The Light of the Soul: Theories of Ideas in Leibniz, Malebranche, and Descartes

Paperback | August 1, 1998

byNicholas Jolley

not yet rated|write a review
The concept of an idea plays a central role in seventeenth-century theories of mind and knowledge. However, philosophers of the period were seriously divided over the nature of ideas. The Light of the Soul examines the important but neglected debate on this issue between Leibniz, Malebranche,and Descartes. In reaction to Descartes, Malebranche argues that ideas are not mental but abstract, logical entities. Leibniz in turn replies to Malebranche by reclaiming ideas for psychology. Nicholas Jolley explores the theological dimension of the debate by showing how the three philosophersmake use of biblical and patristic teaching. The debate has important implications for such major issues in early modern philosophy as innate ideas, self-knowledge, scepticism, the mind-body problem, and the creation of the eternal truths. Jolley goes on to consider the relevance of theseventeenth-century controversy to modern discussions of the relation between logic and psychology. 'This is an excellent book about a variety of themes in seventeenth-century philosophy . . . an engaging and stimulating tour of a series of fascinating philosophical debates which constitute central dimensions of the seventeenth-century philosophical tradition. . . . Jolley has a finephilosophical sense, an excellent knowledge of the texts, and a rich appreciation of the secondary literature.' Michael L. Morgan, Review of Metaphysics 'Jolley has written a rich and useful book.Its concerns are important and he presents them in a remarkably accessible fashion. . . . Very seldom does a book like this appear that will be of serious interest both to the most advanced, sophisticated researchers in the field and to those with onlypassing knowledge of the basic texts ... It is an engaging book, in both senses of the term. Its style and method of argument are not only prepossessing, but they also draw one into the dialectic, and in a philosophically productive way.' Thomas M. Lennon, Canadian Philosophical Reviews 'careful and perceptive . . . lucid and wide-ranging' John Cottingham, Times Literary Supplement 'A significant study of a central topic in modern philosophy . . . Without losing sight of his central theme, Jolley manages to illuminate a host of related topics in epistemology and the philosophy of mind, and succeeds quite admirably in offering a philosophically stimulating, historically richdiscussion of the nature of ideas. Consequently, this book should be purchased by every academic library supporting undergraduate degree programs in philosophy.' C. J. Shields, Choice

Pricing and Purchase Info

$84.00

Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

The concept of an idea plays a central role in seventeenth-century theories of mind and knowledge. However, philosophers of the period were seriously divided over the nature of ideas. The Light of the Soul examines the important but neglected debate on this issue between Leibniz, Malebranche,and Descartes. In reaction to Descartes, Ma...

He is author of Leibniz and Locke: A Study of the New Essays on Human Understanding (Clarendon Press, 1984) and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Leibniz (1995).

other books by Nicholas Jolley

Toleration and Understanding in Locke
Toleration and Understanding in Locke

Hardcover|Jan 15 2017

$84.00

Leibniz
Leibniz

Kobo ebook|Apr 1 2005

$30.29 online$39.30list price(save 22%)
The Cambridge Companion to Leibniz
The Cambridge Companion to Leibniz

Kobo ebook|Oct 28 1994

$44.49 online$57.74list price(save 22%)
see all books by Nicholas Jolley
Format:PaperbackDimensions:220 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.51 inPublished:August 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198238193

ISBN - 13:9780198238195

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of The Light of the Soul: Theories of Ideas in Leibniz, Malebranche, and Descartes

Reviews

Extra Content

Table of Contents

1: Introduction; 2: Descartes: The Theory of Ideas; 3: Descartes: Innate Ideas; 4: Malebranche: The Theory of Ideas; 5: Malebranche: Vision in God; 6: Malebranche: Vision in God and Occasionalism; 7: Malebranche: Ideas and Self-Knowledge; 8: Leibniz: Ideas and Illumination; 9: Leibniz: The Defenceof Innate Ideas; 10: Leibniz: Innate Ideas, Reflection, and Self-Knowledge; 11: Some Further Developments; Bibliography; Index.

Editorial Reviews

'Jolley has written a rich and useful book. Its concerns are important and he presents them in a remarkably accessible fashion. However problematic or controversial his claims may be, Jolley makes them clear. Very seldom does a book like this appear that will be of serious interest both to themost advanced, sophisticated researchers in the field and to those with only passing knowledge of the basic texts ... It is an engaging book, in both senses of the term. Its style and method of argument are not only prepossessing, but they also draw one into the dialectic, and in a philosophicallyproductive way.'Thomas M. Lennon, The University of Western Ontario, Canadian Philosophical Reviews, V. XI, No. 5 - V. XII, No. 1 (Oct 91 - Jan 92)