Download A Short History of Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to by Roger Scruton PDF

By Roger Scruton

Realize for your self the pleasures of philosophy! Written either for the pro scholar of philosophy in addition to the overall reader, the well known author Roger Scruton offers a survey of recent philosophy. constantly attractive, Scruton takes us on a desirable journey of the topic, from founding father Descartes to an important and recognized thinker of the 20th century, Ludwig Wittgenstein. He identifies the entire crucial figures in addition to outlines of the most highbrow preoccupations that experience knowledgeable western philosophy. portray a portrait of recent philosophy that's vibrant and lively, Scruton introduces us to a few of the best philosophical difficulties invented during this interval and pursued ever considering. together with fabric on contemporary debates, a quick historical past of recent Philosophy is already tested because the vintage creation. learn it and discover why.

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Additional resources for A Short History of Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to Wittgenstein

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The philosophes and the figures of the literary Enlightenment, authors of literary masterpieces as diverse as Voltaire’s Le Siècle de Louis XIV and Diderot’s Le Neveu de Rameau, would not have existed but for the decades of Cartesian metaphysics which cleared the intellectual air for them. Nevertheless, they play an insignificant part in the history of philosophy, neither adding to nor subtracting from the metaphysical ideas which their urbane scepticism made it more agreeable to them to ridicule than to understand.

No rival explanation therefore could compete with it. Any science that started from the mere evidence of the senses must be inferior in its conclusions to a science that began from principles so abstract that their persuasive power would be apparent to reason alone. It was not until Newton’s Principia (1687) that it was definitely established that the geometrical method could not prove the propositions of physics, and that it was only through a new, and previously unthought of, alliance of geometrical reasoning and experimental method that significant progress could be made.

During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries there was therefore increasing criticism of the influence of the schools, and increasing awareness of the lacunae in the systems which they propagated. The intellectual history of this period is complex, and the transition from medieval to modern approaches in education and intellectual life was far less abrupt than our modern taste for clear transitions represents it to be. As late as 1685 William of Ockham’s textbook on logic was standardly used in the University of Oxford, while as early as the Metalogicon of John of Salisbury, Bishop of Chartres (1120–1180), the seeds of Renaissance humanism had been sown, and the medieval theories of education thrown in doubt.

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