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A Short History of Modern Philosophy will make excellent reading for anyone who would like to understand the principal ideas and arguments that have shaped modern philosophy Roger Scruton is well known as a writer broadcaster and journalist He has written numerous books including The Meaning of Conservatism Sexual Desire and Xanthippic
A SHORT HISTORY OF MODERN,PHILOSOPHY, This new edition of Roger Scruton s widely acclaimed Short History covers. all the major thinkers in the Western tradition from Descartes to. Wittgenstein It is an ideal introduction to philosophical history for all. those with an interest in this fascinating subject. In order to reflect recent debates and advances in scholarship and in. response to the explosion of interest in the history of philosophy Roger. Scruton has substantially revised his book while retaining the lucid and. accessible style of the original version He has also enlarged and updated. the bibliography, A Short History of Modern Philosophy will make excellent reading for. anyone who would like to understand the principal ideas and arguments. that have shaped modern philosophy, Roger Scruton is well known as a writer broadcaster and journalist He. has written numerous books including The Meaning of Conservatism. Sexual Desire and Xanthippic Dialogues,Related titles from Routledge. Philosophy The Basics,Nigel Warburton,Classical Modern Philosophers. Richard Schacht,The Continental Philosophy Reader,Edited by Richard Kearney and Mara Rainwater. A Dictionary of Philosophy,Roger Scruton,A Short History of Modern. Philosophy,From Descartes to Wittgenstein,Second edition. London and New York,First published in 1981 as,From Descartes to Wittgenstein. ARK edition 1984, Second revised and enlarged edition published 1995. by Routledge,11 New Fetter Lane London EC4P 4EE,Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada. by Routledge,29 West 35th Street New York NY 10001. Roger Scruton 1981 1984 1995, Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor Francis Group. This edition published in the Taylor Francis e Library 2002. The right of Roger Scruton to be identified as the. author of this work has been asserted by him,in accordance with the Copyright Designs. and Patents Act 1988, All rights reserved No part of this book may be reprinted. or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic. mechanical or other means now known or hereafter invented. including photocopying and recording or in any information. storage or retrieval system without permission in writing from. the publishers,British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication Data. A catalogue record for this book has been requested. ISBN 0 203 19883 2 Master e book ISBN,ISBN 0 203 19886 7 Adobe eReader Format. ISBN 0 415 13327 0 hbk,ISBN 0 415 13035 2 pbk,PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION VII. PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION XI,Introduction,1 History of philosophy and history of ideas 3. 2 The rise of modern philosophy 12,Part One Rationalism. 3 Descartes 27,4 The Cartesian revolution 38,5 Spinoza 47. 6 Leibniz 64,Part Two Empiricism,7 Locke and Berkeley 79. 8 The idea of a moral science 102,9 Hume 115,Part Three Kant and idealism. 10 Kant I The Critique of Pure Reason 133,11 Kant II Ethics and aesthetics 144. 12 Hegel 161, 13 Reactions Schopenhauer Kierkegaard and Nietzsche 176. Part Four The political transformation,14 Political philosophy from Hobbes to Hegel 193. 15 Marx 208,16 Utilitarianism and after 222,Part Five Recent philosophy. 17 Frege 237,18 Phenomenology and existentialism 250. 19 Wittgenstein 267,B IBLIOGRAPHY 280,I NDEX 296,P R E FA C E TO THE F IRST E DITION. This book provides a synthetic vision of the history of modern. philosophy from an analytical perspective It is necessarily selective. but I hope that I have identified the principal figures and the principal. intellectual preoccupations that have formed Western philosophy since. Descartes It is I believe fruitful to approach these matters from the. standpoint of analytical philosophy which in recent years has become. interested in the history which it had ignored for so long and has sought. to re establish its connections with the Western intellectual tradition. Areas which were of the greatest concern to historical philosophers. aesthetics politics theology the theory of the emotions had been for. some years ill served in English and American writings moreover an. increasing narrowness of vision an obsession with technique and. competence had tended to replace that broad sensitivity to the human. condition which is the traditional attribute of the speculative philosopher. The renewed interest in philosophical history promises to remedy those. defects and already fields such as aesthetics and political philosophy. are beginning to appear if not central at least not wholly marginal to. a mature philosophical understanding, I discuss analytical philosophy through the imaginative thought of. its greatest exponent Wittgenstein and I have been obliged to pass. over the many interesting but perhaps overrated achievements of the. English and American thinkers for whom logic and language have equally. been philosophy s first concern My intention has been to give a. perspective that is as broad as possible and to show the underlying. continuity of argument which recent achievements help us to perceive. In the first chapter I explain why I confine my discussion for the. most part to the leading figures of post Renaissance philosophy and. why my methods differ from those of the historian of ideas My concern. is to describe the content of philosophical conclusions and arguments. and not the contexts in which they occurred or the influences which led. to them Those with an interest in the history of ideas will wish to go. back over the ground covered by this book and to explore the historical. conditions from which the arguments grew and the currents of influence. which led from Hobbes to Spinoza from Malebranche to Berkeley from. VIII PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION, Rousseau to Kant and from Schopenhauer to Wittgenstein The. classifications of schools and arguments that I have adopted may then. begin to appear if not arbitrary at least very much matters of. philosophical convenience, It is necessary to mention the peculiarities of the standpoint from. which this book is written Although it has taken time for analytical. philosophy to emerge from its cultural isolation it seems to me that the. light that it has begun to cast on the history of philosophy is greater. than any that was cast by the compendious surveys which appeared. during the hundred years preceding its development A new style of. philosophical history has emerged which attempts to discover arguments. which might be put forward and accepted not just at the time when. they were first announced but at any time To ask whether it is possible. now to believe what Leibniz wrote is to submit one s interpretation to a. severe intellectual discipline It becomes necessary to discover what. Leibniz really meant by his conclusions and what arguments justified. or might justify his belief in them It becomes necessary to translate the. thought of previous philosophers from the jargon that might obscure. its meaning to remove from it all that is parochial and time bound and. to present it in the idiom which modern people would use in the. expression of their own most serious beliefs In the bibliography to this. work the reader will find references to recent studies in the history of. philosophy which while they may lack the range and the cultural. sophistication of earlier studies seem to me to have changed irreversibly. the way in which philosophical history now appears precisely by looking. to the past for answers to present questions Just as the discovery of the. new logic enabled philosophers to understand the researches of medieval. logicians for the first time so has the new philosophy of language and. mind made the arguments of Kant intelligible in a way that they were. not intelligible to those whom Kant first influenced. It should not be thought however that the analytical version of the. history of philosophy bears no relation to the history of philosophy as. it is seen by thinkers from other schools The interpretation that I offer. is one that would be acceptable in its broad outlines to many. phenomenologists Like the phenomenologists I see the main current in. modern philosophy as springing from the Cartesian theory of the subject. and from the consequent divorce between subject and object between. the realm of certainty and the realm of doubt I believe that this current. PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION IX, runs through epistemology metaphysics ethics and political philosophy. throughout the period that I survey I also believe that Wittgenstein s. detailed demonstration of the untenability of the Cartesian vision has. effectively brought a period of philosophical history to an end However. the arguments of Wittgenstein to which I refer also I believe destroy. the credibility of phenomenology, Needless to say because this book is as brief as I could make it it can. serve only as a guide my task will have been accomplished if it helps. the reader to understand and enjoy the works of the philosophers that I. P R E FAC E TO T H E S ECOND E DITION, During the fifteen years since this book was first published analytical. philosophers have devoted much of their attention to philosophical. history Although the broad outlines of the subject remain the same the. details have inevitably changed In certain cases notably that of Hume. the traditional understanding of a philosopher s aims and arguments. has been entirely revised And thinkers whose work had been for many. years dismissed or passed over with a cursory and disapproving glance. have been rehabilitated Fichte and Reid being prominent examples. Although this recent scholarship lies beyond the scope of this short. introduction it has necessitated considerable revisions of the text and a. much fuller bibliography than was provided in the first edition It goes. without saying that a short introduction is bound to be controversial. Nevertheless I have tried to represent accurately and in the minimum. space what the great modern philosophers have thought and to show. why they are still important, I have been greatly helped in preparing this second edition by. comments and criticisms from friends colleagues and students I am. particularly grateful to Fiona Ellis whose scholarly expertise has saved. me from many grievous errors,Malmesbury 1995,Introduction.