Daniel Bayle

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Philosophy and the Book: Early Modern Figures of Material Inscription

by Continuum (Mathematics & Philosophy Books)

Philosophy and the Book examines the philosophical mobilization of metaphors for print, inscription, reading and knowledge organization in early modern philosophical texts in continental Europe. Primarily engaging with the work of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz and Bayle while also touching on Valla, Gassendi, Hobbes, Lamy, and others, the book explores the effect the explosion of early modern print technology, textual distribution and related cultural practices had on the early modern philosophical imagination. Daniel Selcer foregrounds a series of figures that were extremely important to many early modern philosophers as they sought to develop positions on the nature of the material world and our knowledge of it. He explores significant questions for the history of early modern philosophy in relation to the problem of the materiality of philosophical discourse and counterpoises these considerations with approaches in late twentieth-century continental philosophy, such as Foucaultian archaeology and Derridean deconstruction. Finally, through rhetorical analysis and historical contextualization, Selcer begins to sketch an 'ontology of the page'.
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