•  5
    Leviathan (review)
    Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 18 (1): 277-282. 1995.
    Edwin Curley opens the “Introduction” of his new edition of Leviathan with the following assertion: “Hobbes has suffered a fate shared by many classic authors. His greatest work is more often quoted then carefully and thoroughly read.” Hobbes, it seems, has suffered additional indignities that many classic authors have not. A critical edition is underway which will be published by Clarendon Press at Oxford. So far, the Latin and English versions of De Cive have appeared. Before this undertaking,…Read more
  •  1
    Scottish Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, Volume I: Morals, Politics, Art, Religion (edited book)
    with James A. Harris
    Oxford University Press. 2015.
    This new history of Scottish philosophy will include two volumes that focus on the Scottish Enlightenment. In this volume a team of leading experts explore the ideas, intellectual context, and influence of Hutcheson, Hume, Smith, Reid, and many other thinkers, frame old issues in fresh ways, and introduce new topics and questions into debates about the philosophy of this remarkable period. The contributors explore the distinctively Scottish context of this philosophical flourishing, and juxtapos…Read more
  • This new history of Scottish philosophy will include two volumes that focus on the Scottish Enlightenment. In this volume a team of leading experts explore the ideas, intellectual context, and influence of Hutcheson, Hume, Smith, Reid, and many other thinkers, frame old issues in fresh ways, and introduce new topics and questions into debates about the philosophy of this remarkable period. The contributors explore the distinctively Scottish context of this philosophical flourishing, and juxtapos…Read more
  •  3
    Introduction
    History of European Ideas 42 (2): 167-169. 2016.
  •  10
    Adam Smith
    In Aaron Garrett & James A. Harris (eds.), Scottish Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, Volume I: Morals, Politics, Art, Religion, Oxford University Press. 2015.
    This chapter provides an overview of the philosophy of Adam Smith by examining the place of history and the role of impartiality in his philosophy. A brief introduction to Smith and his writings is followed by discussions of impartiality and Smith’s engagement with the philosophical role of history and the historian. The section that follows focuses on Smith’s discussion of rights as providing a connection between his moral theory and history via the role of the impartial spectator. The chapter …Read more
  •  3
    Moral Philosophy
    In Aaron Garrett & James A. Harris (eds.), Scottish Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, Volume I: Morals, Politics, Art, Religion, Oxford University Press. 2015.
    This chapter presents a general account of the speculative and practical moral philosophy of eighteenth-century Scotland. It gives particular attention to three topics: the Scottish insistence that moral philosophy is an empirical, or ‘experimental’, science, grounded in what might now be called a phenomenology of the moral life, and intimately connected with the other elements of the ‘science of man’; the project of combining Hutchesonian moral sense theory with a Butlerian faculty of conscienc…Read more
  •  2
    Introduction
    In Aaron Garrett & James A. Harris (eds.), Scottish Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, Volume I: Morals, Politics, Art, Religion, Oxford University Press. 2015.
    This introductory chapter provides an overview of the main themes covered in the present volume. It highlights the interdisciplinary approach taken in the choice of contributors to the volume which it is hoped will result in new perspectives on the philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment. The chapter notes that the contributors approach Hutcheson, Hume, Smith, and Reid from new points of view, and other important figures and philosophical themes are discussed in terms of their contributions to …Read more
  •  43
    Meaning in Spinoza’s Method
    Cambridge University Press. 2003.
    Readers of Spinoza's philosophy have often been daunted, and sometimes been enchanted, by the geometrical method which he employs in his philosophical masterpiece the Ethics. In Meaning in Spinoza's Method Aaron Garrett examines this method and suggests that its purpose, in Spinoza's view, was not just to present claims and propositions but also in some sense to change the readers and allow them to look at themselves and the world in a different way. His discussion draws not only on Spinoza's wo…Read more
  • The Lives of the Philosophers
    Jahrbuch für Recht Und Ethik 12 41-56. 2004.
    A consideration of the role that the idealized lives of the founders of philosophical schools play in moral philosophy and of changes that the roles underwent in the 17th century.
  •  2
    Ratio Faciens: Method, Act, and Cause in Spinoza's "Ethics"
    Dissertation, New School for Social Research. 1997.
    This dissertation sets out to discuss some features of Spinoza's concepts of conatus and causation, through a discussion of the overall structure of the Ethics. ;The major portion of the dissertation is devoted to Spinoza's method, as employed in the Ethics, the notorious geometric method. I argue against the traditional reading of the method as a simple geometric device, and for a position which emphasizes how the method itself leads the reader to come to the highest kinds of knowledge. This is…Read more
  •  16
    Forum: The idea of the self
    Modern Intellectual History 3 (2): 299-304. 2006.
    The following comments and response were presented at a symposium on Jerrold Seigel's TheIdeaoftheSelf:ThoughtandExperienceinWesternEuropesincetheSeventeenthCentury (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), held at the Center for European Studies, Harvard University, on 14 October 2005. The symposium was organized by David Armitage, Peter Gordon and Judith Surkis and was sponsored by the CES's Colloquia in Intellectual and Cultural History
  •  16
    Leviathan
    Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 18 (1): 277-282. 1995.
    Edwin Curley opens the “Introduction” of his new edition of Leviathan with the following assertion: “Hobbes has suffered a fate shared by many classic authors. His greatest work is more often quoted then carefully and thoroughly read.” Hobbes, it seems, has suffered additional indignities that many classic authors have not. A critical edition is underway which will be published by Clarendon Press at Oxford. So far, the Latin and English versions of De Cive have appeared. Before this undertaking,…Read more
  •  34
    The Library of Scottish Philosophy: Volumes 1 – 6, Exeter: Imprint Academic, 2004 James Otteson , ed. Adam Smith: Selected Philosophical Writings, 247pp. Paperback £12.95. ISBN 184540-001-1 James Harris , ed. James Beattie: Selected Philosophical Writings, 204pp. Paperback £12.95. ISBN 0907845-711 David Boucher , ed. The Scottish Idealists: Selected Philosophical Writings, 201pp. Paperback £12.95. ISBN 0907845-72X Jonathan Friday , ed. Art and Enlightenment: Scottish Aesthetics in the 18th centu…Read more
  •  20
  •  23
    The Library of Scottish Philosophy: Volumes 1 – 6, Exeter: Imprint Academic, 2004 James Otteson , ed. Adam Smith: Selected Philosophical Writings, 247pp. Paperback £12.95. ISBN 184540-001-1 James Harris , ed. James Beattie: Selected Philosophical Writings, 204pp. Paperback £12.95. ISBN 0907845-711 David Boucher , ed. The Scottish Idealists: Selected Philosophical Writings, 201pp. Paperback £12.95. ISBN 0907845-72X Jonathan Friday , ed. Art and Enlightenment: Scottish Aesthetics in the 18th centu…Read more
  •  20
    This chapter focuses on the ethical theories of the early modern philosophers Thomas Hobbes, Justus Lipsius, Descartes, Spinoza, Benjamin Whichcote, Lord Shaftesbury, and Samuel Clarke. The discussions include aspects of Hobbes' moral philosophy that posed a challenge for many philosophers of the second half of the seventeenth century who were committed to philosophy as a form of self-help; Lipsius and Descartes' appropriation of ancient and Hellenistic moral philosophy in connection with changi…Read more
  •  68
    Knowing the Essence of the State in Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico‐Politicus
    European Journal of Philosophy 20 (1): 50-73. 2012.
    This paper argues that Spinoza's main political writings are concerned, in part, with knowledge of essences as detailed in the Ethics. It is further argued that knowledge of the essences of states, and essential properties that belong to states, may be an example of the elusive scientia intuitiva or third kind of knowledge. The paper concludes by considering Spinoza's goals in his political writings and the importance of metaphysics and the theory of knowledge more broadly for early modern polit…Read more
  • The Eighteenth century is one of the most important periods in the history of Western philosophy, witnessing philosophical, scientific, and social and political change on a vast scale. In spite of this, there are few single volume overviews of the philosophy of the period as a whole. _The Routledge Companion to Eighteenth Century Philosophy _is an authoritative survey and assessment of this momentous period, covering major thinkers, topics and movements in Eighteenth century philosophy. Beginnin…Read more
  •  315
    Francis Hutcheson and the origin of animal rights
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (2): 243-265. 2007.
    "Animal right" is an important political and philosophical concept that has its roots in the work of Francis Hutcheson. Developing ideas derived from his natural-law predecessors, Hutcheson stressed the category of acquired or adventitious right to explain how animals might gain rights through becoming members of a community guided by a moral sense. This theoretical innovation had consequences not just for animals, but for making sense of how all of the formerly rightless might gain rights. Exam…Read more
  •  12
    Mind and matter
    In James A. Harris (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, Oxford University Press. pp. 171. 2013.
    This chapter explores several episodes in the eighteenth-century discussion of the metaphysics of mind. It begins with Locke’s suggestion that it would not be impossible for God to “superadd” the power of thought to matter. It then describes the debate about Locke’s suggestion between Samuel Clarke and Anthony Collins, and considers Hume’s discussion of the immateriality of the soul in relation to that debate. Next it presents Berkeley’s philosophy of immaterialism as a way of protecting the men…Read more
  •  95
    Hume’s Revised Racism Revisited
    Hume Studies 26 (1): 171-177. 2000.
    John Immerwahr’s brief note “Hume’s Revised Racism” is doubtless one of the most intriguing recent discussions of Hume and racism. Immerwahr presents a thesis as to why Hume revised a footnote originally added to his essay “Of National Characters” in 1753. In this note I will examine and dispute Immerwahr’s thesis, which I believe can be shown to be seriously flawed. It is important to do so, as Immerwahr’s note has been quoted a number of times in books and articles on Hume, and his thesis has …Read more