The Rationalists: Between Tradition and Innovation

  • Carlos Fraenkel
  • Dario Perinetti
  • Justin E. H. Smith

Part of the The New Synthese Historical Library book series (SYNL, volume 65)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Continuities between the Premodern and the Modern

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Carlos Fraenkel, Dario Perinetti, Justin E.H. Smith
      Pages 1-9
  3. Creating Traditions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 65-65
    2. François Duchesneau
      Pages 77-98
  4. Rethinking Spinoza

  5. Legacies of Rationalism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 145-145
    2. Yitzhak Y. Melamed
      Pages 147-166
    3. Steven Nadler
      Pages 167-182
    4. Ohad Nachtomy
      Pages 183-199
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 221-224

About this book


This volume draws a balanced picture of the Rationalists by bringing their intellectual contexts, sources and full range of interests into sharper focus, without neglecting their core commitment to the epistemological doctrine that earned them their traditional label. The collection of original essays addresses topics ranging from theodicy and early modern music theory to Spinoza’s anti-humanism, often critically revising important aspects of the received picture of the Rationalists. Another important contribution of the volume is that it brings out aspects of Rationalist philosophers and their legacies that are not ordinarily associated with them, such as the project of a Cartesian ethics. Finally, a strong emphasis is placed on the connection of the Rationalists’ philosophy to their interests in empirical science, to their engagement in the political life of their era, and to the religious background of many of their philosophical commitments.


Cartesianism Descartes Early Modern Philosophy History of Philosophy Leibniz Rationalism Spinoza

Editors and affiliations

  • Carlos Fraenkel
    • 1
  • Dario Perinetti
    • 2
  • Justin E. H. Smith
    • 3
  1. 1.Dept. PhilosophyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Dépt. PhilosophieUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontrealCanada
  3. 3., Department of PhilosophyConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada

Bibliographic information