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The Cambridge History of Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century (1790–1870)
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    The Cambridge History of Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century (1790–1870)
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Book description

The latest volume in the Cambridge Histories of Philosophy series, the Cambridge History of Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century brings together twenty-nine leading experts in the field and covers the years 1790–1870. Their twenty-eight chapters provide a comprehensive survey of the period, organising the material topically. After a brief editor's introduction, it begins with three chapters surveying the background of nineteenth-century philosophy: followed by two on logic and mathematics, two on nature and natural science, five on mind and language (including psychology, the human sciences and aesthetics), four on ethics, three on religion, seven on society (including chapters on the French Revolution, the decline of natural right, political economy and social discontent), and three on history, which deal with historical method, speculative theories of history and the history of philosophy.


'The Cambridge History of Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century (1790–1870) has done an admirable job in presenting diversity without taking any partisan point of view with regard to any supposed essence in that century. Accordingly, this book is a welcome addition to the library of any scholar interested in the nineteenth century.'

Dennis Vanden Auweele Source: Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger

‘It is often said about a book that ‘it will become a standard reference’ for people working in a philosophical field of study ... The Cambridge History of Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century is one of those rare cases for which that saying actually holds. Spectacular in its form and content, this massive volume of almost a thousand pages covers various aspects of the development of European philosophy in the period from 1790 to 1870 ... a whole a truly invaluable tool (a ‘standard reference’) for anyone studying or researching the enormously complex 19th-century philosophical landscape ... [this book] is a monumental scholarly achievement and deserves to be wholeheartedly applauded for the amazingly rich information it offers the student of 19th century philosophy. The two editors have done a brilliant job in organizing a massive amount of material, and the authors of the twenty-eight essays have, with absolutely no exception, produced first-rate results.’

Source: Philosophy in Review

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Page 1 of 2

  • 6 - Conceptions of the Natural World, 1790–1870
    pp 169-200
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    This chapter explores the great explosion of system building, theology, and aesthetics set of by Kant's spark for understanding narrative link connecting epochal moments, which is a link between Kant's invention of transcendental philosophy and Hegel's historical and diagnostic conception of philosophy. Not everything in the Kantian aftermath is best seen as a reaction to Kant's noumenal skepticism, dualism, and incomplete systematicity. Platonic meaning seems to be playing a role in the post-Kantian reaction as well, and that meaning is, by Kantian lights, a robust realism, the alternative to a subjective idealism. The chapter discusses several indications in Science of Logic that Hegel appreciates the Kantian origins. Kant introduces the possibility, against rationalism, that the forms of thought might not be the forms of objects and thinks to close that gap, and Kant does so with some version of an imposition claim that creates the untenable phenomena-noumena distinction.
  • 7 - Natural Sciences
    pp 201-238
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    In nineteenth century the practice of philosophy and philosophy's standing itself underwent profound changes that were part and parcel of the equally profound changes that the university as an institution was undergoing. The study of philosophy, moreover, was generally construed as simply a propaedeutic to the study of theology, a set of preparatory courses, as it were, for study of what really counted. The focus on the unity of teaching and research led to a more structured model for hiring professors that emphasized academic qualifications, thereby breaking with the older, guild structure that encouraged cronyism and nepotism. The newer Berlin model shifted the emphasis of the American college in the direction of more research. Although philosophy was the centerpiece of the new Berlin university, the so-called golden age of philosophy died with Hegel. Philosophy still operates in the enormous shadow cast by Jena and Berlin in the nineteenth century.
  • 9 - Language
    pp 263-292
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    This chapter presents the history of logic in the multifaceted ways in which this term was understood between Kant and Frege. It explores the evolving conceptions of logic in Germany and Britain. The chapter also addresses the century's most significant debates over the nature of concepts judgments and inferences, and logical symbolism. The thesis of the formality of logic, is intertwined with some of the most controversial aspects of the critical philosophy: the distinction between sensibility and understanding, appearances and things in themselves. The turnaround in the fortunes of logic in Britain was by near consensus attributed to Whately's 1826 Elements of Logic. As post-Kantian idealism waned after Hegel's death, the most significant German logicians, Trendelenburg, Lotze, Sigwart, and Überweg, came to prefer a middle way between a subjectively formal logic and an identification of logic with metaphysics.
  • 10 - The Emergence of the Human Sciences from the Moral Sciences
    pp 293-322
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    This chapter focuses on the philosophical issues that influenced the crucial mathematical developments between 1790 and 1870. It emphasises on philosophical logic three domains, namely in the methods of mathematics, in the definitions of the basic mathematical concepts, and in the emerging philosophical accounts of mathematical truth. Geometric proofs presuppose only logic plus the axioms, postulates, and definitions. Even after non-Euclidean geometry was proved consistent, not everyone immediately gave up Kant's conception of mathematics as synthetic a priori. As in geometry, progress in algebra was temporarily blocked by traditional philosophical views about meaning and reference. Once the basic concepts of analysis were arithmetically defined, more rigorous proofs replaced the former arguments that appealed to geometric assumptions and diagrams. The philosophical developments derive from and support the greater role of logic in mathematics.
  • 12 - Autonomy and the Self as the Basis of Morality
    pp 387-433
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    This chapter explains the constitution of biology as an autonomous science. It reviews some important advances of the natural sciences that raise essential philosophical issues and some ways philosophers addressed them in turn. The chapter also discusses systematic positions of philosophy in the face of natural sciences that emerged and were realized through the century. The most influential theory was Darwin's view of life, which ascribed to history a crucial role in the science of nature, since many features of organic life have to be understood in a historical perspective. The development of natural sciences in the nineteenth century raised many of the issues that philosophy of science constituted as its proper topics in the next century: the issue of reductionism, the question of whether science is deterministic or stochastic, the nature of narrative knowledge as compared to nomothetic knowledge, and the status of theoretical entities.
  • 14 - Moral Epistemology, 1788–1870
    pp 469-490
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    Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, psychology was the study of the soul or mind, or, with greater ontological modesty, of mental powers, capacities, and phenomena. This chapter examines the early relations of psychology to biology and characterizes various eighteenth-century loci of psychological thought. It reviews nineteenth-century developments in Germany and Britain that culminate in the new psychology of the 1860s and 1870s. Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume investigated human mental capacities for knowledge in a broadly philosophical manner, while also invoking physiological or psychological notions. The Swiss naturalist Charles Bonnet's psychology shared many features of the new psychological naturalism. Bonnet accepted dualism and the immateriality of the soul without claiming to have analyzed the nature of the soul. In the eleventh century, the Islamic physician Ibn al-Haytham produced an influential work on optics that covered the psychology of visual perception in considerable depth.
  • 15 - Antimoralism
    pp 491-518
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    This chapter focuses on nineteenth-century philosophy of language, broadly in chronology but more narrowly in theme. Some of the important philosophical work on language in the nineteenth century concerned the theory of interpretation and the theory of translation. Schleiermacher's theories of interpretation and translation rest on versions of the Herder-Hamann thought-language, meaning-usage, and diversity principles. Modern linguistics was founded in the nineteenth century by two philosophers who were both deeply steeped in the Herder-Hamann tradition: Friedrich Schlegel, and Wilhelm von Humboldt. Three thinkers who share a broadly naturalistic, empirical, philological, and skeptical bent took over from the Herder-Hamann tradition the principle of metaphysics as linguistic confusion: Gruppe, Nietzsche, and Mauthner. Two nineteenth-century philosophers who made important contributions to the philosophy of language, and in particular to the analysis of meaning and reference are J. S. Mill and Frege.
  • 16 - Challenges to Religion in the Nineteenth Century
    pp 521-544
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    This chapter discusses philosophers, critics, and artists writing on aesthetics and the fine arts in the early twentieth century. In Critique of the Power of Judgment, Immanuel Kant not only attempted to provide a detailed account of empirical knowledge of its priori conditions, expounded in the Critique of Pure Reason of 1781 and 1787. In Germany, the prolific Leipzig professor, Karl Heinrich Heydenreich was strongly influenced by Kant's practical philosophy, published System of Aesthetics a few months after the Critique of the Power of Judgment, taking a very different approach from Kant's work. A far more durable and influential defence of the centrality of emotion in aesthetic response was provided by the Scot Archibald Alison in Essays on the Nature and Principles of Taste. Finally, the chapter explores some comments on the aesthetic thought of the most influential thinkers of mid-nineteenth-century Britain, John Stuart Mill and John Ruskin.
  • 18 - The Defense of Traditional Religion, 1790–1870
    pp 570-598
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    Kant establishes the normative authority of the supreme principle of morality and formulates a view about the source of normativity. According to the constructivist interpretation, the claim that the authority of moral laws has its source in the agent's will means that it is, the product of the agent's volitional activity, rather than the reflection of an independent order of values. Johann Gottlieb Fichte's examination of the concept of autonomy or self-legislation proceeds in three stages. In the famous essay On Grace and Dignity, Schiller raises a concern about the imperative form of Kantian morality. The young Hegel exposes the shortcomings of Schiller's proposal and seeks to improve on it. Arthur Schopenhauer argues that Kant's universalization procedure fails to show that helping others in need, which amounts to alleviating their sufferings and constitutes a paradigmatic moral activity, is morally required.

Page 1 of 2

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