History of 17th Century Philosophy

History of 17th Century Philosophy

December 22, 2019 0 By Felso

17th century philosophy is the tendency of philosophy to emerge the foundations of the new age thought based on the developments that emerged under the influence of Renaissance.

17th century thinkers, who used the intellectual developments and ambiguous concepts of the Renaissance, sought to put their philosophical formulas in full strength and certainty, and based their work on systematic philosophy with a new depth. The principles and basic concepts of the Enlightenment thought were largely prepared in 17th century philosophy.

Fundamental Characteristics of 17th Century Philosophy

During this period, the fragmentation and diversity of thought in the Renaissance were directed to systematization in a uniform and exemplary manner in certain philosophical tendencies and worldviews. Descartes, Hobbes, Leibniz, Spinoza are the most important names of 17th century philosophy. Macit Gökberk says that 17th century philosophy is similar to medieval philosophy, not to antiquity or Renaissance philosophy because of its unity and closeness. This principle of unity and closeness is a completely different principle from the Middle Ages, rationalism. [1]

In the 17th century, the source of rationalism was mathematics and physics. There was a clear interest in mathematics and geometry among the thinkers who had been decisive in this period. With the advances made, it was thought that nature can be understood by mathematical formulas or concepts; famous idea of ​​rationalism has been reached by considering the idea of ​​conformity between nature and mind, matter and mind.

In 17th philosophy as a general tendency, rationalism will give rise to the so-called cartesian philosophy, which will deeply affect the philosophy of enlightenment. There are models of dualist or monist rationalism in this century; however, it can be said that dualist arguments have a certain period of dominance in the main direction of the history of philosophy. Descartes’s controversies have continued to this day, especially his dualism has received severe criticism.

The developments in natural sciences also had a decisive effect on the development of philosophy of this period. Of these, the so-called Copernicus Revolution, Giordano Bruno’s universe design and Galileo’s mechanics should be mentioned. Copernicus developed a system that would change an entire worldview. The most fundamental result was that it clearly demonstrated the fallibility of the eye that saw it in the face of reality. He corrected the illusion that the Sun, Moon and stars revolve around the Earth. Thus, he made a profound inference that we know the world we perceive, not the real world.

It also invalidates the universe model, a general tendency, but systematically found in Christian doctrine in particular. Human-centeredism has become particularly problematic. Thus, the movements of both the universe and nature become a whole. The mechanical system established by Galileo is another stage of the scientific developments of the period. The so-called law of continuum suggested that a movement would go straight unless it was a counter-force. Newton’s çekim general law of gravity ”will then be added to this and the idea of ​​the unity of the universe and nature will be finalized through the general validity of the laws of nature.

It was inevitable that these developments would change the teachings and lead to changes in knowledge theories. It is possible to see the effects of these developments and new epistemological contributions in 17th century philosophies. This effect will then continue and play a decisive role in enlightenment and modern philosophies. These precise developments of mathematical and natural sciences gave rationalism as well as giving 17th century philosophers the notion that nature is mathematically verifiable. It is not easy to divide the 17th century philosophy into historical periods with interruptions such as cutting with knives in general. In a sense, there were those who saw Francis Bacon and John Locke from this period. Still 17.

[1]  History of Philosophy; Macit Gökberk; Remzi Bookstore; page 250

Basic Characteristics of 17th Century Philosophy