Series: Foundations of Modern Thought, volume 1

Branching Off Vlad Alexandrescu (ed.)

Branching Off
The Early Moderns in Quest for
the Unity of Knowledge

Availability:
Paperback & Electronic (pdf)
Publication date: December 2009
Size: 13 x 20 cm
Pages: 416
Language: English & French
ISBN: 978-973-1997-42-1 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-973-1997-43-8 (ebook)
Paperback: 20 EUR  (shipping not included)
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As Francis Bacon put it on the frontispiece of his Novum Organum, grafting an apocalyptic vision on a research program, multi pertransibunt et multiplex erit scientia. The development of science becomes steadily associated with the end of earthly life, a theme that would resound deeply in Western thought up until Goethe’s Faust. What grounds then the multiplicity of knowledge? What is the common trunk out of which all realms of knowledge unfold, like the burgeoning branches of the celebrated tree? After the Augustinian imprint of the first Christian centuries and after the admirable effort of the high scholastics’ Aristotelian and Christian synthesis, the seventeenth century undertakes new scientific work with the need of a new steady ground. All the big names of the modern era, Francis Bacon, Galileo, Descartes, Robert Boyle, Spinoza or Leibniz, found themselves engaged in the search for a common trunk of wisdom, each of them nourishing the intimate conviction that they possessed the philosophical core which would satisfy the learned men’s newly found appetite for indefinitely extending knowledge. In doing this, all of these masters needed to confront the philosophical tradition that they received, reworking and merging together the old structures of science through this epistemological prism of the search for the unity of knowledge. (Vlad Alexandrescu)

CONTENTS

Vlad Alexandrescu: Foreword

I. Faces of knowledge

Nathan Smith: Mathesis, Mathematics and Method in Descartes’s Regulae: A Reprise
Elodie Cassan: Théorie de la science et physique chez Descartes
Vlad Alexandrescu: The double question of the individuation of physical bodies in Descartes
Roger Ariew: Descartes and Leibniz on the Principle of Individuation
Lucian Petrescu: Descartes and the Internal Senses. On memory and remembrance
Stephen Gaukroger: The unity of knowledge: natural philosophical foundations of Spinoza’s politico-theology
Daniel Garber: Leibniz, Theology and the Mechanical Philosophy
Sorana Corneanu: Locke on the Study of Nature

II. Mapping Knowledge and Traditions

Massimiliano Savini: La Panacea Philosophica de Johann Heinrich Alsted: un projet architectonique d’accès au savoir
Dana Jalobeanu: The fascination of Solomon’s House in seventeenth century England: Baconianism revisited
Giulia Belgioioso: «Toute hyperbole tend là, de nous amener à la vérité par l’excès de la vérité, c’est-à-dire par la mensonge»: les parcours hyperboliques qui amènent à la vérité de Balzac à Descartes
Igor Agostini: Caterus on God as “ens a se”
Justin E.H. Smith: Descartes and Henry More on living bodies
Mihnea Dobre: The Scientific Journals of the Seventeenth-Century: Cartesianism in Journal des Sçavans and Philosophical Transactions, 1665-1670
Eric Lewis: Sir Kenelm Digby and the Weapon Salve in Seventeenth Century England
Brandon Look: Leibniz and Locke on Real and Nominal Essences
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