Logic and the Workings of the Mind: The Logic of Ideas and Faculty Psychology in Early Modern Philosophy

By Smith, Kurt | The Review of Metaphysics, June 1999 | Go to article overview

Logic and the Workings of the Mind: The Logic of Ideas and Faculty Psychology in Early Modern Philosophy


Smith, Kurt, The Review of Metaphysics


EASTON, Patricia A., ed. Logic and the Workings of the Mind: The Logic of Ideas and Faculty Psychology in Early Modern Philosophy. North American Kant Society Studies in Philosophy, vol. 5. Atascadero, California: Ridgeview Publishing Company, 1997. vii + 343 pp. Cloth, $49.00; paper, $27.00--This book is a collection of seventeen first-rate essays, the overall theme of which is to examine the connection between logic and faculty psychology as construed by the philosophers of the modern period.

The first two essays, by Frederick Michael and Gary Hatfield, set the historical and philosophical stage for the essays to follow. Conjointly, Michael and Hatfield argue that the turn to the predominate epistemological concerns of the modern period can be understood in light of the attempts by philosophers to see the nature of logic in terms of the faculties of mind. The remaining fifteen essays treat the following topics: the logic of ideas, the logic of relations, the logic of inference, modality, faculty psychology, and methodology in early modern philosophy. The contributors are: Jennifer Ashworth, Elmar Kremer, Emily Michael, Jill Buroker, Fred Wilson, Charles Echelbarger, David Owen, Patricia Kitcher, Francois Duchesneau, Philip Cummins, Manfred Kuehn, Catherine Wilson, Eric Palmer, Louis Loeb, and Robert Butts.

As one might hope, a number of essays treat those figures of the modern period now considered standard: Descartes, Gassendi, Arnauld, Malebranche, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. …

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