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Download Philosophy and the Book: Early Modern Figures of Material by Daniel Selcer PDF

By Daniel Selcer

Philosophy and the ebook examines the philosophical mobilization of metaphors for print, inscription, interpreting and information association in early sleek philosophical texts in continental Europe. basically attractive with the paintings of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz and Bayle whereas additionally referring to Valla, Gassendi, Hobbes, Lamy, and others, the e-book explores the impression the explosion of early glossy print expertise, textual distribution and similar cultural practices had at the early smooth philosophical mind's eye. Daniel Selcer foregrounds a sequence of figures that have been very important to many early glossy philosophers as they sought to strengthen positions at the nature of the fabric global and our wisdom of it. He explores major questions for the historical past of early smooth philosophy in terms of the matter of the materiality of philosophical discourse and counterpoises those issues with techniques in overdue twentieth-century continental philosophy, equivalent to Foucaultian archaeology and Derridean deconstruction. eventually, via rhetorical research and old contextualization, Selcer starts off to comic strip an 'ontology of the page'.

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Additional info for Philosophy and the Book: Early Modern Figures of Material Inscription (Philosophy, Aesthetics and Cultural Theory)

Sample text

The artificial machine, by contrast, has neither a real unity nor real parts. Because the elements of its composition are finite and (in Leibniz’s sense) mathematical, its unity or continuum is only ideal and modal. What has happened to singularity? What constitutes the unity of the singular substance? Actual metaphysical points do not “compose” a continuum. Instead, they are each a continuum. The real continuum, that is, has precisely no parts. Singularity has not disappeared. It has been hypostasized, as each single, simple, partless metaphysical point explodes into a continuum that repeats an entire world.

Second, in so doing he has relied on a suspect conception of the infinite—infinite divisibility together with progress ad infinitum—one under interrogation at least since Galileo and ultimately destroyed with Cantor. However, this shortcoming of the solution of the New System was something of which Leibniz was fully aware. 16 What would it mean to speak of an infinite library, and what would constitute the principle of its organization? Is not a library merely a heap of books, an aggregate in the most classical of Leibnizian senses?

This book addresses that dilemma by investigating the mobilization of print, inscription, reading, and knowledge organization as metaphors in the work of a handful of major figures from the so-called continental rationalist side of early modern European philosophy. To explore these figures in relation to the concepts of materiality they explicate, I investigate images of the bound physical volume, the printed and inscribed page, ink and paper, libraries and their catalogs, encyclopedias, their synoptic tables, and their theoretical organization of the totality of human knowledge, as well as complex typographical, citational, and organizational systems of reference.

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