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By Stuart Brown

Ecu philosophy from the overdue 17th century via lots of the eighteenth is generally conceived as `the Enlightenment', the interval of empirical response to the good 17th century Rationalists.
This quantity starts with Herbert of Cherbury and the Cambridge Platonists and with Newton and the early English Enlightenment. Locke is a key determine in past due chapters, because of his value either within the improvement of British and Irish philosophy and thanks to his seminal impact within the Enlightenment as an entire. British Philosophy and the Age of Enlightenment comprises dialogue of Scottish Enlightenment and its effect at the German Aufklarung, and for this reason on Kant. French inspiration, which in flip affected the past due radical Enlightenment, particularly Bentham, is additionally thought of here.
This survey brings jointly transparent, authoritative chapters from top specialists and gives a scholarly creation to this era within the historical past of philosophy. It incorporates a word list of technical phrases and a chronological desk of vital political, philosophical, medical and different cultural occasions.

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He is so treated in this series and is, accordingly, discussed in a later volume. But it is worth noting that the anti -metaphysical character of the ‘positivist’ movement of the nineteenth century (which Bentham helped to encourage) was also shared by some of the Enlightenment philosophers, such as Condillac and Hume. This anti-metaphysical tendency reflects one point of continuity between the periods covered by this volume and that on The Nineteenth Century. The Enlightenment as it has emerged so far was characterized by more weight being given than formerly to certain values, such as toleration, freedom and reasonableness.

5 The previous volume of the current series—The Renaissance and Seventeenth Century Rationalism—so classifies them. Woolhouse, The Empiricists (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1988) in the History of Western Philosophy series. Loeb, for instance, rejects the standard division of the major figures of seventeenth and eighteenth century philosophy into either ‘continental rationalists’ or ‘British empiricists’. See his From Descartes to Hume: Continental Metaphysics and the Development of Modern Philosophy, Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press, 1981.

6 There are also those who think the period of the so-called ‘Enlightenment’ is too diverse to be accurately presented as if it were a coherent and unified cultural phenomenon. Though I will address these doubts later in this introduction, my main purpose is not so much to lay them entirely to rest as to set the scene for the individual chapters that comprise the substance of the volume. The reader will find that some of these chapters are devoted to a major figure, as are the chapters on Berkeley and Vico, or even, in the case of Locke and Hume, to part of the thought of an individual philosopher.

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