Models of the History of Philosophy
Published in English for the first time, this is the translation of "Dall'età cartesiana a Brucker", the second installment of the monumental multi-volume "Storia delle storie generali della filosofia". It follows on from the first volume, translated from the Italian by C.W.T. Blackwell and published by Kluwer in 1993, which covered the subject from its origins in the Renaissance to the Historia Philosophica. This volume guides the reader from the Cartesian rejection of the ‘philosophical past’ that found voice in the work of Malebranche, right up to the establishment of a ‘critical’ history of philosophy by 18th century thinkers A.-F Boureau-Deslandes and J.J. Brucker. The latter pair investigated philosophy from its most ancient origins up to the work of their own contemporaries, and in doing so acted as midwives to the birth of the history of philosophy into a genre in its own right. It was a shift in emphasis that spawned dozens of works of critical history which in turn made an immense contribution to the culture of the Enlightenment.
Through careful analysis of more than 36 separate works, the authors show how in the span of a single century the theoretical and methodological techniques used to assess the history of philosophy were refined and developed. The period marks the vital transition from a so-called ‘erudite’ historiography to a ‘critical’ or ‘philosophical’ history of philosophy, embodied by Bayle and Heumann respectively. The works examined in detail are either general histories of philosophy, or texts—such as Bayle’s Dictionnaire—which have strongly influenced the development of the genre.
It is the most detailed and complete work to date concerning the history of philosophical historiography.A major contribution to the intellectual history of the 17th and 18th centuriesIt lends itself to interdisciplinary study and with the history of historiography and the history of literary genres