Early Modern Philosophy Reconsidered: Essays in Honor of Paul Hoffman

Early Modern Philosophy Reconsidered: Essays in Honor of Paul Hoffman

Early Modern Philosophy Reconsidered: Essays in Honor of Paul Hoffman

Early Modern Philosophy Reconsidered: Essays in Honor of Paul Hoffman

Synopsis

Philosophy and Poetry is the 33rd volume in the Midwest Studies in Philosophy series. It begins with contributions in verse from two world class poets, John Ashbery and Stephen Dunn, and an article by Dunn on the creative processthat issued in his poem. The volume features new work from an internationalcollection of philosophers exploring central philosophical issues pertinent topoetry as well as the connections between the two domains.

Excerpt

John Carriero

This issue is dedicated to the memory of our colleague, teacher, and friend Paul Hoffman.

Paul died after an early morning swim workout in May 2010. (He was a serious competitive swimmer: in 2009, he ranked in the top ten in his age group in the 200-meter fly; and in 2007, he placed third in the United States and seventh in the world.)

Paul was born in 1952, in Anderson, in. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover, ma. He spent his freshman year at Brown University and then transferred to the University of Michigan, where he began his study of philosophy. He took up graduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1974 and wrote a dissertation under Robert Adams on Descartes’s concept of matter, which won a campus-wide award. Paul held faculty positions at Harvard, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and at the University of California at Riverside; he was also a Mellon Fellow at Cornell. Paul was an extraordinary teacher at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, providing just the right mixture of encouragement and no-nonsense criticism. Those who worked closely with him (and I am one of them) felt extremely fortunate to have his mentorship and friendship.

A collection of his papers, Essays on Descartes, appeared in 2009. (A list of Paul’s publications can be found at the end of this introduction.) Paul’s work on Descartes tended to focus on the metaphysical, as opposed to the epistemological, side of his philosophy. He believed that in order to understand Descartes, one needed more than a casual acquaintance with the Aristotelian-scholastic tradition that served as background to his thought. Paul was one of the first scholars trained . . .

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