Modern Philosophy: From 1500 Ce to the Present (repost)

ISBN: 1615301453

Category: Technical

Tag: Science/Engineering


Posted on 2013-03-11. By anonymous.

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Brian Duignan, "Modern Philosophy: From 1500 Ce to the Present"
English | 2010 | ISBN: 1615301453, 161530245X | 225 pages | PDF | 4,5 MB


Introduction:

During the 14th century, European society suffered
an unprecedented series of natural and humanmade
disasters, including famine, the Black Death, and
numerous devastating and expensive wars. By the end of
the century, the continent was a great deal poorer and
much less populous than it had been in 1300. According
to some historians, these calamities were the death knell
of the Middle Ages: the drastic changes they brought
about hastened the disappearance of characteristically
medieval forms of political authority and social organization.
More important, they also served to undermine
confidence among late-medieval thinkers in dogmatic
Christian and Aristotelian doctrines concerning the
principles of the natural world, the proper structure and
governance of human society, and the capacities and moral
worth of human beings.
Other scholars see the 14th century as merely a temporary
interruption in processes of social and intellectual
transformation that had begun several centuries earlier
and would have continued as they did whether or not the
disasters of the period had ever occurred. However this
may be, it is clear that by the late- 15th century European
society and intellectual culture had changed in significant
ways. The national monarchies had completely eclipsed
the power of the German “Holy Roman Empire,” whose
leader had been crowned by the pope since the early
Middle Ages as the supreme secular authority on earth. In
Italy, independent city-states such as Florence, Venice,
and Milan were economically and militarily powerful, and
elsewhere the growth of commerce and manufacturing
further increased the importance of cities and the merchant
classes at the expense of the landed nobility.
This period was also marked by the rise of humanism,
an intellectual movement that emphasized the dignity of
the human individual. The humanists were responsible
for the rediscovery and translation of a wealth of ancient
Greek and Roman literary and philosophical texts, including
the complete dialogues of Plato. They revered the
“ancients,” as they called the Greeks and Romans, for their
intellectual rigour and integrity and for the freedom with
which they pursued philosophical and scientific problems.
In the latter respect ancient philosophers, in the estimation
of the humanists, were far superior to the academic
philosophers of previous centuries, the “Schoolmen” or
Scholastics,” who had been bound in their investigations
to support, or at least not to contradict, the theology of the
Roman Catholic Church. Indeed, the humanists regarded
the Middle Ages (a term they invented) as a long period
during which significant philosophical and literary activity
had simply ceased. They understood themselves as the
inheritors and standardbearers of Classical ideals against
stultifying medieval orthodoxies. The term Renaissance
was the somewhat judgmental invention of humanist
sympathizers of the 19th century; nevertheless, it aptly
conveys the intellectual renewal and reawakening that the
humanists brought about.
Thus the humanists self-consciously took up where
the ancients had left off. In philosophy, this is apparent
not only in the new influence of ancient philosophical
doctrines such as atomism and Stoicism but also in the
revival of whole areas of philosophy that had been well
developed in ancient times but relatively neglected during
the Middle Ages—particularly political philosophy, epistemology
(the study of knowledge), and ethics...........

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