Early modern philosophy

Last updated

Early modern philosophy (also classical modern philosophy) [1] [2] is a period in the history of philosophy at the beginning or overlapping with the period known as modern philosophy.

Modern philosophy

Modern philosophy is philosophy developed in the modern era and associated with modernity. It is not a specific doctrine or school, although there are certain assumptions common to much of it, which helps to distinguish it from earlier philosophy.

Contents

Overview

The early modern period in history is roughly 1500–1789, but the label "early modern philosophy" is typically used to refer to a narrower period of time. [3]

The early modern period of modern history follows the late Middle Ages of the post-classical era. Although the chronological limits of the period are open to debate, the timeframe spans the period after the late portion of the post-classical age, known as the Middle Ages, through the beginning of the Age of Revolutions and is variously demarcated by historians as beginning with the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, with the Renaissance period, and with the Age of Discovery, and ending around the French Revolution in 1789.

In the narrowest sense, the term is used to refer principally to the philosophy of the 17th century and 18th century, typically beginning with René Descartes. 17th-century philosophers typically included in such analyses are Thomas Hobbes, Blaise Pascal, Baruch Spinoza, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, and Isaac Newton. The 18th century, often known as the Age of Enlightenment, included such early modern figures as John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume. [2]

17th-century philosophy philosophy during the 17th century

17th century philosophy is generally regarded as seeing the start of modern philosophy, and the shaking off of the medieval approach, especially scholasticism. It succeeded the Renaissance and preceded the Age of Enlightenment. It is often considered to be part of early modern philosophy.

René Descartes 17th-century French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist

René Descartes was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. A native of the Kingdom of France, he spent about 20 years (1629–1649) of his life in the Dutch Republic after serving for a while in the Dutch States Army of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange and the Stadtholder of the United Provinces. One of the most notable intellectual figures of the Dutch Golden Age, Descartes is also widely regarded as one of the founders of modern philosophy.

Thomas Hobbes 17th-century English philosopher

Thomas Hobbes, in some older texts Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, was an English philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book Leviathan, which expounded an influential formulation of social contract theory. In addition to political philosophy, Hobbes also contributed to a diverse array of other fields, including history, jurisprudence, geometry, the physics of gases, theology, ethics, and general philosophy.

The term is sometimes used more broadly, including earlier thinkers from the 16th century such as Niccolò Machiavelli, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Michel de Montaigne, and Francis Bacon. [4] Some definitions also broaden the range of thinkers included under the "early modern" moniker, such as Voltaire, Giambattista Vico, Thomas Paine. By the broadest definition, the early modern period is said to have ended in 1804 with the death of Immanuel Kant. Considered in this way, the period extends all the way from the last Renaissance philosophers to the final days of the Age of Enlightenment.

Niccolò Machiavelli 16th-century Italian politician and writer

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, humanist, writer, playwright and poet of the Renaissance period. He has often been called the father of modern political science. For many years he served as a senior official in the Florentine Republic with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry. His personal correspondence is renowned by historians and scholars. He worked as secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence from 1498 to 1512, when the Medici were out of power. He wrote his best-known work The Prince in 1513, having been exiled from city affairs.

Martin Luther Saxon priest, monk and theologian, seminal figure in Protestant Reformation

Martin Luther, was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk, and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation.

John Calvin French Protestant reformer

John Calvin was a French theologian, pastor and reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism, aspects of which include the doctrines of predestination and of the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation of the human soul from death and eternal damnation, in which doctrines Calvin was influenced by and elaborated upon the Augustinian and other Christian traditions. Various Congregational, Reformed and Presbyterian churches, which look to Calvin as the chief expositor of their beliefs, have spread throughout the world.

See also

Notes

  1. Jeffrey Tlumak, Classical Modern Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction, Routledge, 2006, p. xi: "[Classical Modern Philosophy] is a guide through the systems of the seven brilliant seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European philosophers most regularly taught in college Modern Philosophy courses".
  2. 1 2 Richard Schacht, Classical Modern Philosophers: Descartes to Kant, Routledge, 2013, p. 1: "Seven men have come to stand out from all of their counterparts in what has come to be known as the 'modern' period in the history of philosophy (i.e., the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries): Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant".
  3. Marshall Berman. 1982. All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN   0-671-24602-X. London: Verso. pp. 16–17. ISBN   0-86091-785-1. Paperback reprint New York: Viking Penguin, 1988. ISBN   0-14-010962-5.
  4. Brian Leiter (ed.), The Future for Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 44 n. 2.

Related Research Articles

Gilles Deleuze French philosopher

Gilles Deleuze was a French philosopher who, from the early 1950s until his death in 1995, wrote on philosophy, literature, film, and fine art. His most popular works were the two volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980), both co-written with psychoanalyst Félix Guattari. His metaphysical treatise Difference and Repetition (1968) is considered by many scholars to be his magnum opus. A. W. Moore, citing Bernard Williams's criteria for a great thinker, ranks Deleuze among the "greatest philosophers". His work has influenced a variety of disciplines across philosophy and art, including literary theory, post-structuralism and postmodernism.

Age of Enlightenment European cultural movement of the 18th century

The Age of Enlightenment was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 18th century, the "Century of Philosophy".

Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, establishing and verifying facts, applying logic, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, mathematics and art, and is normally considered to be a distinguishing ability possessed by humans. Reason, or an aspect of it, is sometimes referred to as rationality.

In philosophy, rationalism is the epistemological view that "regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge" or "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification". More formally, rationalism is defined as a methodology or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive".

German philosophy, here taken to mean either (1) philosophy in the German language or (2) philosophy by Germans, has been extremely diverse, and central to both the analytic and continental traditions in philosophy for centuries, from Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz through Immanuel Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein to contemporary philosophers. Søren Kierkegaard is frequently included in surveys of German philosophy due to his extensive engagement with German thinkers.

Chiliagon polygon with 1000 sides

In geometry, a chiliagon or 1000-gon is a polygon with 1,000 sides. Philosophers commonly refer to chiliagons to illustrate ideas about the nature and workings of thought, meaning, and mental representation.

In metaphysics, conceptualism is a theory that explains universality of particulars as conceptualized frameworks situated within the thinking mind. Intermediate between nominalism and realism, the conceptualist view approaches the metaphysical concept of universals from a perspective that denies their presence in particulars outside the mind's perception of them. Conceptualism is anti-realist about abstract objects, just like immanent realism is.

Richard Henry Popkin was an academic philosopher who specialized in the history of enlightenment philosophy and early modern anti-dogmatism. His 1960 work The History of Scepticism from Erasmus to Descartes introduced one previously unrecognized influence on Western thought in the seventeenth century, the Pyrrhonian Scepticism of Sextus Empiricus. Popkin also was an internationally acclaimed scholar on Jewish and Christian millenarianism and messianism.

<i>A History of Western Philosophy</i> 1945 book by philosopher Bertrand Russell.

A History of Western Philosophy is a 1945 book by philosopher Bertrand Russell. A survey of Western philosophy from the pre-Socratic philosophers to the early 20th century, it was criticised for Russell's over-generalization and omissions, particularly from the post-Cartesian period, but nevertheless became a popular and commercial success, and has remained in print from its first publication. When Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, A History of Western Philosophy was cited as one of the books that won him the award. Its success provided Russell with financial security for the last part of his life.

Spinozism is the monist philosophical system of Benedict de Spinoza that defines "God" as a singular self-subsistent Substance, with both matter and thought being attributes of such.

Marjorie Glicksman Grene was an American philosopher. She wrote both on existentialism and the philosophy of science, especially the philosophy of biology. She taught at the University of California at Davis from 1965 to 1978. From 1988 until her death she was Honorary University Distinguished Professor of philosophy at Virginia Tech.

Western philosophy philosophy of the Western world

Western philosophy is the philosophical thought and work of the Western world. Historically, the term refers to the philosophical thinking of Western culture, beginning with Greek philosophy of the pre-Socratics such as Thales and Pythagoras, and eventually covering a large area of the globe. The word philosophy itself originated from the Ancient Greek: philosophia (φιλοσοφία), literally, "the love of wisdom".

Margaret Dauler Wilson American philosopher

Margaret Dauler Wilson was an American philosopher and a professor of philosophy at Princeton University between 1970 and 1998.

Gabriel Wagner German philosopher

Gabriel Wagner was a radical German philosopher and materialist who wrote under the nom-de-plume Realis de Vienna. A follower of Spinoza and acquaintance of Leibniz, Wagner did not believe that the universe or bible were divine creations, and sought to extricate philosophy and science from the influence of theology. Wagner also held radical political views critical of the nobility and monarchy. After failing to establish lasting careers in cities throughout German-speaking Europe, Wagner died in or shortly after 1717.

This is a timeline of philosophy in the 17th century.

The Great Philosophers was a 1987 television series presented by Bryan Magee. There were 15 episodes, in each of which Magee interviewed a noted philosopher.

Roger Stuart Woolhouse (1940–2011) was an English philosopher, an expert on empiricism and rationalism and a biographer of John Locke.

References

Aloysius Patrick Martinich is an American analytic philosopher. He is the Roy Allison Vaughan Centennial Professor of Philosophy and Professor of History at University of Texas at Austin. His area of interest is the nature and practice of interpretation; history of modern philosophy; the philosophy of language and religion; the history of political thinking and Thomas Hobbes.