Articles #early modern philosophy


Spinoza's Perky and Adorable Rationalist Charms

Spinoza's Perky and Adorable Rationalist Charms

The core idea is that concepts have a special feature. One thing can be truly conceived in a variety of ways, even when the different ways of being conceived involve partially or wholly distinct contents. To take a familiar example, suppose being physical and being mental are two different natures or fundamental ways of being a thing. Descartes thought these two kinds of natures are so different that they are incompatible: if something is physical, it can’t be mental, and vice versa. Spinoza argues that if being physical and being mental are just two different ways of conceiving one and the same thing, then a spatially extended thing could also be thinking. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Sam Newlands

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Kant and His German Contemporaries, Including the Women

Kant and His German Contemporaries, Including the Women

There is a sense in which Kant’s characterization of his thought as a “Copernican revolution” has become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because of Kant’s emphasis on the novelty of his project, Kant scholars (particularly in the Anglo-American context) have concluded that reading Kant’s predecessors and contemporaries could only be wasted effort, since after all whatever they might say Kant is saying something else. This has contributed to a general neglect of the German context, in which a number of key Kantian doctrines (like the spontaneity of the understanding, or the autonomy of the will, to name only two) are pre-figured which, in turn, makes Kant’s views on those and other topics seem utterly new. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Corey W Dyck

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