This work originated from a conversation I had with a colleague at the 2008 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Vancouver. This colleague drew to my attention the fact that something needed to be written on idealist alternatives to materialist philosophies of science. I had plenty of experience writing about idealism, some of it as an alternative to materialism, but little writing about the philosophy of science so it took me a long time to work out the project in its final form.

I am indebted to all the contributors of this book for coming to my aid in various ways and helping me bring the project to completion. I am also indebted to my colleague Stanley Tweyman who has contributed enormously to my understanding of science in the Enlightenment and Hume’s view of science in particular. Last but not least, I owe a great debt of gratitude to my wife, Maria, who helped me design the cover illustration for this volume, and to our daughters, Kasia and Aletheia, who assisted with some of the technical details in preparing the manuscript for publication.

Finally, I would like to extend my appreciation to the staff at Brill, including Jennifer Pavelko, Bram Oudenampsen, and Benjamin Suchard, all of whom helped to facilitate this endeavour.

Philip MacEwen

York University