Pierre Gassendi ― Humanism, Science, and the Birth of Modern Philosophy
Pierre Gassendi ― Humanism, Science, and the Birth of Modern Philosophy
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  • Pierre Gassendi (1592–1655) was a major figure in seventeenth-century philosophy whose philosophical and scientific works contributed to shaping Western intellectual identity. Among "new philosophers", he was considered Descartes’ main rival, and he belonged to the first rank of those attempting to carve out an alternative to Aristotelian philosophy. Given the importance of Gassendi for the history of science and philosophy, it is surprising to see that he has been largely ignored in the Anglophone world.

    This collection of essays constitutes the first book on Gassendi that comprehensively covers his biography, bibliography, and all aspects of his philosophy. The book is divided into four parts. It begins with a brief sketch of the intellectual world of seventeenth-century France, Gassendi’s early attacks on Aristotle, and a bibliographical essay on early-modern publications of Gassendi’s writings. Part II explores Gassendi’s contributions to logic, natural philosophy, and astronomy and cosmology. Part III addresses Gassendi as a humanist and participant in seventeenth-century philosophical and scientific debates, including his advocacy of Epicurean philosophy and his relation to the sceptical tradition. The fourth and final part involves a brief discussion of the reception of Gassendi’s thought, including the paraphrases of his works published in France and England. This book is an essential resource for scholars and upper-level students of early modern philosophy, intellectual history, and the history of science who want to get acquainted with Pierre Gassendi as a major philosopher and intellectual figure of the early modern period.

  • Delphine Bellis is a postdoctoral researcher of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) at Ghent University, Belgium. Her research mainly focuses on Descartes, Gassendi, and early modern optics and matter theory.

    Daniel Garber is Stuart Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Princeton University, USA. He has written widely on issues relating to the history of philosophy and science in the early modern period. His books include Descartes’ Metaphysical Physics, Descartes Embodied, and Leibniz: Body, Substance, Monad. With Michael Ayers, he is the co-editor of the Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy.

    Carla Rita Palmerino is full Professor in the History of Modern Philosophy at Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Her research mainly focuses on early modern theories of matter and motion and she has published several articles on Gassendi’s natural philosophy.

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