Jones. Clearly written and coherently presented, Philosophy Since the Enlightenment offers an accessible
overview of the last 350 years of Western philosophy.
This site contains sections on:
Maintained by J. Carl Mickelsen.
Extensive list of 35 modern philosophers. The simplicity of
presentation makes this site extremely easy to use.
Contains many primary and secondary sources on the following:
Mickelsen is also in the (ongoing) process of posting the modern philosophy section of
Alfred Weber's History
of Philosophy to this site.
From Hanover College.
Site includes sections on:
This site has an extensive list of modern
Essay by Kelly Ross.
One thing that happened during the Renaissance that was of great importance for the
later character of modern philosophy was the birth of modern science. Even as in the
Middle Ages philosophy was often thought of as the "handmaiden of theology,"
modern philosophers have often thought of their discipline as little more than the
"handmaiden of science." Even for those who haven't thought that, the shadow of
science, its spectacular success and its influence on modern life and history, have been
hard to ignore...
Biography by Peter Landry at blupete.com.
Copernicus is said to be the founder of modern astronomy. He was born in Poland, and
eventually was sent off to Cracow University, there to study mathematics and optics; at
Bologna, cannon law. Returning from his studies in Italy, Copernicus, through the
influence of his uncle, was appointed as a canon in the cathedral of Frauenburg where he
spent a sheltered and academic life for the rest of his days. Because of his clerical
position, Copernicus moved in the highest circles of power; but a student he remained. For
relaxation Copernicus painted and translated Greek poetry into Latin. His interest in
astronomy gradually grew to be one in which he had a primary interest. His investigations
were carried on quietly and alone, without help or consultation. He made his celestial
observations from a turret situated on the protective wall around the cathedral,
observations were made "bear eyeball," so to speak, as a hundred more years were
to pass before the invention of the telescope. In 1530, Copernicus completed and gave to
the world his great work De Revolutionibus, which asserted that the earth
rotated on its axis once daily and traveled around the sun once yearly: a fantastic
concept for the times. Up to the time of Copernicus the thinkers of the western world
believed in the Ptolemiac theory that the universe was a closed space bounded by a
spherical envelope beyond which there was nothing.
Essay by Thomas Bridges. Theme: How
the Enlightenment's transformation of moral philosophy into a field of theoretical
knowledge wedded modernist civic culture to the "scientific world view."
essay is only one of many on the Philosophy and
Civil Society Website, a website about postmodern culture, based upon Bridges' book, The Culture of Citizenship- Inventing
Postmodern Civic Culture.
Essay by Kelly Ross.
Although pre-Kantian modern philosophy is easily (perhaps too easily) organized as a
debate between Rationalists and Empiricists, modern philosophy after Kant presents a much greater tangle of
influences. The Flow Chart of Modern Philosophy after Kant below attempts to
produce some kind of organization and representation of schools and influences. Note that
the Continental tradition spreads out into a least four major trends, which then begin to
overlap with each other and, ultimately, with Anglo-American schools. The Anglo-American
tradition, succeeding British Empiricism, exhibits relatively contentless and sterile
doctrines, like "Pragmatism," then begins to adopt similar doctrines from the
Continent, consistent with a native Scientism, like Logicism, Logical Positivism, and
Linguistic Analysis, and then finally succumbs to a withering blast of Continental
Nihilism from Existentialism and Deconstruction. A small Analytic remnant (people like
Searle) is thus faced with a tide of skepticism, irrationalism, and obscurantism in a
combined Anglo-American-Continental school of "Post-Modernism"--no attempt is
made to comprehensively list representatives of this miserable movement.
The Search After Truth (1674)
|Bk. 3, Pt. 2, Ch. 1-6|
|Bk. 6, Pt. 2, Ch. 3|
Thomas Reid (1710-1996)
Theory of Knowledge:"We can say in general that the infallible foundations program
carries with it the danger of skepticism, according to which we are not justified in
accepting anything about an objective world. Berkeley's successor, David Hume, drove the
point home explicitly. This engendered a reaction by the Scottish "common sense"
school, whose brightest star was Thomas Reid (Lehrer's philosophical hero). It was
proposed that common sense must be added to our subject states to provide the
justification for those things we accept about an objective world."|
Epistemology of Mind A short historical overview of Reid and others.|
Going against the writings of Godwin
Malthus, in his famous work, An Essay on the Principle of Population, opined that poverty
and distress are unavoidable because population increases faster than the means of
subsistence. As checks on population growth, Malthus accepted only war, famine, and
disease but later added moral restraint, as well. His theory, at the time of its
pronouncement, was most controversial; however, it has not held much currency in the past
century, or so; this, because population levels have not come up to the levels expected.
The reason, I think, is because of the introduction of inexpensive and readily available
birth control procedures; and, of course, because of cultural changes.
addition, did not consider the new technology which has increased food production and its
distribution. Yet, the world population increases.
The Voltaire Soceity of America website attempts
to foster the spirit of the Enlightenment, tolerance and respect for the rights of the
individual as examplified by the life of Voltaire and as reflected in the beliefs of his
contemporaries, the founders of the United States.
Also included is a list of other sites on the WWW:
|The Voltaire Foundation, Oxford: publications
and full list of scholarly activities|
|La Ville de Ferney-Voltaire
(available in French or English), touristic and administrative information|
nice intellectual portrait, presented in French by the French Ministère des Affaires
biographical sketch of Voltaire, presented by Lucidcafe|
|Voltaire's Page, a nice resource
compiled by F. DeVenuto, including links to Barron's Booknotes on Candide, an essay
by Clarence Darrow, and a review of the 1933 Hollywood film Voltaire |
|Interested in acquiring a bust of Voltaire for your
mantlepiece? See Busts of Famous Freethinkers |
|Announcement of the recent
acquisition of rare Voltaire editions by the New York Public Library, dated 15 October
Since the publication of Popkin's History
of Skepticism, the strong influence of Greek skepticism on modern philosophy is now an
accepted fact. In this and other publications Popkin traces the impact of skepticism on
modern philosophy from 16th century editions of Sextus Empiricus to its ultimate
resolution in the writings of the "new Pyrrho": David Hume. With a half dozen
publications of Sextus' writings in the 17th and 18th centuries, skepticism became a
popular and important philosophical issue to the moderns. Many thinkers, particularly in
France, carried the Pyrrhonian torch as passed to them through Sextus's writings. Included
were Michel de Montaigne (who made specific use of the ten skeptical tropes of
Aenesidemus), Pierre Charron, Petrus Gassendi (who is remembered for his critical letters
to Descartes), Joseph Glanvill (who introduced Pyrrhonism to England), Walter Raleigh,
Pierre-Daniel Huet, and, most significantly, Pierre Bayle. In his highly influential Historical
and Critical Dictionary, Bayle wrote substantial entries on over two and a half
thousand people -- from Adam and Eve to Spinoza -- and near two hundred entries on
non-person topics. But he delivered his most influential skeptical arguments in the
extended footnotes to his entries. Of particular importance were his entries on Eve,
David, Pyrrho, the Manicheans, the Paulicans, Zeno, Pomponazzi, Xenophanes, Spinoza,
Nicole, and Pellison.