Philosophic Classics, Volume III: Modern Philosophy

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • View Upgraded Edition
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $65.00


For courses in Modern Philosophy (16th through 18th centuries). This anthology of readings in modern western philosophy (16th through 18th centuries) includes the key writings of the British Empiricists and Continental Rationalists, along with the work of Kant. It features complete works or complete sections of works . Includes introductions to each philosopher,drawings, diagrams, and photographs, and a timeline.

Table of Contents

Preface v
Francis Bacon
Aphorisms Concerning the Interpretation of Nature and the Kingdom of Man (selections)
Rene Descartes
Meditations on the First Philosophy
Correspondence with Princess Elizabeth (selections)
Thomas Hobbes
Leviathan (selections from chapters 1-3, 6, 9, 12-15, 17-18, 21)
Blaise Pascal
Pensees (selections)
Baruch Spinoza
Ethics (Sections I and II)
John Locke
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (abridged)
An Essay Concerning the True Original Extent and End of Civil Government Second Essay) (Chapters 2 and 7)
Gottfried Leibniz
Discourse on Metaphysics
Theodicy (Leibniz' abridgement)
The Monadology
George Berkeley
A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
David Hume
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
Thomas Reid
Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man (Essay I, Chapter 14, and part of Chapter 15)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
The Social Contract (Book I)
Immanuel Kant
Critique of Pure Reason (selections)
Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics
Foundation for the Metaphysics of Morals


To a large extent, modern philosophy begins with a rejection of tradition. While medieval philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas took great pains to incorporate and reconcile ancient writings, smoothing over any apparent contradictions, early modern philosophers such as Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes encouraged their readers to simply make a clean sweep of the past and start over. Previous thinkers had been deluded by "idols" or mistakes in thinking or had relied too heavily on authority. In the modern age, the wisdom of the past was to be discarded as error-prone. As Descartes observed, Some years ago I was struck by the large number of falsehoods that I had accepted as true in my childhood, and by the highly doubtful nature of the whole edifice that I had subsequently based on them. I realized that it was necessary, once in the course of my life, to demolish everything completely and start again right from the foundations if I wanted to establish anything at all in the sciences that was stable and likely to last. This quest to establish a stable intellectual foundation on which to build something "likely to last" characterized seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European philosophy. British Empiricists, such as Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, and Thomas Reid, found such a foundation in sensory experience and developed their thought on that basis. On the other hand, the Continental Rationalists, philosophers such as Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, and Gottfried Leibniz, thought the senses inadequate for such a task. They considered reason superior to experience and sought to establish their philosophies on the basis of more certain principles. Immanuel Kant, the greatest of the modern philosophers, sought to combine these two approaches and in so doing developed a uniquely influential system of philosophy. This volume in thePhilosophic Classicsseries includes the key writings of the British Empiricists and Continental Rationalists, along with the work of Kant. In choosing texts for this volume, I have tried wherever possible to follow three principles: (1) to use complete works or, where more appropriate, complete sections of works (2) in clear translations (3) of texts central to the thinker's philosophy or widely accepted as part of the "canon." To make the works more accessible to students, most footnotes treating textual matters (variant readings, etc.) have been omitted and all Greek words have beep transliterated and put in angle brackets. In addition, each thinker is introduced by a brief essay composed of three sections: (1) biographical (a glimpse of the life), (2) philosophical (a resume of the philosopher's thought), and (3) bibliographical (suggestions for further reading). This edition now includes a brief selection from Jean-Jacques Rousseau as well as additional material from John Locke'sEssay Concerning Human Understandingand a new translation of Rene Descartes'sMeditations.To make room for these changes, I have cut a portion of Immanuel Kant'sCritique of Pure Reasonand made a number of other small changes. Those who use this volume in a one-term course in modern philosophy will notice more material here than can easily fit a normal semester. But this embarrassment of riches gives teachers some choice and, for those who offer the same course year after year, an opportunity to change the menu.

Rewards Program

Write a Review