The sovereignty of reason : the defense of rationality in the early English Enlightenment /
Frederick C. Beiser.
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1996.
xi, 332 p.
0691033951 (cl : alk. paper)
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Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1996.
0691033951 (cl : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1997-09:
Reason is the faculty for giving and assessing reasons. The scholastics generally held that reason and faith are compatible, but if there appeared to be a conflict, then (human) reason had to submit to faith. By the end of the Enlightenment, reason had triumphed: whatever place faith had--if, indeed, it did have a place--was clearly to be controlled by reason. Beiser (Indiana Univ.) explores this transition in England, from the work of Richard Hooker through that of John Toland and the deist controversy. Included are discussion of the origins of Anglican latitudinarianism in the Great Tew Circle, the philosophy of the Cambridge Platonists, the systematic attack on enthusiasm, and the emergence of ethical rationalism. However, the author strangely ignores the fact that the concept of reason changed from the rationalism of Hooker and the Cambridge Platonists to the empiricist reason of Locke that guided Toland. Nonetheless, the developments covered in this book have often been neglected, and it is more than useful to have the story well told. Upper-division undergraduates; graduates; faculty. F. Wilson; University of Toronto
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Choice, September 1997
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Table of Contents
Introduction: The Problem of the English Enlightenmentp. 3
The Protestant Challengep. 20
Hooker's Defense of Reasonp. 46
The Great Tew Circlep. 84
Cambridge Platonismp. 134
Enthusiasmus Triumphatusp. 184
Toland and the Deism Controversyp. 220
Ethical Rationalismp. 266
Conclusion: Faith in Reasonp. 323
Indexp. 329
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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