Hellenistic and Early Modern Philosophy

Hellenistic and Early Modern Philosophy

Hellenistic and Early Modern Philosophy

Hellenistic and Early Modern Philosophy

Synopsis

Early modern philosophers looked for inspiration to the later ancient thinkers when they rebelled against the dominant Platonic and Aristotelian traditions. The impact of the Hellenistic philosophers on such philosophers as Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, and Locke was profound and is ripe for reassessment. These new essays offer precisely that. Leading historians of philosophy explore the connections between Hellenistic and early modern philosophy by taking account of new scholarly and philosophical advances in these essays. There work provides invaluable point of reference for philosophers, historians of ideas and classicists.

Excerpt

Most of the chapters published here originated at a conference held at the University of Toronto in September of 2000. At the original suggestion of Jon Miller, who was working at the time on the topic of Spinoza and the Stoics, the organizers invited a number of leading scholars working in either Hellenistic or early modern philosophy, and several whose work already spanned both periods, to explore various aspects of the relationship between these two periods. Some chose to deal with historical connections and the transmission of ideas between ancient and modern times, but most focused on the comparisons and contrasts between and among the ideas themselves. Jerome Schneewind and Myles Burnyeat drew the session to a close with a roundtable discussion suggesting provisional conclusions as well as future directions for work. From the outset, the organizers of the conference aimed at including a wide range of styles and methods in the history of philosophy, and that variety is evident in this collection. We would like to think that a project of this kind might encourage communication among those who work in different ways on the history of philosophy, as well as among those who work on different historical periods.

The speakers at the conference were Donald Ainslie (University of Toronto), Gail Fine (Cornell University), Terence Irwin (Cornell University), Anthony Long (University of California at Berkeley), Stephen Menn (McGill University), Phillip Mitsis (New York University), Margaret Osler (University of Calgary), Donald Rutherford (University of California at San Diego), and Catherine Wilson (University of British Columbia). One contributor to this volume, Steven Nadler (University of Wisconsin at Madison), could not attend but graciously sent us his chapter afterwards; Jon Miller's chapter was also added later. the success of the conference was greatly enhanced by the participation of commentators, many of them graduate students from the University of Toronto, and we would like to thank them: Margaret Cameron, Karen Detlefsen, Professor Doug Hutchinson (University of Toronto), Professor Alan Kim (University of Memphis), Peter . . .

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