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Gary Steiner (Lewisburg, PA) is associate professor of philosophy at Bucknell University and the translator of Karl Löwith’s Martin Heidegger and European Nihilism and (with Jeffrey S. Turner) of Gerold Prauss’s Knowing and Doing in Heidegger’s "Being and Time."
The great 17th century thinker René Descartes is known mostly for his efforts in metaphysics and epistemology, and for his pivotal role in articulating the metaphysical commitments orienting modern science. Descartes rarely is thought to have much to offer moral philosophy. Dr. Gary Steiner's Descartes as a Moral Thinker: Christianity, Technology, Nihilism should open a space for new paths of Descartes scholarship by showing not only that Descartes must be taken seriously as a moral thinker, but also that his thought has much to contribute to contemporary controversies in ethics. Acrimonious debate has swirled around the sincerity of Descartes' remarks about his commitment to ethics and especially his commitment to living the life of a devoted Christian. Steiner argues that moral concerns motivate nearly every feature of Descartes' thought, and, in fact, that Descartes' "earthly" concern with human technological mastery of nature derives from his Christian faith. Descartes as a Moral Thinker is so well documented and argued, and its analysis of Descartes' work so synoptic, that it may well deserve to be taken as the final word in disputes about the authenticity of Descartes' professions of faith.
Descartes typically is characterized as a champion (indeed, as a key founder) of modern secular rationalism.Read more ›
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