The Battle of the Gods and Giants

The Legacies of Descartes and Gassendi, 1655-1715
Princeton University Press
  • 1. Auflage
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  • erschienen am 14. Juli 2014
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  • 436 Seiten
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978-1-4008-6339-6 (ISBN)

By the mid-1600s, the commonsense, manifest picture of the world associated with Aristotle had been undermined by skeptical arguments on the one hand and by the rise of the New Science on the other. What would be the scientific image to succeed the Aristotelian model? Thomas Lennon argues here that the contest between the supporters of Descartes and the supporters of Gassendi to decide this issue was the most important philosophical debate of the latter half of the seventeenth century. Descartes and Gassendi inspired their followers with radically opposed perspectives on space, the objects in it, and how these objects are known. Lennon maintains that differing concepts on these matters implied significant moral and political differences: the Descartes/Gassendi conflict was typical of Plato's perennial battle of the gods (friends of forms) and giants (materialists), and the crux of that enduring philosophical struggle is the exercise of moral and political authority.

Lennon demonstrates, in addition, that John Locke should be read as having taken up Gassendi's cause against Descartes. In Lennon's reinterpretation of the history of philosophy between the death dates of Gassendi and Malebranche, Locke's acknowledged opposition to Descartes on some issues is applied to the most important questions of Locke exegesis.

Originally published in 1993.

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.

Course Book
  • Englisch
  • Princeton
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  • USA
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978-1-4008-6339-6 (9781400863396)
weitere Ausgaben werden ermittelt
Thomas M. Lennon
	Preface	 	Note on Documentation	 I	The Philosophical Terrain	3 1	The Gassendist Failure	3 2	The Gassendist Success	26 3	The Interminable Battle	34 4	Other Wars	52 II	The Giants of the Seventeenth Century	63 5	Dramatis Personae	63 6	Mind versus Flesh	106 7	Gassendist Theories of Space: Apotheosis and Annihilation	117 8	Physical and Metaphysical Atomism	137 III	Locke: Gassendist Anti-Cartesian	149 9	Locke and Gassendi	149 10	Locke and Descartes	163 11	Enthusiasm	169 IV	The Gods of the Seventeenth Century	191 12	Descartes's Idealism	191 13	Malebranche's Realism	210 14	Malebranche's Idealism	229 V	Ideas and Representation	240 15	Two Patterns of Ideas	240 16	Arguments for Representationalism	248 17	Two Versions of the Causal Argument	255 VI	The Untouchable and the Uncuttable	274 18	Space and Solidity	276 19	Simple and Complex Ideas	288 20	Primary and Secondary Qualities	298 21	Powers	304 22	Matter and Creation	309 23	The Bestial Soul	314 VII	Innateness, Abstraction, and Essences	334 24	Innateness	334 25	Essences and Abstraction	340 26	The Polemic with Stillingfleet	354 VIII	Philosophy and the Historiography of Philosophy	367 27	Dissimulation and Meaning	368 28	What Locke Said	374 29	Two Camps of Historians	378 30	History and Interpretation	383 	Works Cited	393 	Index	411

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