The Columbia History of Western Philosophy

By Richard H. Popkin | Go to book overview

4
The Renaissance

BETWEEN OCKHAM AND DESCARTES

The term “Renaissance”—like “antiquity,” “Middle Ages,” “Reformation” and “Enlightenment”—is a celebrated name for a major epoch of the premodern West, but the same word has been less conspicuous in the history of Western philosophy. Histories of the subject often leap from William of Ockham to René Descartes (1596– 1650) with little or no account of what came between. Ockham's part in the story, whether his work was the culmination of medieval philosophy or its final crisis, is smaller but no less assured than the place given Descartes for having started a new kind of philosophy. Those who admire both thinkers or either will know that Descartes did not start where Ockham stopped. For anyone who believes that philosophy has a history, curiosity about Descartes should lead to questions about his proximate past, the postmedieval period that locates him as an actor in history. Where did Descartes find his motives, limits, and presuppositions? What were his starting points? Was there anything in his historical neighborhood to explain why he made so much of method, certainty, atomism, and subjectivity, so little of Aristotle and the classics? Can one understand his scepticism without the doubts of Michel de Montaigne and Sextus Empiricus; his mechanism without the atoms of Giordano Bruno and Lucretius; his method without Petrus Ramus and Quintilian; his abandonment of classicism without the classics he abandoned; his break with Aristotle without the classicized Aristotle he learned at La Flèche; his subjectivism without the Spiritual Exercises of the Jesuits who taught him there? If some find the answers plain, they

-279-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Columbia History of Western Philosophy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Columbia History of Western Philosophy *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction xv
  • Contributors xxi
  • The Columbia History of Western Philosophy *
  • 1 - Origins of Western Philosophic Thinking 1
  • 2 - Medieval Islamic and Jewish Philosophy 140
  • 3 - Medieval Christian Philosophy 219
  • 4 - The Renaissance 279
  • 5 - Seventeenth-Century Philosophy 329
  • 6 - Eighteenth-Century Philosophy 422
  • 7 - Nineteenth-Century Philosophy 516
  • 8 - Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy 604
  • 9 - Twentieth-Century Continental Philosophy 667
  • Epilogue 755
  • Epilogue - On the History of Philosophy 757
  • Index of Names 779
  • Index of Subject 801
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 836

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.