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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. Kant's Theory of Scientific Hypotheses in its Historical Context.Boris Demarest & Hein van den Berg - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
    This paper analyzes the historical context and systematic importance of Kant's hypothetical use of reason. It does so by investigating the role of hypotheses in Kant's philosophy of science. We first situate Kant’s account of hypotheses in the context of eighteenth-century German philosophy of science, focusing on the works of Wolff, Meier, and Crusius. We contrast different conceptions of hypotheses of these authors and elucidate the different theories of probability informing them. We then adopt a more systematic perspective to discuss (...)
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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 18th Century German Philosophy Prior to Kant.Corey W. Dyck & Brigitte Sassen - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  6. 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.
  7. How Physics Flew the Philosophers' Nest.Katherine Brading - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88:312-20.
  8. The Science of the Soul and the Unyielding Architectonic: Kant Versus Wolff on the Foundations of Psychology.Michael Bennett McNulty - 2021 - In Saulo de Freitas Araujo, Thiago Constâncio Ribeiro Pereira & Thomas Sturm (eds.), The Force of an Idea: New Essays on Christian Wolff's Psychology. pp. 251–69.
    Thorough comparison of Immanuel Kant’s and Christian Wolff’s divergent appraisals of the science of psychology reveals various ways in which Kant fundamentally altered the Wolffian philosophical apparatus that he inherited. Wolff conceived of a thoroughgoing interplay between empirical and rational psychology, of combining different sorts of cognition in psychology, and of a mathematical science of the soul, or psychometrics. Kant however rejected each of these particular theses and deemed psychology to be no natural science, “properly so-called.” This chapter details these (...)
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  9. Du Châtelet on Sufficient Reason and Empirical Explanation.Aaron Wells - 2021 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 59 (4):629-655.
  10. Grounding Religious Toleration: Kant and Wolff on Dogmatic Conflict.Dino Jakušić - 2020 - Diametros 17 (65):12-31.
    This article examines Paul Guyer’s claim that we should attempt to ground the principle of religious freedom on the basis of Kant’s arguments for religious liberty. I problematise Guyer’s suggestion by investigating a hypothetical ‘dogmatic conflict’ between a scientifically and a religiously grounded belief. I further suggest that considering Christian Wolff’s philosophy might provide us with an approach which shares the benefits that Guyer identifies in Kant, while at the same time avoiding the issues Kant might run into that result (...)
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  11. Heretical Geometry: Christian Wolff on the Impossibility of Dogmatic Conflict.Dino Jakusic - 2020 - Church History and Religious Culture 100 (2-3):287-300.
    This paper presents Christian Wolff’s claim that philosophy, undertaken on the basis of a proper method, cannot contradict revealed religion. The paper first provides a context of Wolff’s banishment from Halle for holding views in conflict with religious doctrines. Next, it proceeds, on the basis of Wolff’s Discursus præliminaris de philosophia in genere prefixed to his 1728 Latin Logic, to explain the principles of Wolff’s method, and to show how his conception of method enables him to disallow the possibility of (...)
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  12. 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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  13. Axiomatic Natural Philosophy and the Emergence of Biology as a Science.Hein van den Berg & Boris Demarest - 2020 - Journal of the History of Biology 53 (3):379-422.
    Ernst Mayr argued that the emergence of biology as a special science in the early nineteenth century was possible due to the demise of the mathematical model of science and its insistence on demonstrative knowledge. More recently, John Zammito has claimed that the rise of biology as a special science was due to a distinctive experimental, anti-metaphysical, anti-mathematical, and anti-rationalist strand of thought coming from outside of Germany. In this paper we argue that this narrative neglects the important role played (...)
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  14. 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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  15. Machines of Nature and Machines of Art: Christian Wolff's Reception of Leibniz.Matteo Favaretti Camposampiero - 2019 - Rivista di Storia Della Filosofia 3:431-452.
  16. Wolff’s Science of Teleology and Kant’s Critique.Nabeel Hamid - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
    This essay examines Wolff’s science of teleology, which has historically been dismissed as a crude physico-theology resting on a simple confusion between uses and purposes. Focusing especially on his two German volumes (German Teleology, 1723, and German Physiology, 1725), I argue that, first, Wolff never intended teleology to be a self-standing theology; and second, that teleology, as a part of physics, is primarily an applied or practical discipline. In its theological function, teleology presupposes the ontological and cosmological arguments for the (...)
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  17. Christian Wolff.Matt Hettche & Corey W. Dyck - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  18. Was heißt Fortschritt im Wissen? Gnoseoto­pi­sche Überlegungen zur Auf­klä­rung und ihren Folgen.Hans Adler - 2018 - Kantian Journal 37 (1):40-61.
  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. Kant, Wolff and the Method of Philosophy.Gabriele Gava - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 8:271-303.
    Both in his pre-critical writings and in his critical works, Kant criticizes the Wolffian tradition for its use of the mathematical method in philosophy. The chapter argues that the apparent unambiguousness of this opposition between Kant and Wolff notwithstanding, the problem of ascertaining the relationship between Kant’s and Wolff’s methods in philosophy cannot be dismissed so quickly. Only a close consideration of Kant’s different remarks on Wolff’s approach and a comparison of the methods that Wolff and Kant actually used in (...)
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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. Rationalism and Perfectionism.Stefano Bacin - 2017 - In Sacha Golob & Jens Timmermann (eds.), The Cambridge History of Moral Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 379-393.
    The chapter provides a brief survey of the moral views of some of the main writers advocating rationalist conceptions in philosophical ethics in Eighteenth-Century Britain and Germany, prior to Reid and Kant: Samuel Clarke, William Wollaston, John Balguy, Richard Price, Christian Wolff (along with his adversary Christian August Crusius), Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten.
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  27. Kant and His German Contemporaries : Volume 1, Logic, Mind, Epistemology, Science and Ethics.Corey W. Dyck & Falk Wunderlich (eds.) - 2017 - New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
    This collection of new essays, the first of its kind in English, considers the ways in which the philosophy of Immanuel Kant engages with the views of lesser-known eighteenth-century German thinkers. Each chapter casts new light on aspects of Kant's complex relationship with these figures, particularly with respect to key aspects of his logic, metaphysics, epistemology, theory of science, and ethics. The portrait of Kant that emerges is of a major thinker thoroughly engaged with his contemporaries - drawing on their (...)
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  28. The Emergence of Modern Aesthetic Theory: Religion and Morality in Enlightenment Germany and Scotland.Simon Grote - 2017 - Cambridge University Press.
    Broad in its geographic scope and yet grounded in original archival research, this book situates the inception of modern aesthetic theory – the philosophical analysis of art and beauty - in theological contexts that are crucial to explaining why it arose. Simon Grote presents seminal aesthetic theories of the German and Scottish Enlightenments as outgrowths of a quintessentially Enlightenment project: the search for a natural 'foundation of morality' and a means of helping naturally self-interested human beings transcend their own self-interest. (...)
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  29. The Possibility of Ontology.Dino Jakušić - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Warwick
    This thesis investigates the development of ontology as a philosophical discipline in the German philosophical tradition. It starts from what can be considered the invention of ontology and proceeds to the way it was received in the philosophy of Hegel. It is separated into two parts. The first part argues that what can be called the ‘traditional’ form of ontology is developed by Christian Wolff in his 1730 monograph Philosophia prima sive Ontologia, and it traces both the history of the (...)
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  30. Clear and Distinct Ideas in Eighteenth Century Germany: Metaphysics, Logic, Aesthetics.Colin McQuillan - 2017 - In Manuel Sánchez-Rodríguez & Miguel Escribano (eds.), Leibniz en Dialogo. Seville: Themata.
  31. Wolff's Logic, Kant's Critique, and the Foundations of Metaphysics.Colin McQuillan - 2017 - In Arnaud Pelletier & Karin De Boer (eds.), 300 Years of Christian Wolff’s German Logic: Sources, Significance and Reception. Hildesheim: Georg Olms.
  32. 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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  33. Bodies of Inference: Christian Wolff’s Epistemology of the Life Sciences and Medicine.Matteo Favaretti Camposampiero - 2016 - Perspectives on Science 24 (3):361-379.
    Christian Wolff, long regarded as a champion of dogmatic rationalism, was in fact deeply involved in empirical sciences such as physics, astronomy, meteorology, and agronomy. He also devoted a significant part of both his research and teaching to the life sciences and was especially eager to establish the theoretical foundations of medical practice. Challenging the scholarly cliché of Wolff ’s methodical apriorism, recent research has highlighted an empirical, a posteriori, or even experimental component of Wolffian science. This paper aims to (...)
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  34. 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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  35. Materialism in the Mainstream of Early German Philosophy.Corey Dyck - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (5):897-916.
    ABSTRACTDiscussions of the reception of materialist thought in Germany in the first half of the eighteenth century tend to focus, naturally enough, upon the homegrown freethinkers who advanced the cause of Lucretius, Hobbes, and Spinoza in clandestine publications and frequently courted the ire of the state for doing so. If the philosophers belonging to the mainstream of German intellectual life in that period are accorded a place in the story, it is only insofar as they actively set themselves against the (...)
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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38. Bodies of Inference: Christian Wolff’s Epistemology of the Life Sciences and Medicine.Matteo Favaretti Camposampiero - 2016 - Perspectives on Science 24 (3):361-379.
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  39. 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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  40. Empirical Cognition in the Transcendental Deduction: Kant’s Starting Point and His Humean Problem.Curtis Sommerlatte - 2016 - Kantian Review 21 (3):437-463.
    In this paper, I argue that in the sense of greatest epistemological concern for Kant, empirical cognition is “rational sensory discrimination”: the identification or differentiation of sensory objects from each other, occurring through a capacity to become aware of and express judgments. With this account of empirical cognition, I show how the transcendental deduction of the first Critique is most plausibly read as having as its fundamental assumption the thesis that we have empirical cognition, and I provide evidence that Kant (...)
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  41. 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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  42. Gewissen. Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven auf das 18. Jahrhundert.Katerina Mihaylova & Simon Bunke - 2015 - Würzburg, Deutschland: Königshausen & Neumann.
  43. Das Band der Gesellschaft.Katerina Mihaylova, Daniela Ringkamp & Simon Bunke - 2015 - Tübingen, Deutschland: Mohr Siebeck.
    The articles contained in this collection look at the displacements, upheavals and dislocations in the traditional definition of obligation as experienced in the 18th and early 19th centuries from the perspective of the humanities and cultural studies. The works in this volume not only focus on Kantian moral philosophy, as the pinnacle of a specific modern development, but also examine the diverse other concepts of obligation and how they were formulated through literature, aesthetics, politics and pedagogy.
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  44. 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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  45. Transcendental Apperception and Consciousness in Kant's Lectures on Metaphysics.Dennis Schulting - 2015 - In Robert R. Clewis (ed.), Reading Kant's Lectures. De Gruyter. pp. 89-113.
  46. Christian Wolff and Experimental Philosophy.Alberto Vanzo - 2015 - In Daniel Garber & Donald Rutherford (eds.), Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. vol. 7, 225-255.
    This chapter discusses the relation between Christian Wolff's philosophy and the methodological views of early modern experimental philosophers. The chapter argues for three claims. First, Wolff's system relies on experience at every step and his views on experiments, observations, hypotheses, and the a priori are in line with those of experimental philosophers. Second, the study of Wolff's views demonstrates the influence of experimental philosophy in early eighteenth-century Germany. Third, references to Wolff's empiricism and rationalism are best identified or replaced with (...)
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  47. Selbstdenken und Zeugnis anderer in Georg Friedrich Meiers Vernunftlehre.Achim Vesper - 2015 - In Gideon Stiening & Frank Grunert (eds.), Georg Friedrich Meier : Philosophie Als. De Gruyter. pp. 145-162.
  48. Kant on the Cosmological Argument.Ian Proops - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14:1-21.
    In the first Critique Kant levels two main charges against the cosmological argument. First, it commits the fallacy of ignoratio elenchi. Second, in two rather different ways, it presupposes the ontological argument. Commentators have struggled to find merit in either of these charges. The paper argues that they can nonetheless be shown to have some merit, so long as one takes care to correctly identify the version of the cosmological argument that Kant means to be attacking. That turns out to (...)
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  49. Tetens und Wolff.Achim Vesper - 2014 - In Udo Thiel & Gideon Stiening (eds.), Johann Nikolaus Tetens : Philosophie in der Tradition des Europäischen Empirismus. De Gruyter. pp. 27-44.
  50. Mathematical Method and Newtonian Science in the Philosophy of Christian Wolff.Katherine Dunlop - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):457-469.
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