This quantity attracts a balanced photograph of the Rationalists through bringing their highbrow contexts, resources and whole variety of pursuits into sharper concentration, with no neglecting their center dedication to the epistemological doctrine that earned them their conventional label. the gathering of unique essays addresses issues starting from theodicy and early smooth track thought to Spinoza’s anti-humanism, usually significantly revising very important elements of the obtained photograph of the Rationalists. one other vital contribution of the amount is that it brings out facets of Rationalist philosophers and their legacies that aren't quite often linked to them, corresponding to the undertaking of a Cartesian ethics. eventually, a powerful emphasis is put on the relationship of the Rationalists’ philosophy to their pursuits in empirical technology, to their engagement within the political lifetime of their period, and to the non secular heritage of a lot of their philosophical commitments.
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Additional info for The Rationalists: Between Tradition and Innovation (The New Synthese Historical Library, Volume 65)
45 Given the range of options available—and indeed represented in the dialogues—it is most likely that dialogues were received in different ways in different settings. 46 But these are questions which, given the evidence available to us, we cannot settle for certain. Equally importantly for my purposes, I do not think that the approach to the dialogues adopted in this study stands or falls with a particular answer. Some of the suggestions I make, particularly about the way the dialogues encourage us to pause as we read and to move backwards and forwards through the text, work better if we think of the texts as read.
30 Penner (1992) is a particularly striking example. 33 Other critics, among whom I count myself, are keen to resist this slide back into doctrinal interpretation, insisting that the dialogues do not contain determinate views of Plato’s. 34 Similarly, the focus on the ongoing, iterative, and revisionary nature of philosophizing in the dialogues encourages us to beware of resting content with particular conclusions. 35 Nor need we retreat towards the idea that the dialogues merely constitute preparation or protreptic: honing our dialectical skills, showing us what philosophy is like, or exhorting us to engage in it.
And though there has been a shift of emphasis more recently, there is still room for a great deal more attention to the way the texts affect the reader and the character of the responses they generate. 28 But despite the common approach to learning, it is 25 Fowler and Fowler (1996) 871 point out that narratology is helpfully viewed as a method rather than a theory, and can therefore easily be combined with other approaches; cf. also Doherty (2001) 122. g. Davis and Womack (2002) 57–8, Tompkins (1980b) xi–xiii, Suleiman (1980) 13–15, Doherty (2001) 125.