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Enlightenment and Action from Descartes to Kant

Enlightenment and Action from Descartes to Kant
Passionate Thought


  • Date Published: November 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521806121

£ 67.00

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About the Authors
  • Kant believed that true enlightenment is the use of reason freely in public. This book systematicaaly traces the philosophical origins and development of the idea that the improvement of human understanding requires public activity. Michael Losonsky focuses on seventeenth-century discussions of the problem of irresolution and the closely connected theme of the role of volition in human belief formation. This involves a discussion of the work of Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Spinoza and Leibniz. Challenging the traditional views of seventeenth-century philosophy and written in a lucid, non-technical language, this book will be eagerly sought out by historians of philosophy and students of the history of ideas.

    • Challenging view of the roots of Enlightenment thought
    • Discusses a wide range of philosophers - Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Spinoza, Leibniz and Kant
    • Written in a flowing and nontechnical style
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a deep and carefully argued account of the relationships between volition, emotion and cognition in important seventeenth-century texts … Losonsky has given us an empowering book …' British Journal for the History of Philosophy

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2001
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521806121
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of abbreviations
    1. Introduction: the enlightened mind
    2. Descartes: willful thinking
    3. Hobbes: passionate thinking
    4. Locke: uneasy thinking
    5. Enthusiasm: inspired thinking
    6. Spinoza: resolute thinking
    7. Leibniz: trained thinking
    8. Conclusion: the public mind

  • Author

    Michael Losonsky, Colorado State University

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