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Studies in Intellectual History, 1550-1700
Series Editors: and
The fission of the western Church in the Reformation era released great quantities of energy, not all of which was contained by the confessional churches. Alongside the well-studied process of confessionalisation and the persistence of variety within popular religion, the post-Reformation period witnessed a series of poorly understood attempts by a wide variety of intellectuals to extend the reforming impulse from the spheres of church and theology to many different areas of life and thought. Within these ambitious reforming projects, impulses originating in the Reformation mixed inextricably with projects emerging from the late-Renaissance and with the ongoing transformations of communications, education, art, literature, science, medicine, and philosophy. Although specialised literatures exist to study these individual developments, they do not comfortably accommodate studies of how these components were sometimes brought together in the service of wider reforms. By providing a natural home for fresh research uncomfortably accommodated within Renaissance studies, Reformation studies, and the histories of science, medicine, philosophy, and education, this new series will pursue a more synoptic understanding of individuals, movements, and networks pursuing further and more general reform by bringing together studies rooted in all of these sub-disciplinary historiographies but constrained by none of them.

Universal Reform, Studies in Intellectual History 1550-1700 (URSIH) volumes 1 and 2 were published by Routledge under ISBNs 9781472469168 and 9781472435842. Starting with the present volume 3, the URSIH series is published by Brill.
Sehen und Wahrnehmen in Optik, Naturforschung und Ästhetik des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts
Author:
Der Epoche der Aufklärung wird nicht nur eine besondere Vorliebe für den Sehsinn und das Licht nachgesagt, sondern auch ein bestimmtes ‚Wahrnehmungsmodell‘, das von dem Topos des kalten, distanzierten und klassifizierenden Blicks geprägt sei. Ausgehend von einem vereinzelt formulierten Zweifel an dieser Zuordnung sowie neueren Tendenzen in der Aufklärungsforschung geht die vorliegende Arbeit der Frage nach, ob sich ein solches Wahrnehmungsmodell im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert tatsächlich nachweisen lässt. Was wussten und wie dachten Naturforscher, Philosophen oder Optiker über das Auge und die Funktionsweise des menschlichen (und tierischen) Sehens? Es kann gezeigt werden, dass sich im Zeitraum von 1604 bis 1778 ein vielschichtiger Diskurs über Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der sinnlichen Empfindung entwickelt, der lange vor 1750 die physisch-psychische und kulturelle Bedingtheit des Sehens ins Zentrum rückt.
Between Secularization and Reform: Religion in the Enlightenment provides a critical reappraisal of the idea that the Enlightenment is at the headwaters of secularization. Contributors analyze early modern religious controversies, the significance of faith in national contexts, clandestine philosophy, varieties of rational religion, and the intermingling of heterodoxy with unbelief in the writings of key thinkers and less famous figures.
The volume encourages revisiting descriptions of the “Age of Lights” that use such categories as “moderate – radical” and “religious – secular.” Picturing the deep transformation undergone by religion in the Enlightenment, it draws a thin line between religious reforms and attempts to eliminate religious faith from the public sphere and individuals’ lives.

Contributors: Jeffrey D. Burson, Dominic Erdozain, Hasse Hämäläinen, Wojciech Kozyra, Ian Leask, Diego Lucci, Gianni Paganini, Stephen R. Palmquist, Mathias Sonnleithner, Anna Tomaszewska, Damien Tricoire, and Wiep van Bunge.
A Study of Christian Hermetism in Four Plays
Have you ever wondered why Cordelia has to die? Or how Alonso talks and walks about the isle while his body lies ‘full fathom five’ on the sea floor? Ever wondered why the monument to Shakespeare in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Stratford-upon-Avon names three pagans: Nestor, Socrates, and Virgil – king, philosopher, and poet? Or why Shakespeare is on Olympus, home of the Greek gods? This interdisciplinary study, the first to interpret the plays of Shakespeare in the light of the esoteric religious doctrines of the Corpus Hermeticum, holds answers to these and other puzzling questions.
Editor:
The Great Protector of Wits provides a new assessment of baron d’Holbach (1723–1789) and his circle. A challenging figure of the European Enlightenment, Paul-Henri Thiry d’Holbach was not only a radically materialistic philosopher, a champion of anticlericalism, the author of the Système de la nature – known as ‘the Bible of atheists’ –, an idéologue, a popularizer of the natural sciences and a prolific contributor to the Encyclopédie, but he also played a crucial role as an organizer of intellectual networks and was a master of disseminating clandestine literature and a consummate strategist in authorial fictions. In this collective volume, for the first time, all these different threads of d’Holbach’s ‘philosophy in action’ are considered and analyzed in their interconnection.

Contributors to this volume: Jacopo Agnesina, Nicholas Cronk, Mélanie Éphrème, Enrico Galvagni, Jonathan Israel, Alan Charles Kors, Mladen Kozul, Brunello Lotti, Emilio Mazza, Gianluca Mori, Iryna Mykhailova, Gianni Paganini, Paolo Quintili, Alain Sandrier, Ruggero Sciuto, Maria Susana Seguin, and Gerhardt Stenger.
Editors / Translators: and
A classicist, philosopher, and poet, Poul Martin Møller was an important figure in the Danish Golden Age. The traumatic event of the death of his wife led him to think more profoundly about the question of the immortality of the soul. In 1837 he published his most important philosophical treatise, “Thoughts on the Possibility of Proofs of Human Immortality,” presented here in English for the first time. It was read and commented upon by the leading figures of the Golden Age, such as Søren Kierkegaard. It proved to be the last important work that Møller wrote before his death in March of 1838 at the age of 43.
Author:
Louis Althusser argued that Marx initiated a transformation of philosophy, a new way of doing philosophy. This book follows that provocation to examine the way in which central Marxist concepts and problems from primitive accumulation to real abstraction animate and inform philosophers from Theodor Adorno to Paolo Virno. While also examining the way in which reading Marx casts new light on such philosophers as Spinoza. At the centre of this transformation is the production of subjectivity, the manner in which relations of production produces ways of thinking and living.
Volume Editors: and
Au cours du XIXe siècle, l’histoire de la philosophie s’est imposée comme une discipline centrale dans l’institution philosophique française. Ce processus reposait sur l’influence intellectuelle et politique exercée par Victor Cousin (1792-1867); il a coïncidé avec l’élaboration d’un schéma interprétatif conférant à la Renaissance, en tant qu’époque philosophique, un statut controversé, caractérisé par l'infériorité conceptuelle. L'ouvrage éclaire les enjeux idéologiques des débats sur la Renaissance dans la France du XIXe siècle. Il propose une approche globale des reconstructions érudites et des utilisations polémiques de la Renaissance centrée sur une relecture politique de la pratique historiographique, ainsi que sur ses réseaux personnels, académiques et transnationaux.

During the nineteenth century, the history of philosophy established itself in France as a central discipline within the academic institutions. This process, which rested on the intellectual and political influence of Victor Cousin (1792-1867), coincided with the development of an interpretative scheme that gave the Renaissance as philosophical epoch a controversial status characterized by conceptual inferiority. This volume sheds light on the ideological implications of the debates on the Renaissance in nineteenth-century France. It offers a comprehensive approach to the scholarly reconstructions and polemical uses of the Renaissance by developing a political and transnational rereading of the nineteenth-century French practices of the history of philosophy.
A Descriptive Bibliography of the Works Published in the Seventeenth Century
In Printing Spinoza Jeroen van de Ven systematically examines all seventeenth-century printed editions of Spinoza’s writings, published between 1663 and 1694, as well as their variant ‘issues’. In focus are Spinoza’s 1663 adumbration of René Descartes’s ‘Principles of Philosophy’ with his own ‘Metaphysical Thoughts’, the ‘Theological-Political Treatise’ (1670), and the posthumous writings (1677), including the famously-known ‘Ethics’.
Van de Ven’s descriptive bibliography studies, contextualizes, and records all aspects of the publication history of Spinoza’s writings from manuscript to print and assesses their immediate reception. It discusses the printed books’ codicology, philology, typographical and textual relationships, illustration programmes, as well as their dissemination in early Enlightenment Europe, in view of the physical aspects of 1,246 extant copies and their provenance.