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  1. Before and Beyond Leibniz: Tschirnhaus and Wolff on Experience and Method.Corey W. Dyck - manuscript
    In this chapter, I consider the largely overlooked influence of E. W. von Tschirnhaus' treatise on method, the Medicina mentis, on Wolff's early philosophical project (in both its conception and execution). As I argue, part of Tschirnhaus' importance for Wolff lies in the use he makes of principles gained from experience as a foundation for the scientific enterprise in the context of his broader philosophical rationalism. I will show that this lesson from Tschirnhaus runs through Wolff's earliest philosophical discussions, and (...)
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  2. Power, Harmony, and Freedom: Debating Causation in 18th Century Germany.Corey Dyck - forthcoming - In Frederick Beiser & Brandon Look (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Eighteenth Century German Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    As far as treatments of causation are concerned, the pre-Kantian 18th century German context has long been dismissed as a period of uniform and unrepentant Leibnizian dogmatism. While there is no question that discussions of issues relating to causation in this period inevitably took Leibniz as their point of departure, it is certainly not the case that the resulting positions were in most cases dogmatically, or in some cases even recognizably, Leibnizian. Instead, German theorists explored a range of positions regarding (...)
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  3. Review of Karin de Boer, Kant’s Reform of Metaphysics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020. [REVIEW]Corey W. Dyck - forthcoming - Philosophical Review.
    In this engaging, provocative, and highly original study, Karin de Boer offers an interpretation of key parts of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason as a preparation for an anticipated (and positive) system of metaphysics that is broadly Wolffian in character. In contrast to the lopsided scholarly focus on the negative results of Kant’s project—its “all-crushing” effect on traditional metaphysics—de Boer contends that the Critique is in fact the outgrowth of a longstanding ambition on Kant’s part to make metaphysics into a (...)
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  4. Rationalist Foundations and the Science of Force.Marius Stan - forthcoming - In Brandon Look & Frederick Beiser (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of German Eighteenth-Century Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
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  5. Philosophical Mechanics in the Age of Reason.Marius Stan & Katherine Brading - forthcoming - New York: Oxford University Press.
    This book argues that the Enlightenment was a golden age for the philosophy of body, and for efforts to integrate coherently a philosophical concept of body with a mathematized theory of mechanics. Thereby, it articulates a new framing for the history of 18th-century philosophy and science. It explains why, more than a century after Newton, physics broke away from philosophy to become an autonomous domain. And, it casts fresh light on the structure and foundations of classical mechanics. Among the figures (...)
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  6. “In Nature as in Geometry”: Du Châtelet and the Post-Newtonian Debate on the Physical Significance of Mathematical Objects.Aaron Wells - forthcoming - In Between Leibniz, Newton, and Kant, Second Edition. Springer.
    Du Châtelet holds that mathematical representations play an explanatory role in natural science. Moreover, things proceed in nature as they do in geometry. How should we square these assertions with Du Châtelet’s idealism about mathematical objects, on which they are ‘fictions’ dependent on acts of abstraction? The question is especially pressing because some of her important interlocutors (Wolff, Maupertuis, and Voltaire) denied that mathematics informs us about the properties of real things. After situating Du Châtelet in this debate, this chapter (...)
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  7. Science and the Principle of Sufficient Reason: Du Châtelet Contra Wolff.Aaron Wells - forthcoming - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science.
    I argue that Émilie Du Châtelet breaks with Christian Wolff regarding the scope and epistemological content of the principle of sufficient reason, despite his influence on her basic ontology and their agreement that the principle of sufficient reason has foundational importance. These differences have decisive consequences for the ways in which Du Châtelet and Wolff conceive of science.
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  8. How Physics Flew the Philosophers' Nest.Katherine Brading - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88:312-20.
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  9. Forme della certezza. Genesi e implicazioni del Fürwahrhalten in Kant.Lorenzo Mileti Nardo - 2021 - Pisa PI, Italia: Edizioni ETS.
    Fürwahrhalten, or “holding-to-be-true”, is one of the most controversial concepts in Kant’s epistemology. Rarely mentioned in Kant’s edited works – where it is often used to describe moral faith – Fürwahrhalten has attracted the interest of Kant scholars only in recent years. The essay aims to shed light on some of the main issues that the notion of holding-to-be-true still rises, especially those concerning its origin and its theoretical function in the critical system. The book retraces the stages of Kant’s (...)
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  10. Du Châtelet on Sufficient Reason and Empirical Explanation.Aaron Wells - 2021 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 59 (4):629-655.
    The Southern Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  11. Mendelssohn and Kant on Virtue as a Skill.Melissa McBay Merritt - 2020 - In Ellen Fridland & Carlotta Pavese (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Skill and Expertise. Routledge. pp. 88-99.
    The idea that virtue can be profitably conceived as a certain sort of skill has a long history. My aim is to examine a neglected episode in this history — one that focuses on the pivotal role that Moses Mendelssohn played in rehabilitating the skill model of virtue for the German rationalist tradition, and Immanuel Kant’s subsequent, yet significantly qualified, endorsement of the idea. Mendelssohn celebrates a certain automatism in the execution of skill, and takes this feature to be instrumental (...)
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  12. Early Modern German Philosophy (1690-1750).Corey W. Dyck - 2019 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Early Modern German Philosophy (1690-1750) makes some of the key texts of early German thought available in English, in most cases for the first time. The translations range from texts by the most important figures of the period, including Christian Thomasius, Christian Wolff, Christian August Crusius, and Georg Friedrich Meier, as well as texts by consequential but less familiar thinkers such as Dorothea Christiane Erxleben, Theodor Ludwig Lau, Friedrich Wilhelm Stosch, and Joachim Lange. The topics covered range across a number (...)
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  13. Was heißt Fortschritt im Wissen? Gnoseoto­pi­sche Überlegungen zur Auf­klä­rung und ihren Folgen.Hans Adler - 2018 - Kantian Journal 37 (1):40-61.
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  14. Wolff's Empirical Psychology and the Structure of the Transcendental Logic.Brian A. Chance - 2018 - In Corey Dyck & Falk Wunderlich (eds.), Kant and his German Contemporaries. Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.
    It is often claimed that the structure of the Transcendental Logic is modeled on the Wolffian division of logic textbooks into sections on concepts, judgments, and inferences. While it is undeniable that the Transcendental Logic contains elements that are similar to the content of these sections, I believe these similarities are largely incidental to the structure of the Transcendental Logic. In this essay, I offer an alternative and, I believe, more plausible account of Wolff’s influence on the structure of the (...)
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  15. Between Wolffianism and Pietism: Baumgarten's Rational Psychology.Corey W. Dyck - 2018 - In Courtney Fugate & John Hymers (eds.), Baumgarten and Kant on Metaphysics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 78-93.
    In this paper, I consider Baumgarten’s views on the soul in the context of the Pietist critique of Wolff’s rational psychology. My primary aim is to account for the largely unacknowledged differences between Wolff’s and Baumgarten’s rational psychology, though I also hope to show that, in some cases, the Pietists were rather more perceptive in their reading of Wolff than they are typically given credit for as their criticisms frequently succeed in drawing attention to significant omissions in Wolff’s discussion.
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  16. Über Die Unsterblichkeit der Seele.Corey W. Dyck & Georg Friedrich Meier (eds.) - 2018 - Hildesheim: Olms.
    Meier’s Gedancken von dem Zustande der Seele nach dem Tode (Gedancken) deserves a prominent place among treatments of the immortality of the soul in 18th century German philosophy, both within and without the Wolffian tradition of rational psychology. It does not wilt next to Mendelssohn’s Phädon in its quality of expression, and might even be compared with Kant’s discussion in the Paralogisms chapter of his Kritik der reinen Vernunft in terms of the boldness of its argument and its philosophical rigour. (...)
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  17. Emilie du Chatelet's Metaphysics of Substance.Marius Stan - 2018 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 56 (3):477-496.
    Much early modern metaphysics grew with an eye to the new science of its time, but few figures took it as seriously as Emilie du Châtelet. Happily, her oeuvre is now attracting close, renewed attention, and so the time is ripe for looking into her metaphysical foundation for empirical theory. Accordingly, I move here to do just that. I establish two conclusions. First, du Châtelet's basic metaphysics is a robust realism. Idealist strands, while they exist, are confined to non-basic regimes. (...)
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  18. Les Preuves de L’Existence de Dieu Chez Samuel Formey.Marco Storni - 2018 - Noctua 5 (2):161-199.
    The perpetual secretary of the Berlin Academy Johann Heinrich Samuel Formey is best known as a populariser of Christian Wolff’s doctrines. As of Formey’s activity in the Berlin Academy, scholars have mostly emphasized his role in the controversy over monads with Leonhard Euler, while overlooking other interesting contributions Formey presented in the “speculative philosophy” class of the Academy. In this paper, I analyse two articles Formey published in 1747 on the Mémoires de l’Académie de Berlin, namely the Preuves de l’existence (...)
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  19. Politically Correct: Von Philosophischen Entgleisungen Zu Einer Gereinigten Philosophie.Viatcheslav Vetrov - 2018 - Minima Sinica 2017 (1):1-26.
    Fully in accord with the Aristotelian confidence in things that are probable (even if not really likely to happen in the near future), the essay anticipates an interplanetary critique against geocentric ways of thinking peculiar to most humans on Earth: Japanese, Chinese, English, Germans, Russians, etc. who insist on using expressions like sunset and sunrise and thus heavily offend the feelings of anyone coming from planets that do not enjoy Earth’s proximity to the Sun. As this critique would not be (...)
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  20. Kants Denkraum: Subjektivität Als Prinzip. Interview MIT Prof. Dr. Jürgen Stolzenberg.Andrey S. Zilber - 2018 - Kantian Journal 37 (3):77-96.
    This interview with Professor Dr Jürgen Stolzenberg, board member of the Kant-Gesellschaft and co-editor of the Kant-Lexikon (2015), explores a wide range of topics — from Leibniz and Wolff to Heidegger and Husserl. The leading idea of Stolzenberg’s philosophical research is the justification of the principle of modern subjectivity in Kant’s philosophy and its transformations until our days. He discusses the meaning and development of the concept of self-consciousness and the understanding of subjectivity in Kant’s ethics as well as in (...)
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  21. Woldd and Kant on Reasoning From Essences.Elise Frketich - 2017 - Noctua 4 (1-2):124-151.
    Special issue: Philosophy and Mathematics at the Turn of the 18th Century: New Perspectives.
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  22. Newton's Concepts of Force Among the Leibnizians.Marius Stan - 2017 - In Mordechai Feingold & Elizabethanne Boran (eds.), Reading Newton in Early Modern Europe. Leiden: Brill. pp. 244-289.
    I argue that the key dynamical concepts and laws of Newton's Principia never gained a solid foothold in Germany before Kant in the 1750s. I explain this absence as due to Leibniz. Thus I make a case for a robust Leibnizian legacy for Enlightenment science, and I solve what Jonathan Israel called “a meaningful historical problem on its own,” viz. the slow and hesitant reception of Newton in pre-Kantian Germany.
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  23. Maupertuis et le mathématisme philosophique.Marco Storni - 2017 - Noctua 4 (1-2):91-123.
    One of the greatest philosophical controversies of the eighteenth century was the competition organized in 1746 by the Berlin Academy of Sciences. Although the specific object of the competition was the theory of monads, this particular question nevertheless referred to a deeper and more radical opposition between the two contending parties, Newtonians and Wolffians. In this contribution, we will first focus on the reasons for Newtonian opposition to Wolff’s philosophy. In this context, particular attention will be paid to the positions (...)
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  24. Sobre Uma faculdade superior de apetição compreendida como razão prática: Kant em diálogo com Wolff.Bruno Cunha - 2016 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 57 (135):641-657.
    RESUMO Neste artigo, busco identificar, por meio de algumas passagens da "Fundamentação da Metafísica dos Costumes" e da "Crítica da Razão Prática", o debate de Kant com a Filosofia Prática Universal de Wolff. Em um primeiro momento, apresento, de forma sucinta, alguns aspectos gerais da metafísica e da ética wolffiana com o intuito de, em um segundo momento, explicitar como algumas considerações de Kant, em suas duas primeiras obras morais, incidem diretamente nas teses de seu predecessor. A crítica de Kant (...)
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  25. The Priority of Judging: Kant on Wolff's General Logic.Corey W. Dyck - 2016 - Estudos Kantianos 4 (2):99-118.
    In this paper, I consider the basis for Kant's praise of Wolff's general logic as "the best we have." I argue that Wolff's logic was highly esteemed by Kant on account of its novel analysis of the three operations of the mind (tres operationes mentis), in the course of which Wolff formulates an argument for the priority of the understanding's activity of judging.
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  26. Leibniz's Wolffian Psychology.Corey W. Dyck - 2016 - In Wenchao Li (ed.), Vorträge des X. Internationalen Leibniz-Kongress, vol. 2. G. Olms. pp. 223-35..
    In this paper, I attempt to trace the broader contours of a putative Leibnizian psychology by adopting the rather unusual, and perhaps historically dubious, strategy of outlining the continuities between Leibniz’s discussion of the soul and the much more detailed and systematic psychological writings of his German successor, Christian Wolff.
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  27. Metaphysik zwischen Tradition und Aufklärung: Wolffs Theologia naturalis im Kontext seines Gesamtwerkes.Juan Li - 2016 - Bern: Peter Lang.
    Wenn man bedenkt, dass Immanuel Kant die klassischen Gottesbeweise schon als schlechthin falsch zermalmte, ist es nicht verwunderlich, dass Christian Wolffs Religionsphilosophie, die diese Gottesbeweise wiederaufgenommen zu haben scheint, weniger Interesse erweckt hat als zum Beispiel seine Moralphilosophie. Tatsächlich wird Christian Wolffs Theologia naturalis in jüngster Zeit auch als Paradebeispiel für die so genannte „gemäßigte“ Aufklärungsphilosophie angesehen. Denn er suchte nicht nur die Harmonie zwischen vernünftiger Gotteserkenntnis und christlicher Offenbarung nachzuweisen, sondern auch die Vertreter der „radikalen“ Aufklärungsphilosophie zu bekämpfen. Auf (...)
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  28. Wolff e Kant sobre obrigação e lei natural: a rejeição do voluntarismo teológico na moral.Cunha Bruno - 2015 - Trans/Form/Ação 38 (3):99-116.
    RESUMO:O objetivo deste artigo é discutir sobre os conceitos de obrigação e lei natural, tendo como referência o polêmico debate moderno envolvendo intelectualismo e voluntarismo. Em um primeiro momento, destacaremos a rejeição de Wolff ao voluntarismo de Pufendorf e sua orientação em direção ao intelectualismo de Leibniz. Conforme essa nova orientação, uma teoria da lei natural não deve basear seu conceito de obrigação na autoridade das leis e em seu poder coercitivo, mas, por outro lado, unicamente na ideia de necessidade (...)
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  29. Kant on the Ontological Argument.Ian Proops - 2015 - Noûs 49 (1):1-27.
    The article examines Kant's various criticisms of the broadly Cartesian ontological argument as they are developed in the Critique of Pure Reason. It is argued that each of these criticisms is effective against its intended target, and that these targets include—in addition to Descartes himself—Leibniz, Wolff, and Baumgarten. It is argued that Kant's most famous criticism—the charge that being is not a real predicate—is directed exclusively against Leibniz. Kant's argument for this thesis—the argument proceeding from his example of a hundred (...)
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  30. The Wolffian Roots of Kant’s Teleology.Hein van den Berg - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):724-734.
    Kant’s teleology as presented in the Critique of Judgment is commonly interpreted in relation to the late eighteenth-century biological research of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach. In the present paper, I show that this interpretative perspective is incomplete. Understanding Kant’s views on teleology and biology requires a consideration of the teleological and biological views of Christian Wolff and his rationalist successors. By reconstructing the Wolffian roots of Kant’s teleology, I identify several little known sources of Kant’s views on biology. I argue that (...)
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  31. Newton and Wolff: The Leibnizian Reaction to the Principia, 1716-1763.Marius Stan - 2012 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):459-481.
    Newton rested his theory of mechanics on distinct metaphysical and epistemological foundations. After Leibniz's death in 1716, the Principia ran into sharp philosophical opposition from Christian Wolff and his disciples, who sought to subvert Newton's foundations or replace them with Leibnizian ideas. In what follows, I chronicle some of the Wolffians' reactions to Newton's notion of absolute space, his dynamical laws of motion, and his general theory of gravitation. I also touch on arguments advanced by Newton's Continental followers, such as (...)
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  32. Kant's Philosophy of Mechanics in 1758.Marius Stan - 2011 - In Oliver Thorndike (ed.), Rethinking Kant, vol. III. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 158-179.
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  33. Kant’s Early Theory of Motion.Marius Stan - 2009 - The Leibniz Review 19:29-61.
    This paper examines the young Kant’s claim that all motion is relative, and argues that it is the core of a metaphysical dynamics of impact inspired by Leibniz and Wolff. I start with some background to Kant’s early dynamics, and show that he rejects Newton’s absolute space as a foundation for it. Then I reconstruct the exact meaning of Kant’s relativity, and the model of impact he wants it to support. I detail (in Section II and III) his polemic engagement (...)
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  34. Explanation and Demonstration in the Haller-Wolff Debate.Karen Detlefsen - 2006 - In Justin E. H. Smith (ed.), The Problem of Animal Generation in Early Modern Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
    The theories of pre-existence and epigenesis are typically taken to be opposing theories of generation in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. One can be a pre-existence theorist only if one does not espouse epigenesis and vice versa. It has also been recognized, however, that the line between pre-existence and epigenesis in the nineteenth century, at least, is considerably less sharp and clear than it was in earlier centuries. The debate (1759-1777) between Albrecht von Haller and Caspar Friedrich Wolff on their (...)
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  35. Remaking the Science of Mind: Psychology as a Natural Science.Gary Hatfield - 1995 - In Christopher Fox, Roy Porter & Robert Wokler (eds.), Inventing Human Science: Eighteenth Century Domains. University of California Press. pp. 184–231.
    Psychology considered as a natural science began as Aristotelian "physics" or "natural philosophy" of the soul, conceived as an animating power that included vital, sensory, and rational functions. C. Wolff restricted the term " psychology " to sensory, cognitive, and volitional functions and placed the science under metaphysics, coordinate with cosmology. Near the middle of the eighteenth century, Krueger, Godart, and Bonnet proposed approaching the mind with the techniques of the new natural science. At nearly the same time, Scottish thinkers (...)
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  36. Psychology as a Natural Science in the Eighteenth Century.Gary Hatfield - 1994 - Revue de Synthèse 115 (3-4):375-391.
    Psychology considered as a natural science began as Aristotelian "physics" or "natural philosophy" of the soul. C. Wolff placed psychology under metaphysics, coordinate with cosmology. Scottish thinkers placed it within moral philosophy, but distinguished its "physical" laws from properly moral laws (for guiding conduct). Several Germans sought to establish an autonomous empirical psychology as a branch of natural science. British and French visual theorists developed mathematically precise theories of size and distance perception; they created instruments to test these theories and (...)
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