This guide brings together eighteen original interpretations of the modern philosophers from Descartes to Nietzsche. The contributors succeed brilliantly in placing their figures within a rich historical, cultural, and philosophical context, noting some of the important ways in which their ideas and arguments were shaped by the intellectual currents of the time, and how they in turn shaped subsequent philosophical debate. Each chapter focuses on the central ideas and arguments of an individual philosopher, with discussions ranging over a wide variety of topics, including morality, politics, religion, epistemology, metaphysics, aesthetics, logic, mathematics, and the natural sciences. Combining the virtues of careful scholarship and lucid exposition, these essays achieve a balance between intellectual history and philosophical analysis that is rarely found in collections of this kind. Thus, although the volume is eminently suitable for a student audience, the essays will certainly be of great interest to scholars who work in the field of modern philosophy or whose work encompasses intellectual history.
Steven M. Emmanuel is Professor of Philosophy at Virginia Wesleyan College. He is author of
Kierkegaard & the Concept of Revelation (1996).