Sixteenth century philosophy was a unique synthesis of several philosophical frameworks, a blend of old and new, including but not limited to Scholasticism, Humanism, Neo-Thomism, Aristotelianism, and Stoicism. Unlike most overviews of this period, The Routledge Companion to Sixteenth Century Philosophy does not simplify this colorful era by applying some traditional dichotomies, such as the misleading line once drawn between scholasticism and humanism.
Instead, the Companion closely covers an astonishingly diverse set of topics: philosophical methodologies of the time, the importance of the discovery of the new world, the rise of classical scholarship, trends in logic and logical theory, Nominalism, Averroism, the Jesuits, the Reformation, Neo-stoicism, the soul’s immortality, skepticism, the philosophies of language and science and politics, cosmology, the nature of the understanding, causality, ethics, freedom of the will, natural law, the emergence of the individual in society, the nature of wisdom, and the love of god. Throughout, the Companion seeks not to compartmentalize these philosophical matters, but instead to show that close attention paid to their continuity may help reveal both the diversity and the profound coherence of the philosophies that emerged in the sixteenth century.
The Companion’s 27 chapters are published here for the first time, and written by an international team of scholars, and accessible for both students and researchers.
- I. Intellectual Background
". . . . An impressive collection of twenty-seven essays, which aim at presenting the most recent scholarship on Renaissance philosophy. It is one of the most comprehensive works on this time period ever published. On the whole, the companion is accessible to undergraduate students while also being of interest to specialists. One of the major strengths of the book is that the material covered is thoroughly examined and accompanied by substantive bibliographies, which make the volume a valuable tool for the study of sixteenth-century thought. Another key feature is that crossover between the essays is pervasive and is reinforced by a substantive general index, which gives a strong unity to the volume, despite its length (645 pages). . . . To conclude, there is no doubt that this impressive companion is an outstanding publication which represents a landmark in the field of Renaissance philosophy."
--Magali Roques in The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science
"This book is an up-to-date, comprehensive, scholarly and philosophically sophisticated guide to the philosophy of a neglected century, but also much more than that. By rejecting the idea of renaissance philosophy, the editors make their readers see the whole development of modern philosophy in a new light. This Companion is essential reading for any student or researcher working on the history of philosophy."
- John Marenbon, University of Cambridge
"...the Companion rightly refuses to stick rigidly within the “century” – often the essays look back and forward, some explicitly going well into the seventeenth century because they have to do so. This offers intellectual coherence to many of the arguments. (...) The wealth of bibliographical sources presented here, alone, makes this a valuable resource."
- Stuart Hannabuss, Independent Reviewer and Researcher, Aberdeen, UK