Early Modern Philosophy
An Anthology
  • Publication Date: November 5, 2021
  • ISBN: 9781554812790 / 1554812798
  • 992 pages; 7¾" x 9¼"

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Early Modern Philosophy

An Anthology

  • Publication Date: November 5, 2021
  • ISBN: 9781554812790 / 1554812798
  • 992 pages; 7¾" x 9¼"

This new anthology of early modern philosophy enriches the possibilities for teaching this period by highlighting not only metaphysics and epistemology, but also new themes such as virtue, equality and difference, education, the passions, and love. It contains the works of forty-three philosophers, including traditionally taught figures such as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant, as well as less familiar writers such as Lord Shaftesbury, Anton Amo, Julien Offray de La Mettrie, and Denis Diderot. It also highlights the contributions of women philosophers, including Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, Gabrielle Suchon, Sor Juana Inéz de la Cruz, and Emilie Du Châtelet.


“Instructors and scholars of early modern philosophy have desperately awaited this anthology, frustrated with existing collections that present an outdated and narrow canon. Shapiro and Lascano’s impressively rich compilation reflects current scholarship, which has rediscovered many previously overlooked texts and topics. This versatile anthology should work beautifully for traditional courses on early modern philosophy, for drastically reconceived courses, or for anything in between.” — Julia Jorati, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

“More than a textbook, this anthology is an extraordinary resource for students and scholars. Thanks to Lisa Shapiro and Marcy Lascano, we can better appreciate the wide range of questions, problems, and concerns defining the modern period. Alongside a broader than usual range of canonical thinkers, the anthology features a rich and engaging variety of contributions from early modern women philosophers. Bravo!” — Hasana Sharp, McGill University

“By rediscovering the philosophical writings of women and people of color, recent scholarship has made great progress in understanding the themes and thinkers in early modern philosophy. This superb anthology, balancing classic philosophical texts with texts by philosophers historically excluded from the canon, offers exciting possibilities for instructors wishing to align their courses with this pioneering new research.” — Deborah Boyle, College of Charleston

“This early modern collection is fresh and exciting, including traditional texts but also venturing far beyond the canon. It’s a pleasure to see the likes of George Berkeley side-by-side with lesser-known figures such as Catharine Trotter Cockburn and Francis Hutcheson. Clever themes and a straightforward timeline will render it easy and appealing for teachers and students alike.” — Emily Thomas, Durham University

“Many will be familiar with the old narrative of early modern European philosophy—the story of three continental rationalists, three British empiricists, and Kant as the synthesizer of the two traditions. And many will be familiar with the steady erosion of that story in recent decades. Now, with this book of primary texts aimed for teachers and students of this rich and pivotal period in western philosophy, Lisa Shapiro and Marcy Lascano have provided a tremendous resource for philosophers wishing to imagine a fuller, more inclusive, and vastly more interesting history of philosophy. This book includes texts from forty-three early modern figures including many women and erstwhile unappreciated men, and it recognizes a range of genres in which philosophy was produced in these centuries. Among this volume’s many virtues is the section on themes, which will be especially helpful for instructors as we build our syllabi. Some of those themes—such as love, habituation and custom, and education—show the range of issues that early modern philosophers grappled with, a range exposed by breaking out of the old canon. The study questions at the start of each philosopher’s entries will provoke deep and engaged thought in the student of early modern philosophy. With this ground-breaking and inspiring text, Shapiro and Lascano have done the philosophical community an enormous service.” — Karen Detlefsen, University of Pennsylvania

A thematically organized table of contents is also available.


Thematic Table of Contents

Timeline of Publication Dates

1. Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592)

  • To the Reader
  • Of Cannibals
  • Apology for Raymond Sebond

2. Francis Bacon (1561–1626)

  • The Advancement of Learning
  • New Organon

3. Marie de Gournay (1565–1645)

  • The Equality of Men and Women

4. Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679)

  • Leviathan
  • Of Liberty and Necessity

5. René Descartes (1596–1650)

  • Discourse on the Method for Reasoning Well, Parts 1 and 2
  • Website: Discourse on the Method, Parts 3–6
  • Meditations on First Philosophy
  • Website: Meditations on First Philosophy, Dedicatory Letter and Preface to the Reader

6. Anna Maria van Schurman (1607–1678)

  • A Dissertation on the Natural Capacity of Women for Study and Learning

7. Madeleine de Scudéry (1607–1701)

  • Conversations upon Several Subjects: “Of the Knowledge of Others, and of Ourselves”

8. Henry More (1614–1687)

  • The Immortality of the Soul

9. Ralph Cudworth (1617–1688)

  • The True Intellectual System of the Universe

10. Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia (1618–1680)

  • Correspondence with Descartes

11. Margaret Cavendish (1623–1673)

  • Poems and Fancies
  • Philosophical Letters
  • Observations Upon Experimental Philosophy
  • Grounds of Natural Philosophy

12. Anne Conway (1631–1679)

  • The Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy

13. Gabrielle Suchon (1631–1703)

  • Treatise on Ethics and Politics
  • On the Celibate Life Freely Chosen

14. John Locke (1632–1704)

  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Books I and II
  • Website: An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Book IV
  • Some Thoughts Concerning Education

15. Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677)

  • Ethics

16. Robert Hooke (1635–1703)

  • Micrographia

17. Madame de Maintenon (1635–1719)

  • Dialogues: On Reason, On Constraint, On the Drawbacks of Marriage, On the Education at Saint-Cyr
  • Addresses to Students: Of the Utility of Reflection, Of the Single Life
  • Addresses to Faculty: Of the Education of Ladies

18. Nicolas Malebranche (1638–1715)

  • The Search After Truth

19. Isaac Newton (1642–1727)

  • Principia Mathematica

20. G.W. Leibniz (1646–1716)

  • Discourse on Metaphysics
  • The New System of the Nature of Substances
  • Theodicy: Summary of Arguments
  • Website: The Monadology

21. Pierre Bayle (1647–1706)

  • Historical and Critical Dictionary: “Spinoza”
  • Website: Historical and Critical Dictionary: “Manicheans,” “Rorarius”

22. François Poulain de la Barre (1647–1723)

  • A Physical and Moral Discourse concerning the Equality of Both Sexes
  • On the Education of Ladies for Training the Mind in the Sciences and Moral Judgement

23. Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (c. 1648–1695)

  • “Let us pretend I am happy”
  • Response of the Poet to the Very Eminent Sor Filotea de la Cruz

24. Damaris Cudworth, Lady Masham (1659–1708)

  • Occasional Thoughts in Reference to a Vertuous or Christian Life
  • Correspondence with Leibniz

25. Mary Astell (1666–1731)

  • A Serious Proposal to the Ladies
  • Some Reflections upon Marriage

26. Bernard Mandeville (1670–1733)

  • The Fable of the Bees

27. Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury (1671–1713)

  • Soliloquy, or Advice to an Author
  • Website: An Inquiry concerning Virtue

28. Catharine Trotter Cockburn (1679–1749)

  • Remarks upon some Writers

29. George Berkeley (1685–1753)

  • Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous, The First Dialogue
  • Website: Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous, The Second Dialogue

30. Francis Hutcheson (1694–1746)

  • An Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue
  • An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions

31. Voltaire (1694–1778)

  • Le Micromégas

32. Anton Amo (c. 1703–after 1752)

  • Treatise on the Art of Soberly and Accurately Philosophizing

33. Émilie Du Châtelet (1706–1749)

  • The Foundations of Physics
  • Discourse on Happiness

34. Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709–1751)

  • Man a Machine

35. Thomas Reid (1710–1796)

  • An Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense

36. David Hume (1711–1776)

  • An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, Sections I–V, VII–IX
  • Website: An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, Sections X–XII
  • An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals

37. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778)

  • Discourse on the Origin and the Foundations of Inequality among Men

38. Denis Diderot (1713–1784)

  • Letter on the Blind, for the Use of Those Who See

39. Étienne Bonnot de Condillac (1714–1780)

  • Treatise on Sensations

40. Adam Smith (1723–1790)

  • The Theory of Moral Sentiments

41. Immanuel Kant (1724–1804)

  • Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics
  • “What Is Enlightenment?”
  • Website: Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals

42. James Beattie (1735–1803)

  • An Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth

43. Sophie de Grouchy (1764–1822)

  • Letters on Sympathy: Letters to C***, on The Theory of Moral Sentiments

Permissions Acknowledgments

Lisa Shapiro is Professor of Philosophy at Simon Fraser University. Marcy P. Lascano is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kansas.

  • • Includes readings from 43 philosophers, more than any similar anthology in this area
  • • Contains substantial selections from canonical writers such as Descartes, Locke, and Hume
  • • Numerous works from women philosophers are provided, including Cavendish, Conway, and Sor Juana
  • • The breadth of selections allows for an array of topics to be highlighted, including traditional themes in metaphysics and epistemology but also new themes such as education, equality, feminism, and the passions
  • • Includes thematic table of contents to help in syllabus construction
  • • Study questions, annotations, and introductions to each author are provided
  • • Additional and expanded readings are available on a complimentary companion website
  • • Any of Broadview’s historical editions can be packaged with the anthology at no added cost to students
  • • Reading selections and ordering can be customized to fit particular course needs with Broadview custom texts

This book has a companion website containing additional readings.

A complimentary access code for this site is provided in the book’s table of contents.