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  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: March 2008

2 - The intellectual setting

from I - The context of seventeenth-century philosophy
This chapter indicates the broad range of intellectual traditions in terms of which the various seventeenth-century figures defined their attempts to establish a new philosophy. It suggests a partial explanation for the actual successes of the science which emerged, by indicating the conditions which led to an explosion of many new varieties of philosophy, any of which might have brought the promised wisdom. By the late fourteenth century, many regarded the whole structure of the church, the teaching orders included, as radically corrupt. Aristotelian philosophy was not responsible for these corruptions; but it had done little to stop them, and it was largely by-passed by the reforming movement. The chapter indicates the forms which anti-Aristotelianism took in the Renaissance, in so far as they helped to shape the expectation of a new philosophy. Three main regions may be distinguished on the intellectual map of Renaissance philosophy: scholasticism; philosophies emerging from humanism; and revival of dogmatic Platonism.
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The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy
  • Online ISBN: 9781139055451
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