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A Companion to Rationalism

Alan Nelson (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-0909-3
528 pages
December 2005, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Rationalism (1405109092) cover image

This book is a wide-ranging examination of rationalist thought in philosophy from ancient times to the present day.

  • Written by a superbly qualified cast of philosophers
  • Critically analyses the concept of rationalism
  • Focuses principally on the golden age of rationalism in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries
  • Also covers ancient rationalism, nineteenth-century rationalism, and rationalist themes in recent thought
  • Organised chronologically
  • Various philosophical methods and viewpoints are represented
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List of Contributors.

Acknowledgments.

List of Abbreviations.

Introduction.

Part I: The Core of Rationalism.

1. The Rationalist Impulse (Alan Nelson).

2. The Rationalist Conception of Substance (Thomas M. Lennon).

3. Rationalist Theories of Sense Perception and Mind-Body Relation (Gary Hatfield).

4. Rationalism and Education (David Cunning).

Part II: The Historical Background.

5. Plato's Rationalistic Method (Hugh H. Benson).

6. Rationalism in Jewish Philosophy (Steven Nadler).

7. Early Modern Critiques of Rationalist Psychology (Antonia LoLordo).

8. Rationalism and Method (Matthew J. Kisner).

9. Cartesian Imaginations: The Method and Passions of Imagining (Dennis L. Sepper).

Part III: The Heyday of Rationalism.

10. Descartes' Rationalist Epistemology (Lex Newman).

11. Rationalism and Representation).

12. The Role of the Imagination in Rationalist Philosophies of Mathematics (Lawrence Nolan).

13. Idealism and Cartesian Motion (Alice Sowaal).

14. Leibniz on Shape and the Cartesian Conception of Body (Timothy Crockett).

15. Leibniz on Modality, Cognition, and Expression (Alan Nelson).

16. Rationalist Moral Philosophy (Andrew Youpa).

17. Spinoza, Leibniz, and the Rationalist Reconceptions of Imagination (Dennis L. Sepper).

18. Kant and the Two Dogmas of Rationalism (Henry E. Allison).

Part IV: Rationalist Themes in Contemporary Philosophy.

19. Rationalism in the Phenomenonological Tradition (David Woodruff Smith).

20. Rationalist Elements of Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy (Paul Livingston).

21. Proust and the Rationalist Conception of the Self (Alan Nelson).

22. Rationalism in Science (David Stump).

23. Rationality Decision making: Descriptive, Prescriptive, or Explanatory (Jonathan Michael Kaplan).

24. What is a Feminist to do with Rational Choice? (Mariam Thalos).

25. Rationalism in the Philosophy of Donald Davidson (Richard N. Manning).

Index
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Alan Nelson is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine. He is a leading scholar of the great philosophical systems of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and has published widely on rationalism in the history of philosophy and in the philosophy of science.
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  • A wide-ranging examination of rationalist thought in philosophy.

  • Written by a superbly qualified cast of philosophers.

  • Critically analyses the concept of rationalism.

  • Focuses principally on the golden age of rationalism in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

  • Also covers ancient rationalism, nineteenth-century rationalism, and rationalist themes in recent thought.

  • Organised chronologically.

  • Various philosophical methods and viewpoints are represented.
See More
“Addressing topics from epistemology and metaphysics to ethics and psychology, it is the most compete treatment of the subject known to me.” “I can recommend this book without hesitation.” (Philosophy In Review)

"This companion is large indeed, but the size fits the largeness of its subjects; and it does succeed in its 25 articles in covering that subject . . . A job well done. Recommended." (Choice)

A Companion to Rationalism is impressive both for the high quality of the essays it contains and for their remarkable range, from metaphysics and epistemology to ethics and practical reasoning, and from Plato through the seventeenth century “continental rationalists” to contemporary philosophy. The volume is essential reading for anyone interested in the many manifestations of what Nelson calls “the rationalist impulse.”
–Don Garrett, New York University

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