I reflect critically on the early modern philosophical canon in light of the entrenchment and homogeneity of the lineup of seven core figures: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. After distinguishing three elements of a philosophical canon—a causal story, a set of core philosophical questions, and a set of distinctively philosophical works—I argue that recent efforts contextualizing the history of philosophy within the history of science subtly shift the central philosophical questions and allow for a greater range of figures to be philosophically central. However, the history of science is but one context in which to situate philosophical works. Looking at the historical context of seventeenth-century philosophy of mind, one that weaves together questions of consciousness, rationality, and education, does more than shift the central questions—it brings new ones to light. It also shows that a range of genres can be properly philosophical and seamlessly diversifies the central philosophers of the period.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.
* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 28th October 2016 - 23rd August 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.