This is a major new study of the relationship between early modern European philosophy and the history of the book. "Philosophy and the Book" examines the philosophical mobilization of metaphors for print, inscription, reading and knowledge organization in early modern philosophical texts in continental Europe. Engaging with the work of Gassendi, Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibniz and Bayle, the book explores the effect the explosion of early modern print technology, textual distribution and related cultural practices had on the early modern philosophical imagination. Daniel Selcer foregrounds a series of figures that were extremely important to many early modern philosophers as they sought to develop positions on the nature of the material world and our knowledge of it. He explores significant questions for the history of early modern philosophy in relation to the problem of the materiality of philosophical discourse and counterpoises these considerations with approaches in late twentieth-century continental philosophy, such as Foucultian archaeology and Derridean deconstruction.
Finally, through rhetorical analysis and historical contextualization, Selcer succeeds in sketching an 'ontology of the page'. "The Philosophy, Aesthetics and Cultural Theory" series examines the encounter between contemporary Continental philosophy and aesthetic and cultural theory. Each book in the series explores an exciting new direction in philosophical aesthetics or cultural theory, identifying the most important and pressing issues in Continental philosophy today.
Daniel Selcer is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Duquesne University, USA.