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The Metaphysics of the Material World: Suárez, Descartes, Spinoza (2020)

Abstract
This book traces a particular development of the metaphysics of the material world in early modern thought. The route it follows derives from a critique of Spinoza in the work of Pierre Bayle. Bayle charged in particular that Spinoza’s monistic conception of the material world founders on the conception of extension and its modes and parts that he inherited from Descartes, and that Descartes in turn inherited from late scholasticism, and ultimately from Aristotle. After an initial discussion of Bayle’s critique of Spinoza and its relation to Aristotle’s distinction between substance and accident, this study starts with the reconceptualization of Aristotle’s metaphysics of the material world that we find in the work of the early modern scholastic Suárez. This is followed by a consideration of the connections of this version of scholastic conception of the material world to the very different conception that Descartes offered. Especially important is Descartes’s view of the relation of extended substance both to its modes and to the parts that compose it. Finally, there is a consideration of what these developments in Suárez and Descartes have to teach us about Spinoza’s monistic conception of the material world. Of special concern here is to draw on this historical material to provide a re-assessment of Bayle’s critique of Spinoza.

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9780190495220Early Modern Cartesianisms: Dutch and French Constructions (2017)

Abstract
There is a general sense that the philosophy of Descartes was a dominant force in early modern thought. Since the work of the nineteenth-century Cartesian historian Francisque Bouillier, however, there has been no fully contextualized comparative treatment of the various receptions of Descartes in different portions of early modern Europe. This study addresses the need for a more current understanding of these receptions by considering the different constructions of Descartes’s thought that emerged in the Calvinist United Provinces (Netherlands) and Catholic France, the two main centers for early modern Cartesianism, during the period dating from the last decades of his life to the century or so following his death in 1650. It turns out that we must speak not of a single early modern Cartesianism rigidly defined in terms of Descartes’s own authorial intentions, but rather of a loose collection of early modern Cartesianisms that involve a range of different positions on various sets of issues. Though more or less rooted in Descartes’s somewhat open-ended views, these Cartesianisms evolved in different ways over time in response to different intellectual and social pressures. Chapters of this study are devoted to: the early modern Catholic and Calvinist condemnations of Descartes and the incompatible Cartesian responses to these; conflicting attitudes among early modern Cartesians toward ancient thought and modernity; competing early modern attempts to combine Descartes’s views with those of Augustine; the different occasionalist accounts of causation within early modern Cartesianism; and the impact of various forms of early modern Cartesianism on both Dutch medicine and French physics.

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descartes on causationDescartes on Causation (2008)

Abstract

This is a systematic study of Descartes’s theory of causation and its relation to the medieval and early modern scholastic philosophy that provides its historical context. Although Descartes offered a dualistic ontology that differed radically from scholasticism, his views on causation were profoundly influenced by scholastic thought. The influence is evident in his affirmation in the Meditations of the abstract scholastic axioms that a cause must contain the reality of its effect and that conservation does not differ in reality from creation. But this influence is evident as well in the details of the accounts of body-body interaction in his physics, of mind-body interaction in his psychology, and of the causation that he took to be involved in free human action.What emerges is a new understanding of Descartes’s contribution to modern thought on causation.

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radical cartesianismRadical Cartesianism: The French Reception of Descartes (2002)

Abstract

This is the first book-length study of the highly original form of Cartesianism in the work of two of Descartes’s French successors, Robert Desgabets and Pierre-Sylvain Regis. The book focuses on radical doctrines in these Cartesians concerning the creation of eternal truths, the intentionality of ideas, and the soul-body union, three issues that Descartes broached but did not fully explore. In addition to relating their discussion of these issues to views of Descartes and of Cartesians such as Malebranche and Arnauld, the book establishes that Desgabets and Regis played an important, though neglected, role in the theologically and politically charged reception of Descartes in early modern France.

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malebranches theorgy of the soulMalebranche’s Theory of the Soul: A Cartesian Interpretation (1996)

Abstract

This book concerns the attempt in Nicolas Malebranche to offer a theory of mind that involves the rejection of Descartes’s thesis that mind is better known that body. The main argument is that Malebranche was correct in claiming a Cartesian foundation for his theory, and thus that he provides a uniquely internal critique of Descartes’s account of mind. There is a consideration of Malebranche’s thesis that we know the modifications of our soul through a consciousness that is confused rather than through an idea is clear, as well as of his attempt to nonetheless defend the positive Cartesian project of constructing clear and evident demonstrations of the  distinctive properties of the soul.

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Volume Editor

Cover_EfficientCausation_Schmaltz_OPCEfficient Causation: A History (2014)

Abstract
This is my edited collection of essays for the Oxford Philosophical Concepts series. The volume examines how the notion of causation in contemporary philosophy grew out of different historical concepts of efficient causation. It begins with Aristotle’s introduction of the concept of efficient causation, and then considers the transformations and reconsiderations of this concept in late antiquity, medieval and modern philosophy, ending with accounts of causation in contemporary metaphysics and philosophy of science. The volume includes four short “Reflections” that explore the significance of the concept for literature, the history of music, the history of science and contemporary art theory

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receptions of descartesReceptions of Descartes: Cartesianism and Anti-Cartesianism in Early Modern Europe (2005)

Abstract

The French thinker René Descartes is widely regarded as the father of modern philosophy, and his thought dominated intellectual life in Europe in the century following his death. This volume offers original contributions from an international group of distinguished scholars on the prominence of the Descartes-inspired movement, “Cartesianism.” Topics covered include: (i) The reception among women philosophers; (ii) The French reception; (iii) The Dutch reception; (iv) The Italian reception; and (v) The British reception.

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Volume Co-Editor

The Oxford Handbook of Descartes and Cartesianism, ed. S. Nadler, T. M. Schmaltz, and D. Antoine-Mahut (2019)

Abstract
The seventeenth century was the Cartesian century. Philosophy, including natural philosophy (e.g., physics), was dominated by the metaphysical, epistemological, mathematical, and scientific ideas of Descartes. This is not to say that everyone in the century was a Cartesian, nor even that those who were Cartesians were faithful disciples who merely rehashed Descartes’s theses and arguments. Rather, from the late 1630s until the beginning of the eighteenth century, anyone who sought to make his/her mark in the philosophical world had to deal in some way or another with the Cartesian philosophy.The goal of this volume is to give as complete an overview as possible of the richness, originality, creativity, influence, and variety of Cartesian activity in the seventeenth century, as well as of the significant opposition to it from diverse quarters.

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The Problem of Universals in Early Modern Philosophy, ed. S. Di Bella and T. M. Schmaltz (2017)

Abstract
This is a collection of essays from an international group of scholars that explore the ways in which the ancient problem of universals was transformed in early modern philosophy. Essays consider the various forms of “Platonism,” “conceptualism” and “nominalism” (and distinctive combinations thereof) in the writings of a broad range of early modern thinkers, including Gassendi, Hobbes, Descartes, Malebranche, Spinoza, the Cambridge Platonists, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant.

 

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1442247681

Historical Dictionary of Descartes and Cartesian Philosophy, ed. R. Ariew, D. Des Chene, D. M. Jesseph, T. M. Schmaltz and T. Verbeek (2nd edition, 2015)

Abstract

This second edition of Historical Dictionary of Descartes and Cartesian Philosophy covers the history through a chronology, an introductory essay, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 300 cross-referenced entries on various concepts in Descartes’ philosophy, science, and mathematics, as well as biographical entries about the intellectual setting for Descartes’ philosophy and its reception, both with Cartesians and anti-Cartesians.

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intergrating history and philosophy of scienceIntegrating History and Philosophy of Science: Problems and Prospects, ed. S. Mauskopf and T. Schmaltz (2012)

Abstract

Though the publication of Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions seemed to herald the advent of a unified study of the history and philosophy of science, it is a hard fact that the history of science and the philosophy of science have increasingly grown apart. Recently, however, there has been a series of workshops on both sides of the Atlantic (called ‘&HPS’) to bring historians and philosophers of science together to discuss integrative approaches. This is therefore an especially appropriate time to explore the problems with and prospects for integrating history and philosophy of science. The original essays in this volume, all from specialists in the history of science or philosophy of science, offer such an exploration from a wide variety of perspectives. The volume combines general reflections on the current state of history and philosophy of science with discussion of the relation between the two disciplines in specific historical and scientific cases.

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Volume Contributor (Selection)

Causation and Cognition in Early Modern Philosophy, ed. D. Perler and S. Bender (2019)

“Cartesian Causation and Cognition: Louis de la Forge and Géraud de Cordemoy”

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Feminist History of Philosophy: The Recovery and Evaluation of Women’s Philosophical Thought, ed. E. O’Neill and M. Lascano (2019)

“Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia on the Cartesian Mind: Interaction, Happiness, Freedom”

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The Oxford Handbook of Descartes and Cartesianism, ed. S. Nadler, T. M. Schmaltz and D. Antoine-Mahut (2019)

“Claude Clerselier and the Development of Cartesianism”

“Robert Desgabets and the Supplement to Descartes’s Philosophy”

“The Curious Case of Henricus Regius”

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Occasionalism: From Metaphysics to Science, ed. M. F. Camposampiero, M. Priarolo and E. Scribano (2018)

“Continuous Creation and Cartesian Occasionalism in Physics”

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The Oxford Handbook of Spinoza, ed. M. Della Rocca (2018)

“Spinoza and Descartes”

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51CG4ly2aHL._SX349_BO1,204,203,200_The Routledge Companion to Seventeenth Century Philosophy, ed. D. Kaufman (2018)

“Theories of Substance”

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The Modern Turn, ed. M. Rohlf (2017)

“Descartes’s Critique of Scholastic Teleology”

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9783319469874Descartes’ Treatise on Man and its Reception, ed. D. Antoine-Mahut and S. Gaukroger (2016)

“The Early Dutch Reception of l’Homme

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89664Battle of the Gods and Giants Redux: Papers Presented to Thomas M. Lennon, ed. P. Easton and K. Smith (2015)

“What is Ancient in French Cartesianism?”

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9780199971657The Young Spinoza: A Metaphysician in the Making, ed. Y. Melamed (2015)

“Spinoza on Eternity and Duration: The 1663 Connection”

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descartes meditationsThe Cambridge Companion to Descartes’ Meditations, ed. D. Cunning (2014)

“The Fifth Meditation: Descartes’ Doctrine of True and Immutable Natures”

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9780199660032_450New Essays on Leibniz’s Theodicy, ed. L. Jorgensen and S. Newlands (2014)

“Moral Evil and Divine Concurrence in the Theodicy

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descartes meditations a critical guide 2

Descartes’ Meditations: A Critical Guide, ed. K. Detlefsen (2013)

“Causation and Causal Axioms”

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philosophy and its historyPhilosophy and Its History: Aims and Methods in the Study of Early Modern Philosophy, ed. M. Laerke, J. E. H. Smith and E. Schliesser (2013)

“What Has History of Science to Do with History of Philosophy?”

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9780199934409_450The Divine Order, the Human Order, and the Order of Nature: Historical Perspectives, ed. E. Watkins (2013)

“Laws and Order: Malebranche, Berkeley, Hume”

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49445Matter and Form in Early Modern Science and Philosophy, ed. G. Manning (2012)

“Substantial Forms as Causes: From Suárez to Descartes”

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9780199556137The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Early Modern Europe, ed. D. Clarke and C. Wilson (2011)

“From Causes to Laws”

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416hnzkbzklThe Ultimate Why Question: Why Is There Anything at All Rather than Nothing Whatsoever?, ed. J. F. Wippel (2011)

Causa Sui and Created Truth in Descartes”

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causation and modern philosophyCausation and Modern Philosophy, ed. K. Allen and T. Stoneham (2011)

“Primary and Secondary Causes in Descartes’s Physics”

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1405118741The Blackwell Guide to Descartes’ Meditations, ed. S. Gaukroger (2006)

“Seventeenth-Century Responses to the Meditations

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early modern philosophyThe Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Philosophy, ed. D. Rutherford (2006)

“The Science of Mind”

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the cambridge companion to malebrance 2The Cambridge Companion to Malebranche, ed. S. Nadler (2000)

“Malebranche on Ideas and the Vision in God”

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0198239408Studies in Seventeenth-Century European Philosophy, ed. M. A. Stewart (1997)

“Descartes on Innate Ideas, Sensation, and Scholasticism: The Response to Regius”

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Journal Editorships

APAJournal of the American Philosophical Association

Associate Editor (starting 2014)

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hphcoversmallJournal of the History of Philosophy

Editor (2003–2010)

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Online Contributor

“Nicolas Malebranche,” entry in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (first published 2002; last updated 2017)

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Online lecture, “Moral Evil and Divine Concurrence in the Theodicy” (University of Notre Dame, 2010)

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