By G. H. R. Parkinson
This fourth quantity strains the heritage of Renaissance philosophy and 17th century rationalism, protecting Descartes and the beginning of recent philosophy.
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Additional resources for The Renaissance and 17th Century Rationalism (Routledge History of Philosophy, Volume 4)
118–72). Leibniz, for his part, discussed both the theological forms of the problem of freedom and the problems posed by the thesis that every event is caused. He accepted this thesis, but argued (contrary to Spinoza) that there is freedom of the will. In essence, his argument was that human actions are indeed necessary, but that they are only hypothetically necessary. That is, given that X is, at the moment, my strongest motive, then I must act in accordance with this motive. But I still could have acted otherwise—that is, my will is free—in that my acting in some other way is always logically possible.
In this way, the first moves were made towards loosening the hold that Christian institutions had upon philosophy. I must emphasize that by the laicization of European culture I do not mean what has been called ‘the secularisation of the European mind’;13 that is, the decline in the importance that religious ideas, and more specifically Christian ideas, have had for European thinkers. It is plausible to argue that the two were connected; but they were different from each other. To speak of laicization in this context is to speak of the people who were the bearers of culture, and it is to say that they ceased to be predominantly clerical; it is not to say anything about the content of what such people believed.
5) that the term ‘the Renaissance’ is ‘an organising concept which still has its uses’. Skinner (eds) The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1988: abbreviated, CHRP), p. 5. 3 CHRP, Introduction, p. 3. ) Philoponus and the Rejection of Aristotelian Science (London, Duckworth, 1988), p. 210. 5 See, for example, the entries for ‘scholasticism’ and ‘medieval philosophy’ in J. Rée (eds), The Concise Encyclopaedia of Western Philosophy and Philosophers (London, Unwin Hyman, 1989).