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History of Philosophy
Modern Philosophy
by Turner, William (S.T.D.)


Division. The period extending from the middle of the fifteenth century to the beginning of the seventeenth was one of intellectual ferment in which the philosophy of the schools gradually disappeared and modern philosophy came to be more and more definitely distinguishable. During the first half of the seventeenth century, Descartes expounded and defended the first great system of the new philosophy, a system which dominated the whole course of thought during that century and served as a starting point for the principal systems of the following century. Towards the end of the eighteenth century, however, an age of criticism was inaugurated in opposition to the dogmatism and empiricism of the Cartesian philosophy and its derivatives; so that at the opening of the nineteenth century we find a new era, in which the predominating influence is that of Kant. We have, therefore, the following division of modern philosophy:

FIRST PERIOD -- TRANSITION FROM SCHOLASTIC TO MODERN PHILOSOPHY (1450-1600).

SECOND PERIOD -- FROM DESCARTES TO KANT (1600-1800).

THIRD PERIOD -- FROM KANT TO OUR OWN TIME (1800-1900).
A general survey of the literature of the history of modern philosophy is given by Falckenberg, Geschichte der neueren Philosophie, 2. Aufl., p. 12; English trans. by Armstrong (New York, 1893), p. 15. Add to these lists Höffding's History of Modern Philosophy, trans. by Meyer (2 vols., London, 1900), and Kuno Fischer's Geschichie der neueren Philosophie, of which the fourth edition is being published by Winter, Heidelberg, 1899 ff. Consult also Weher, History of Philosophy, trans. by Thilly (New York, 1896), pp. 12 ff., and Burt, History of Modern Philosophy (Chicago, 1892), p. vi. Rogers' Student's History of Philosophy (New York and London, 1901) gives at the end of each section a select list of English readings.


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