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Sensibility and Metaphysics: Diderot, Hume, Baumgarten, and Herder

  • Stephen Gaukroger
Chapter
Part of the Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 29)

Abstract

Reconciling, or choosing between, the competing demands of reason and sensibility was the most urgent philosophical concern of the second half of the eighteenth century. Defenders of the importance of sensibility such as Diderot had argued that it underlay not just affective states but cognitive ones as well. Hume’s attack on metaphysics had threatened the one remaining metaphysical tradition of the mid-eighteenth century, namely that of Wolff and his followers. In response, the Wolffian metaphysician Baumgarten attempted to show how sensibility could be taken seriously in Wolffian terms, while remaining subordinated to reason. Herder took this as his starting point, inverting it to show how one might use a naturalized notion of sensibility as a model for a naturalization of reason.

Keywords

Eighteenth Century Moral Sensibility Moral Diversity Empirical Psychology Aesthetic Sensibility 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.History of Philosophy and History of ScienceUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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