Platonism at the Origins of Modernity

Studies on Platonism and Early Modern Philosophy

Douglas Hedley & Sarah Hutton, Berlin: Springer, 2008


This collection of essays offers an overview of the range and breadth of Platonic philosophy in the early modern period. It examines philosophers of Platonic tradition, such as Cusanus, Ficino, and Cudworth. The book also addresses the impact of Platonism on major philosophers of the period, especially Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, Shaftesbury and Berkeley.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents 

Introduction – Hutton, Sarah

Nicholas of Cusa (1401–1464): Platonism at the Dawn of Modernity – Moran, Dermot

At Variance: Marsilio Ficino, Platonism and Heresy – Allen, Michael J. B.

Going Naked into the Shrine: Herbert, Plotinus and the Constructive Metaphor – Clark, Stephen R. L.

Comenius, Light Metaphysics and Educational Reform – Rohls, Jan

Robert Fludd’s Kabbalistic Cosmos – Schmidt-Biggemann, Wilhelm

Reconciling Theory and Fact: The Problem of ‘Other Faiths’ in Lord Herbert and the Cambridge Platonists – Pailin, David

Trinity, Community and Love: Cudworth’s Platonism and the Idea of God – Armour, Leslie

Chaos and Order in Cudworth’s Thought – Breteau, Jean-Louis

Cudworth, Prior and Passmore on the Autonomy of Ethics – Attfield, Robin

Substituting Aristotle: Platonic Themes in Dutch Cartesianism – Ruler, Han

Soul, Body and World: Plato’s Timaeus and Descartes’ Meditations – Wilson, Catherine

Locke, Plato and Platonism – Rogers, G. A. J.

Reflections on Locke’s Platonism – Nuovo, Victor

The Platonism at the Core of Leibniz’s Philosophy – Mercer, Christia

Leibniz and Berkeley: Platonic Metaphysics and ‘The Mechanical Philosophy’ – Brown, Stuart

Which Platonism for Which Modernity? A Note on Shaftesbury’s Socratic Sea-Cards – Jaffro, Laurent

Platonism, Aesthetics and the Sublime at the Origins of Modernity – Hedley, Douglas


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