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Daniel Garber

Princeton University
How Philosophy Became Modern in the 17thC
01 October 2017 -
30 June 2018

Daniel Garber is the A. Watson J. Armour III University Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Princeton University, with affiliated appointments in Politics and the History of Science. He taught at the University of Chicago from 1975 to 2002, and has held visiting positions at The Johns Hopkins University, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and the École Normale Supérieure at Lyon, among other institutions. Garber is a Guggenheim Fellow and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His last book, Leibniz: Body, Substance, Monad (Oxford University Press, 2009), is a contextual study of the complex path that led Leibniz to his final views on basic metaphysics and the make-up of the physical world.

Research interests

The relations between philosophy, science, and society in the period of the Scientific Revolution, including the idea of a new philosophy/science and the eclipse of scholastic Aristotelianism in the period, the effect of new institutions such as the scientific society and the learned journal on scientific and philosophical thought, and the relations between religion and politics in the early-modern period.

How Philosophy became Modern in the 17th century

My project is to study the emergence of a self-consciously modern philosophy in the early seventeenth century. Descartes is widely considered the father of modern philosophy. But this is false. Already when Descartes was a student, there was a lively and very diverse group challenging the Aristotelian orthodoxy of the schools, the so-called novatores, or innovators. It was against the background of these very controversial figures that Descartes wrote his philosophy and his contemporaries read his first publications. My goal is to understand how the idea of a modern philosophy emerged in the early and mid-seventeenth century, and how novelty in philosophy, at one time widely considered dangerous and threatening to religious orthodoxy, later became accepted and encouraged. Furthermore, I want to understand how these novatores related to the Aristotelian traditions that they were rejecting, how they conceived of themselves with respect to other moderns, and how the actors in the period regarded their place in the history of philosophy. In short, I want to capture the complexity of the period, what it was like to be writing and sorting out the world at a moment when the authority of the scholastic Aristotelian philosophy was being challenged, in which it wasn’t clear where the intellectual world was going, and when the figures, like Descartes, whom we now take to be canonical were not yet canonical.

Workshop organized by O. Nachtomy (2018-2019 Paris IAS fellow / Bar-Ilan University) and M. Lærke (CNRS, IHRIM), with the support of the Paris IAS
23 Jan 2019 14:00 -
24 Jan 2019 17:30,
Paris :
Mind and Body Across Time and Discipline
Workshop organized by D. Garber (2017-2018 Paris IAS fellow), E. Cassan (CPGE/IHRIM), C. Crignon (Sorbonne Université), S. Kleiman-Lafon (Paris 8) and S. Parageau (Paris Nanterre/IUF)
24 May 2018 09:30 -
25 May 2018 18:00,
Paris :
Traduire l’expérience : autour de Sylva sylvarum et Novum Organum de Francis Bacon
Conference organized by P. Haggard (2016-2017 Paris IAS fellow), D. Garber and G. Iannetti (2017-2018 Paris IAS fellows)
17 May 2018 09:30 -
18 May 2018 17:00,
Paris :
Emergence of Mind
Lecture by D. Garber, 2017-2018 Paris IAS fellow
16 Apr 2018 10:00 -
16 Apr 2018 11:30,
Paris :
Is Leibniz’s dynamics consistent with his monadology ?
Talk by D. Garber, 2017-2018 Paris IAS fellow
12 Apr 2018 18:00 -
12 Apr 2018 20:00,
Saint-Denis :
Y a-t-il une théorie de la conscience chez Spinoza ?
Lecture by D. Garber, 2017-2018 Paris IAS fellow
21 Mar 2018 16:00 -
21 Mar 2018 18:00,
Rome :
Spinoza on Ingenium
Lecture by D. Garber, 2017-2018 Paris IAS fellow
20 Mar 2018 16:00 -
20 Mar 2018 18:00,
Rome :
Hobbes against the Aristotelity of the Schools
Lecture by D. Garber, 2017-2018 Paris IAS fellow
19 Mar 2018 16:00 -
19 Mar 2018 18:00,
Viterbe :
Hobbes against the Aristotelity of the Schools
Lecture by D. Garber, 2017-2018 Paris IAS fellow
17 Mar 2018 17:00 -
17 Mar 2018 19:00,
Lecce :
Descartes and Spinoza on Revelation
28 Feb 2018 15:15 -
28 Feb 2018 17:00,
Groningen :
Hobbes against the Aristotelity of the Schools in the Leviathan
Daniel Garber presents his research project within the framework of the weekly internal seminar
09 Jan 2018 11:00 -
09 Jan 2018 13:00,
Paris :
Novatores: Negotiating Novelty in Early-Modern Philosophy

Research project: "How Philosophy Became Modern in the 17th Century"
Modern period (1492-1789)
Western Europe