Thought and nature : studies in rationalist philosophy /
Arthur W. Collins.
Notre Dame, Ind. : University of Notre Dame Press, c1985.
xi, 248 p.
0268018561 :
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Notre Dame, Ind. : University of Notre Dame Press, c1985.
0268018561 :
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Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Appeared in Choice on 1986-01:
Collins presents the rationalists of the 17th and 18th centuries as fundamental influences on empiricism and contemporary philosophy of mind. An introductory essay on rationalism and empiricism is followed by essays on Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz, and two chapters are devoted to Kant. The primary, though not exclusive, focus is on issues in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and metaphysics. Collins discusses the relevance of Descartes's scientific interests and the objectives for his dualism. He considers Leibniz's purported claim (which Collins argues Leibniz does not hold) that all truths are analytic. Kant's reversal of the traditional attitude on primary and secondary qualities in the construction of spatial objects and as a foundation for the objectivity of outer sense is examined. Throughout this work there is a continuing discussion of various treatments of egocentrism and the tendency to idealism. Indeed, it is suggested that the empiricists, not the rationalists, are the real inheritors of Descartes's quest for certainty. This view ignores unduly the role of clear and distinct ideas as standards in Spinoza's biblical criticism; and, more importantly, Collins ignores the ways that these thinkers conceived themselves as responding to the crisis of Pyrrhonian skepticism (as described in Richard Popkin's History of Scepticism from Erasmus to Descartes) (rev. ed., Assen, 1960). Clearly written throughout. Appropriate for upper-division undergraduates and graduate students.-F. Wilson, University of Toronto
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 1986
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