Sunday, October 09, 2016

"A Mission to Show That the Great Dead Philosophers Have Been Misunderstood"

"Gottlieb has got Hume's geniality down to a T. 'Every philosopher likes to think he has reached his conclusions via rigorous reasoning,' he says, with a collusive wink to his readers; in the 17th century, indeed, 'falling in love with geometry seems almost to have been an occupational hazard'. Take Descartes: he was notable for 'his faith in his own unusually bright light of reason', but 'perhaps he did not have all the answers'. As for Hobbes, he was so 'bedazzled' by a priori geometry that he 'got rather carried away' and ended up 'over-egging his pudding'. But Leibniz is the one you really have to watch, since, poor fellow, he 'did, in effect, tend to confuse his own mind with that of God'."

Jonathan Rée in The Guardian reviews Gottliebb's The Dream of Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Philosophy.

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