The Rationalists

Paperback | March 1, 1992

byJohn Cottingham

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The seventeenth century saw a fundamental shift in our ways of thinking about ourselves and the universe. The reassuring medieval view of an earth-centred cosmos designed expressly for the benefit of mankind had been steadily eroded; yet at the same time there emerged a new optimism about thepossibility of developing a clear and comprehensive account of the workings of the universe, together with a determination to penetrate the nature of the human mind and its relation to the material world. Against this background John Cottingham traces the attempts of the three great rationalist philosophers - Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz - to come to terms with man's new role in nature and to devise new systems of philosophy that would provide a unified understanding of reality. He aims to showhow closely their ideas are related, and analyses their ways of tackling such central issues as the relation between mind and body, the nature of substance, and the way to achieve a free and fulfilled Human life. He engages with their ideas in a vigorously critical way, and in so doing revealstheir capacity to throw light on major philosophical topics which are still very much alive today.

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From Our Editors

The seventeenth century saw a fundamental shift in our ways of thinking about ourselves and the universe. The reassuring medieval view of an earth - centered cosmos designed expressly for the benefit of human beings had been steadily eroded; yet at the some time there emerged a new optimism about the possibility of developing a clear a...

From the Publisher

The seventeenth century saw a fundamental shift in our ways of thinking about ourselves and the universe. The reassuring medieval view of an earth-centred cosmos designed expressly for the benefit of mankind had been steadily eroded; yet at the same time there emerged a new optimism about thepossibility of developing a clear and compre...

From the Jacket

The seventeenth century saw a fundamental shift in our ways of thinking about ourselves and the universe. The reassuring medieval view of an earth - centered cosmos designed expressly for the benefit of human beings had been steadily eroded; yet at the some time there emerged a new optimism about the possibility of developing a clear a...

John Cottingham holds the Established Chair of Philosophy at the University of Reading.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.67 inPublished:March 1, 1992Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0192891901

ISBN - 13:9780192891907

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Table of Contents

1. Background2. Method3. Substance4. Matter and Mind5. Freedom and MoralityNotes; Reference List; Index

From Our Editors

The seventeenth century saw a fundamental shift in our ways of thinking about ourselves and the universe. The reassuring medieval view of an earth - centered cosmos designed expressly for the benefit of human beings had been steadily eroded; yet at the some time there emerged a new optimism about the possibility of developing a clear and comprehensive account of the working of the universe, together with a determination to penetrate the nature of the human mind and its relation to the material world.

Editorial Reviews

`a first rate introduction to 17th Century Rationalism for undergraduates.'Dr S.J. Critchley, University of Essex