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Rationalism, Platonism and God – A Symposium on Early Modern Philosophy - British Academy Scholarship Online
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Rationalism, Platonism and God: A Symposium on Early Modern Philosophy

Michael Ayers


This book comprises three main chapters on Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz, with extensive responses. It explores the common ground of the great early-modern rationalist theories, and provides an examination of the ways in which the mainstream Platonic tradition permeates these theories. One chapter identifies characteristically Platonic themes in Descartes’s cosmology and metaphysics, finding them associated with two distinct, even opposed attitudes to nature and the human condition, one ancient and ‘contemplative’, the other modern and ‘controlling’. It finds the same tension in Descartes’s m ... More

Keywords: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, rationalist theories, Platonic tradition, John Cottingham, Neoplatonist monism, Cartesianism, naturalistic materialism, Michael Ayers

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780197264201
Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264201.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael Ayers, editor
Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Oxford; Fellow of the British Academy