Reflection and the Stability of Belief: Essays on Descartes, Hume, and Reid

Reflection and the Stability of Belief: Essays on Descartes, Hume, and Reid

Reflection and the Stability of Belief: Essays on Descartes, Hume, and Reid

Reflection and the Stability of Belief: Essays on Descartes, Hume, and Reid

Synopsis

A unifying theme of Loeb's work is epistemological - that Descartes and Hume advance theories of knowledge that rely on a substantial 'naturalistic' component, adopting one or another member of a cluster of psychological properties of beliefs as the goal of inquiry and the standard for assessing belief-forming mechanisms. Thus Loeb shows a surprising affinity between the epistemologies of the two figures -- surprising because they are often thought of as polar opposites in this respect.Descartes and Hume are unique in that their philosophical texts are accessible beyond just a narrow audience in the history of philosophy; their ideas continue to be a vital part of the field at large. This volume will thus appeal to advanced students and scholars not just in the history of early modern philosophy but in epistemology and other core areas of the discipline.

Excerpt

Quotations are retained as they appeared in the source articles, though systems of reference to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century works have been altered in light of the scheme of abbreviations explained later. the sources for quotations of Hume are explained in an early footnote in each of chapters 2 and 4 through 12. Unless otherwise noted, the chapters preserve the titles and section numbers of the original articles. With the exception of chapters 5 and 7, the numbers of notes correspond to those carrying the same content in these sources. Notes have been lightly rewritten in the interest of a uniform author-date format. I have updated references to articles or books forthcoming when a source article was published. Occasional changes or additions in notes are placed in square brackets. the chapters correct typographical and other obvious errors in the original articles (hopefully without introducing a greater number of new errors) and are amended for consistency in style and conventions throughout the volume.

I am pleased to acknowledge permissions for the articles to appear in this volume. (Full bibliographical references, where not included here, may be found in the bibliography.)

Chapter 1. Louis E. Loeb, “Is There Radical Dissimulation in
Descartes’ Meditations?” Copyright © 1986, the Regents of the
University of California, published by the University of
California Press.

Chapter 2. “The Priority of Reason in Descartes,” in The Philosophical
Review, vol. 99, no. 11, pp. 3–43. Copyright © 1990, Sage
School of Philosophy, Cornell University. All rights reserved.
Used with permission of the publisher, Duke University Press.

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