decades, Margaret Wilson's essays on early modern philosophy have influenced scholarly debate. Many are considered classics in the field and remain as important today as they were when they were first published. Until now, however, they have never been available in book form and some have been particularly difficult to find. This collection not only provides access to nearly all of Wilson's most significant work, but also demonstrates the continuity of her thought over time. These essays show that Wilson possesses a keen intelligence, coupled with a fearlessness in tackling the work of early modern philosophers as well as the writing of modern commentators. Many of the pieces collected here respond to philosophical issues of continuing importance. The thirty-one essays gathered here deal with some of the best known early philosophers, including Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, Spinoza, and Berkeley. As this collection shows, Wilson is a demanding critic. She repeatedly asks whether the philosophers' arguments were adequate to the problems they were trying to solve and whether these arguments remain compelling today. She is not afraid to engage in complex argument but, at the same time, her own writing remains clear and fresh. Ideas and Mechanism is an essential collection of work by one of the leading scholars of our era. Originally published in 1999. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Matter and Form in Early Modern Science and Philosophy

Author: Gideon Manning
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9789004218703
Release Date: 2012-06-22
Genre: Philosophy

Bringing together an international team of historians of science and philosophy to discuss the fate of matter and form, this volume shows how disputes about matter and form spurred innovation as well as conservatism in early modern science and philosophy.

From Darwinian Metaphysics Towards Understanding the Evolution of Evolutionary Mechanisms

Author: Momme von Sydow
Publisher: Universitätsverlag Göttingen
ISBN: 9783863950064
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Biology (General)

"Although Charles Darwin predicted that his theory 'would give zest to [...] metaphysics,' even he would be astonished at the variety of paths his theory has in fact taken. This holds with regard to both gene-Darwinism, a purified Darwinian approach biologizing the social sciences, and process- Darwinism found in the disciplines of psychology, philosophy of science, and economics. Although Darwinism is often linked to highly confirmed biological theories, some of its interpretations seem to profit from tautological claims as well, where scientific reputation cloaks ideological usage. This book discusses central tenets of Darwinism historically as well as systematically, for example the history of different Darwinian paradigms, the units-of-selection debate, and the philosophical problem of induction as basis of metaphysical Darwinism. Crucially the book addresses the Darwinian claim that evolution is governed by an immutable and unrelentingly cruel law of natural selection. Paradoxically, Darwins theory is a static, non-evolutionary theory of evolution. The current book sketches the historical background and provides suggestions that may help to replace this approach by the idea of an evolution of evolutionary mechanisms (see Escher's 'Drawing Hands' on the cover). This view even suggests a tendency to overcome the blindness of the knowledge acquisition of primordial Darwinian processes and allows for some freedom from external environments. This book first develops a radically Darwinian approach, then criticises this approach from within. Even Darwinism has a tendency to transcend itself. Although the book addresses several empirical issues, it does not challenge particular findings. Instead it builds on many insights of Darwinism and provides a proposal for interpreting known empirical evidence in a different light. It should help pave the way for further developing an understanding of nature that transcends Darwinian metaphysics"--Publisher's description.

Descartes Agonistes

Author: John Schuster
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789400747463
Release Date: 2012-10-23
Genre: Science

This book reconstructs key aspects of the early career of Descartes from 1618 to 1633; that is, up through the point of his composing his first system of natural philosophy, Le Monde, in 1629-33. It focuses upon the overlapping and intertwined development of Descartes’ projects in physico-mathematics, analytical mathematics, universal method, and, finally, systematic corpuscular-mechanical natural philosophy. The concern is not simply with the conceptual and technical aspects of these projects; but, with Descartes’ agendas within them and his construction and presentation of his intellectual identity in relation to them. Descartes’ technical projects, agendas and senses of identity shifted over time, entangled and displayed great successes and deep failures, as he morphed from a mathematically competent, Jesuit trained graduate in neo-Scholastic Aristotelianism to aspiring prophet of a systematised corpuscular-mechanism, passing through stages of being a committed physico-mathematicus, advocate of a putative ‘universal mathematics’, and projector of a grand methodological dream. In all three dimensions—projects, agendas and identity concerns—the young Descartes struggled and contended, with himself and with real or virtual peers and competitors, hence the title ‘Descartes-Agonistes’.

Descartes Metaphysical Physics

Author: Daniel Garber
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226282198
Release Date: 1992-05
Genre: Philosophy

In this first book-length treatment of Descartes' important and influential natural philosophy, Daniel Garber is principally concerned with Descartes' accounts of matter and motion—the joint between Descartes' philosophical and scientific interests. These accounts constitute the point at which the metaphysical doctrines on God, the soul, and body, developed in writings like the Meditations, give rise to physical conclusions regarding atoms, vacua, and the laws that matter in motion must obey. Garber achieves a philosophically rigorous reading of Descartes that is sensitive to the historical and intellectual context in which he wrote. What emerges is a novel view of this familiar figure, at once unexpected and truer to the historical Descartes. The book begins with a discussion of Descartes' intellectual development and the larger project that frames his natural philosophy, the complete reform of all the sciences. After this introduction Garber thoroughly examines various aspects of Descartes' physics: the notion of body and its identification with extension; Descartes' rejection of the substantial forms of the scholastics; his relation to the atomistic tradition of atoms and the void; the concept of motion and the laws of motion, including Descartes' conservation principle, his laws of the persistence of motion, and his collision law; and the grounding of his laws in God.

Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Psychology

Author: Martin Farrell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139991797
Release Date: 2014-06-19
Genre: Psychology

This textbook connects the big ideas and key thinkers of psychology and philosophy in a clear and cohesive theoretical narrative. Students are led to understand the relations between different schools of thought, and to connect the various thinkers, theories and facts in psychology's history. Focusing on the major ideas that have reoccurred throughout history, such as the mind-body problem and the role of the mind in our experience, Martin Farrell shows how specific thinkers have explored the same ideas, but in different ways, leading to distinct schools of thought. The coherent narrative enables students to see the bigger picture, through which the historical and conceptual roots of psychology can be easily understood.

Mechanism Mentalism and Metamathematics

Author: J. Webb
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789401576536
Release Date: 2013-03-09
Genre: Philosophy

This book grew out of a graduate student paper [261] in which I set down some criticisms of J. R. Lucas' attempt to refute mechanism by means of G6del's theorem. I had made several such abortive attempts myself and had become familiar with their pitfalls, and especially with the double edged nature of incompleteness arguments. My original idea was to model the refutation of mechanism on the almost universally accepted G6delian refutation of Hilbert's formalism, but I kept getting stuck on questions of mathematical philosophy which I found myself having to beg. A thorough study of the foundational works of Hilbert and Bernays finally convinced me that I had all too naively and uncritically bought this refutation of formalism. I did indeed discover points of surprisingly close contact between formalism and mechanism, but also that it was possible to under mine certain strong arguments against these positions precisely by invok ing G6del's and related work. I also began to realize that the Church Turing thesis itself is the principal bastion protecting mechanism, and that G6del's work was perhaps the best thing that ever happened to both mechanism and formalism. I pushed these lines of argument in my dis sertation with the patient help of my readers, Raymond Nelson and Howard Stein. I would especially like to thank the latter for many valuable criticisms of my dissertation as well as some helpful suggestions for reor ganizing it in the direction of the present book.

Descartes

Author: John Cottingham
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: UOM:39015047087617
Release Date: 1998
Genre: Philosophy

This latest volume in the Oxford Readings in Philosophy series brings together some of the most influential and stimulating essays on Descartes' philosophy to have appeared in the last fifty years, edited by the renowned Descartes specialist Professor John Cottingham. A lucid introduction by the editor outlines the principle features of Descartes' philosophy and summarises the main arguments of each chapter. Covering the full range of Descartes' thought, the volume opens with a clusterof central issues in Descartes' metaphysics: systematic doubt, the Cogito, clarity and distinctness, and the Cartesian Circle; followed by chapters on Descartes' theory of the will, and his account of necessity and possibility. Two notorious and interrelated problems in Descartes' system are then dealt with: the distinction between mind and body, and the unity of the human being. There follow chapters on Descartes' account of human nature and the passions, and his treatment of animals; andthe volume closes with three chapters on Cartesian science, covering Descartes' views on the relationship between experiment and deduction, his account of scientific explanation, and the notion of causal agency or force in his physics. These broad-ranging and accessible perspectives on Descartes' work will be essential reading for students and specialists.