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Descartes and the Modern [Hardcover]

Gordon McOuat and Tom Vinci , Neil Robertson , Gordon McOuat , Tom Vinci

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Book Description

April 1, 2007 184718152X 978-1847181527
Descartes is not simply our iconic modern philosopher, mathematician or scientist. He stands as the cultural symbol for modernity itself. As such, Descartes is widely read in and out of universities as the definitive moment in the birth of what we take to be the Modern. Yet, recent scholarship has presented numerous challenges to the Cartesian image. Some question the legitimacy of calling Descartes a founder of modernity. Others have questioned the very legitimacy of Modernity itself, using Descartes as a way into that critique This collection of original papers by leading philosophers and historians of early modern thought opens up these questions, exploring them in new and markedly interdisciplinary ways, offering fresh insights into the important relationship between Descartes and the Modern, and the very meaning and status of Modernity itself. This collection assembles together for the first time leading representatives from what might be called the naturalist or Anglo-American school with those of the continental phenomenological school in a dialogue concerning Descartes place. The papers explore crucial questions and recent disputes regarding Descartes relationship to his predecessors, to his contemporaries and to modern thought, to the philosophy of mind, to questions of metaphysics and natural philosophy. Descartes and the Modern helps bridge solitudes drawn between these traditional approaches to Descartes.

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About the Author

Neil Robertson, editor, (Early Modern Studies and Contemporary Studies, University of King s College) is the author of a number of articles dealing with contemporary critiques of modernity particularly those by Leo Strauss, George Grant and John Milbank as well as articles concerned with early modern French political thought. He is the co-editor (with David Peddle) of Philosophy and Freedom: the Legacy of James Doull (University of Toronto Press, 2003). Gordon McOuat , editor, (Director, History of Science and Technology Programme, Univeristy of King s College/ Dalhousie University) was Senior Research Fellow at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology, MIT, 2001-2 and has published extensively on the history and philosophy of classification, logic and the rise of modern science. Tom Vinci, editor, (Professor of Philosophy, Dalhousie) is the author of Cartesian Truth (Oxford U. P., 1998) and works on decision theory, metaphysics and early modern science. His most recent publication is Mind-body Causation, Mind-body Union and the Special Mode of Thinking in Descartes, forthcoming in the British Journal for the History of Philosophy.

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