Early Modern Philosophy


What is early modern philosophy?

However, the genius of Burton’s Anatomy lies in its attempt to give a naturalistic account of the mind as both distinct from the body and yet intimately connected with it. Burton’s theory of human cognition and consciousness rests on his notion of spirit, through which all of the functions and faculties of mind are physically connected with different parts of the body. While mistaken and overly literal by more modern standards, Burton’s general project of investigating mind-body correspondence remains a cornerstone of empirical mind-body and mind-brain scientific research to this day.

Early modern philosophy is mainly centered on intellectual activity in the seventeenth century, with some overlap into the early eighteenth and late sixteenth centuries. Early modern philosophy was modern in its concerns with epistemology, or the nature and justification of human knowledge, the fact that the scientific revolution was by then taken for granted, and a new acceptance of logical argument and fact-based reasons as necessary ingredients for the practice of philosophy.

However, what made it “early” modern was the continued importance of religious issues, the background social need for philosophers to assert a belief in God, the continued reaction against Aristotelian scholasticism, and the unstable political context prior to the existence of strong nation states.


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