Enlightenment and Action from Descartes to Kant: Passionate Thought

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 13, 2001 - History - 221 pages
Kant believed that true enlightenment is the use of reason freely in public. This book systematicaaly traces the philosophical origins and development of the idea that the improvement of human understanding requires public activity. Michael Losonsky focuses on seventeenth-century discussions of the problem of irresolution and the closely connected theme of the role of volition in human belief formation. This involves a discussion of the work of Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Spinoza and Leibniz. Challenging the traditional views of seventeenth-century philosophy and written in a lucid, non-technical language, this book will be eagerly sought out by historians of philosophy and students of the history of ideas.
 

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Contents

Introduction The Enlightened Mind
1
Descartes Willful Thinking
12
Hobbes Passionate Thinking
42
Locke Uneasy Thinking
72
Enthusiasm Inspired Thinking
105
Spinoza Resolute Thinking
132
Leibniz Trained Thinking
158
Conclusion The Public Mind
185
Bibliography
201
Index
213
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