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Epicureanism at the Origins of Modernity Reprint Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199595556
ISBN-10: 0199595550
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Editorial Reviews

Review

By pointing us to the Epicurean flavor of many of the ideas that pervaded seventeenth- and eighteenth-century metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and natural and political philosophy - Catherine Wilson's work offers a great opportunity to improve our understanding of what was involved in the transformation of Scholastic doctrines into modern philosophy. Anik Waldow, Journal of the American Academy of Religion Wilson's book is learned, judicious, and full of subtle observations. Eric Schiliesser, Mind 119 d lucid and engagingly written... I find the argument entirely compelling... [this] is really a beautiful book. Epicureanism at the Origins of Modernity says true and original things in a pleasing manner. It is worth reading for anyone with even a passing interest in seventeenth-century philosophy. Antonia LoLordo, Metascience

About the Author


Catherine Wilson is a leading contributor to the study of the history and philosophy of science and to 17th century studies. She has held academic posts and fellowships in the USA, Great Britain, Germany, and Canada and is currently Regius Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (December 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199595550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199595556
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.7 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,168,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This is a terrific book on the pivotal moment in the rise of modernity. The return of Epicureanism has had a efflorescence of interest in the last few years, as its influence on atomism, etc., has increasingly been traced further back (even into the Florentine renaissance). Wilson is a formidable scholar and the book is a model of scholarship and fine writing.
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This is a compelling and profound book that combines philosophy with the history of ideas. It is beautifully written and thought-provoking, and subtly addresses current issues in an indirect manner. The author wears her scholastic excellence lightly. Highly recommended.
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This is a lucid and historical account of the influence of Epicurean texts and fragments on several philosophers of 17th century Europe. I would recommend this for any graduate student in the history of philosophy or advanced undergraduates in philosophy or related fields. The author captures the intellectual challenge of the atomism and mortalism in Epicurean texts on such thinkers as Gassendi, Descartes, Leibniz, Hobbes, Spinoza, and Locke..
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Great topic, but the treatment is too oblique, stodgy, "academic" to be of much use to the general reader. Author uses the most obscure passages of the great figures she explores (Lucretius, Locke, Hobbes, Leibniz) almost as a rule. I understand it from an academic standpoint - not wanting to use the same materials as everyone else, wanting to show "something new" - but the book would have benefited from a bit more transparency, clarity, simplicity. It's a problem with many academic books that venture into non-fiction - they just don't dramatize it enough, don't appreciate the "creative" in "creative non-fiction." Still, the strength of the topic and the erudition of the author does give the book its share of weight.
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