Cordemoy and ‘Cartesian Linguistics’

  • Karl D. Uitti
Part of the Studies in Applied Psycholinguistics book series (SAP)


It is hard to exaggerate our debt to seventeenth-century thought. So much of what has occurred, intellectually speaking, in more recent times may be traced back to arguments developed by representatives of the grand siècle. Even the techniques of diffusion current then—learned academies, rapid translations (usually into Latin, but often into other vernaculars), exchange of correspondence—remain ours today and have been only partially supplanted. If, as is frequently the case, antiquity or the Middle Ages are also involved, the perspective taken by present-day thinkers has usually been first conditioned by viewpoints proper to seventeenth-century thought. Consequently, even philosophers of the second or third rank deserve our close attention. Next to the giants—Galileo, Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, Malebranche—a host of lesser figures cope, so to speak, on a day-to-day basis with an astonishingly wide variety of concepts and concerns. (These notions usually grow out of the vast philosophical systems assembled by the great thinkers.) Some examples are rather startling.


Seventeenth Century Historical Epistemology Curious Theory Pure Spirit Perfect Reason 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl D. Uitti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Romance Languages and LiteraturesPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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