Naturalization of the Soul : Self and Personal Identity in the Eighteenth Century book cover
1st Edition

Naturalization of the Soul
Self and Personal Identity in the Eighteenth Century

ISBN 9780415333559
Published March 25, 2004 by Routledge
216 Pages

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Book Description

Naturalization of the Soul charts the development of the concepts of soul and self in Western thought, from Plato to the present. It fills an important gap in intellectual history by being the first book to emphasize the enormous intellectual transformation in the eighteenth century, when the religious 'soul' was replaced first by a philosophical 'self' and then by a scientific 'mind'. The authors show that many supposedly contemporary theories of the self were actually discussed in the eighteenth century, and recognize the status of William Hazlitt as one of the most important Personal Identity theorists of the British Enlightenment, for his direct relevance to contemporary thinking.

Now available in paperback, Naturaliazation of the Soul is essential reading for anyone interested in the issues at the core of the Western philosophical tradition.



Raymond Martin is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland, US. John Barresi is Professor of Psychology at Dalhousie University, Canada.


'Its authors are professors of philosophy and psychology, respectively, and together they bring to intellectual history an authoritative grasp of contemporary philosophical and psychological concerns. The upshot is an exceptionally rich and stimulating work in which intellectual historians, philosophers and psychologists will learn much about their own and others' disciplines - this is a splendid book full of fascinating information and insights, and it deserves a wide readership.'
- Philosophical Books

'At every turn they seek to reassure the reader that some feature or another of the texts they discuss finds an echo in present-day debate - Identifying 'progress' in the history of ideas is, perhaps, a price worth paying if Naturalization of the Soul helps to awaken some interest in neglected figures from the past.'
- Times Literary Supplement

'A solid piece of scholarship, based on a careful examination of an impressive number of primary texts. The authors have gone down both the philosophical byroads and the highroads, unearthing relatively obscure works, as well as illuminating some that are well-known. I found their accounts consistently thoughtful and intelligent.'
- Mind