Rev. ed. published in 1964 under title: The history of scepticism from Erasmus to Descartes. Includes index. Bibliography: p. 300-326.
This is the third edition of a classic book first published in 1960, which has sold thousands of copies in two paperback edition and has been translated into several foreign languages. Popkin's work has generated innumerable citations, and remains a valuable stimulus to current historical research. In this updated version, he has revised and expanded throughout, and has added three new chapters, one on Savonarola, one on Henry More and Ralph Cudworth, and one on Pascal. This authoritative treatment of the theme of scepticism and its historical impact will appeal to scholars and students of early modern history now as much as ever.
Richard H. Popkin (1923-2005) transformed the study of the history of philosophy in the second half of the twentieth century. His History of Scepticism and his many other publications demonstrated the centrality of the problem of skepticism in the development of modern thought, the intimate connections between philosophy and religion, and the importance of contacts between Jewish and Christian thinkers. In this volume, scholars from around the world assess Popkin’s contributions to the many fields in which he was interested. The Legacies of Richard Popkin provides a broad overview of Popkin’s work and demonstrates the connections between the many topics he wrote about. A concluding article, by Popkin’s son Jeremy Popkin, draws on private letters to provide a picture of Popkin’s life and career in his own words, revealing the richness of the documents now accessible to scholars in the Richard Popkin papers at the William Andrews Clark Library in Los Angeles.
The Battle of the Gods and Giants Redux is a collection of 14 original essays in early modern philosophy by leading scholars in the field presented in honor of Thomas M. Lennon.
Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
One of the main consequences of recent work in early modern intellectual and religious history has been a discrediting of the notion of a sudden and dramatic transition to the spiritual world of the Enlightenment. Scholars are increasingly examining the underlying spiritual trends and tendencies which confirm the variety and complexity of the slow movement from Renaissance to Enlightenment, and the profound impact of many of the manifestations of intellectual and religious tension during the early modern period. The essays in this volume are a contribution to this process of reappraisal, focusing specifically on the phenomena of scepticism and millenarianism, especially as part of the more pronounced role of the Jews and their culture.
Even if specific pieces of research (on the sources or on individual authors, such as Pico, Agrippa, Erasmus, Montaigne, Sanches etc.) have given and are still producing significant results on Renaissance scepticism, an overall synthesis comprising the entire period has not been achieved yet. No predetermined idea of that complex historical subject that is Renaissance scepticism underlies this book, and we want to sacrifice the complexity of movements, personalities, tendencies and interpretations to any sort of a priori unity of theme even less. We acknowledge unhesitatingly that we had always thought of “scepticisms” in the plural, and believe that the different contexts (philosophical, religious, cultural) in which these forms grew up must also be taken into account. Furthermore, given the transversal nature and provocative character of the sceptical challenge, this book contains essays also on philosophers who, without being sceptics and sometimes engaged in fighting scepticism, nevertheless took up its challenge. The main authors considered in this book are: Vives, Castellio, Agrippa, Pedro de Valencia, Pico, Sanchez, Montaigne, Charron, Bruno, Bacon, and Campanella. The various essays in the book show the relevance of the philosophical thought of authors little known by the general public and put in new perspective important aspects of the thought of some of the great thinkers of the Renaissance.
Prefatory Explanation It must be remarked at once that I am 'editor' of this volume only in that I had the honor of presiding at the symposium on Spinoza and the Sciences at which a number of these papers were presented (exceptions are those by Hans Jonas, Richard Popkin, Joe VanZandt and our four European contributors), in that I have given some editorial advice on details of some of the papers, including translations, and finally, in that my name appears on the cover. The choice of speakers, and of addi tional contributors, is entirely due to Robert Cohen and Debra Nails; and nearly all the burden of readying the manuscript for the press has been borne by the latter. In the introduction to another anthology on Spinoza I opened my remarks by quoting a statement of Sir Stuart Hampshire about inter pretations of Spinoza's chief work: All these masks have been fitted on him and each of them does to some extent fit. But they remain masks, not the living face. They do not show the moving tensions and unresolved conflicts in Spinoza's Ethics. (Hampshire, 1973, p. 297) The double theme of 'moving tensions' and 'unresolved conflicts' seems even more appropriate to the present volume. What is Spinoza's rela tion to the sciences? The answers are many, and they criss-cross one another in a number of complicated ways.
The Age of Enlightenment has often been portrayed as a dogmatic period on account of the veritable worship of reason and progress that characterized Eighteenth Century thinkers. Even today the philosophes are considered to have been completely dominated in their thinking by an optimism that leads to dogmatism and ultimately rationalism. However, on closer inspection, such a conception seems untenable, not only after careful study of the impact of scepticism on numerous intellectual domains in the period, but also as a result of a better understanding of the character of the Enlightenment. As Giorgio Tonelli has rightly observed: “the Enlightenment was indeed the Age of Reason but one of the main tasks assigned to reason in that age was to set its own boundaries.” Thus, given the growing number of works devoted to the scepticism of Enlightenment thinkers, historians of philosophy have become increasingly aware of the role played by scepticism in the Eighteenth Century, even in those places once thought to be most given to dogmatism, especially Germany. Nevertheless, the deficiencies of current studies of Enlightenment scepticism are undeniable. In taking up this question in particular, the present volume, which is entirely devoted to the scepticism of the Enlightenment in both its historical and geographical dimensions, seeks to provide readers with a revaluation of the alleged decline of scepticism. At the same time it attempts to resituate the Pyrrhonian heritage within its larger context and to recapture the fundamental issues at stake. The aim is to construct an alternative conception of Enlightenment philosophy, by means of philosophical modernity itself, whose initial stages can be found herein.
This collection of articles (the Vercelli conference proceedings) places the theme of scepticism within its philosophical tradition. It explores the English philosophical thinkers, the French context, as well as major Italian figures and Spanish culture. It pays special attention to the relationships between history of philosophical ideas and the problems rising from the history of sciences (medicine, physics, linguistics, historical scholarship) in the 17th and the18th centuries.
This book argues that philosophical skepticism helps define the aesthetic experience of the sublime in late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century British literature, especially the poetry of Alexander Pope. Skeptical doubt appears in the period as an astonishing force in discourse that cannot be controlled--"doubt's boundless Sea," in Rochester's words--and as such is consistently seen as affiliated with the sublime, itself emerging as an important way to conceive of excessive power in rhetoric, nature, psychology, religion, and politics. This view of skepticism as a force affecting discourse beyond its practitioners' control links Noggle's discussion to other theoretical accounts of sublimity, especially psychoanalytic and ideological ones, that emphasize the sublime's activation of unconscious personal and cultural anxieties and contradictions. But because The Skeptical Sublime demonstrates the sublime's roots in the epistemological obsessions of Pope and his age, it also grounds such theories in what is historically evident in the period's writing. The skeptical sublime is a concrete, primary instance of the transformation of modernity's main epistemological liability, its loss of certainty, into an aesthetic asset--retaining, however, much of the unsettling irony of its origins in radical doubt. By examining the cultural function of such persistent instability, this book seeks to clarify the aesthetic ideology of major writers like Pope, Swift, Dryden, and Rochester, among others, who have been seen, sometimes confusingly, as both reactionary and supportive of the liberal-Whig model of taste and civil society increasingly dominant in the period. While they participate in the construction of proto-aesthetic categories like the sublime to stabilize British culture after decades of civil war and revolution, their appreciation of the skepticism maintained by these means of stabilization helps them express ambivalence about the emerging social order and distinguishes their views from the more providentially assured appeals to the sublime of their ideological opponents.
Arts of Perception offers a new account of a key period in Spanish history and culture and a fundamental reassessment of its major writers and intellectuals, including Gracián, Quevedo, Calderón, Saavedra Fajardo, López de Vega, and Sor Juana. Reading these figures in the context of European thought and the new science, and philosophy, the study considers how they developed various ‘arts of perception’ - complex perceptual strategies designed to overcome and exploit epistemic problems to enable an individual to act effectively in the moral, political, social or religious sphere. The study takes as its subject the distinctive epistemological mentality behind such ‘arts of perception’. This mentality was fostered by the creative interaction of scepticism and Stoicism, and found expression in the key concepts ser/parecer and engaño/desengaño. The work traces the emergence, development, and impact of these concepts on Spanish thought and culture. As well as offering new interpretations of specific major figures, Arts of Perception offers an interpretation of the mentality of an entire culture as it made the fraught transition to intellectual modernity. As such it ranges over numerous discourses and formative contexts and provides a wealth of new material which will be of use to all those seeking to understand and interpret the literature, culture and thought of Golden Age Spain. This book was previously published as a special issue of The Bulletin of Spanish Studies.
Outlines of Scepticism, by the Greek philosopher Sextus Empiricus, is a work of major importance for the history of Greek philosophy. It is the fullest extant account of ancient scepticism, and it is also one of our most copious sources of information about the other Hellenistic philosophies. Its first part contains an elaborate exposition of the Pyrrhonian variety of scepticism; its second and third parts are critical and destructive, arguing against 'dogmatism' in logic, epistemology, science and ethics - an approach that revolutionized the study of philosophy when Sextus' works were rediscovered and published in the sixteenth century. This volume presents the accurate and readable translation which was first published in 1994, together with a substantial new historical and philosophical introduction by Jonathan Barnes.
This book contains twelve penetrating case-studies written by scholars from various disciplines. They focus on the use of deceit by several groups of people in different spheres of life, as well as on its representation in literary and artistic genres, and its conceptualization in philosophical and rhetorical discourses.
In this sequel to his classic study The History of Scepticism from Erasmus to Descartes, Popkin examines the important role played by the revival and reformulation of classical scepticism in eighteenth-century philosophy.
A chronological survey of the evolution of Western philosophy provides historical analysis of the thought of key figures and schools and explores the broad influence of Jewish, Islamic, and Asian philosophy, the importance of women philosophers, and other topics. UP.
Roger Scruton is one of the most widely respected philosophers of our time, whose often provocative views never fail to simulate debate. In Modern Philosophy he turns his attention to the whole of the field, from the philosophy of logic to aesthetics, and in so doing provides us with an essential and comprehensive guide to modern thinking.