Confucius once remarked that rulers need three resources: weapons, food and trust. The ruler who cannot have all three should give up weapons first, then food, but should hold on to trust at all costs: 'without trust we cannot stand'.(1) Machiavelli disagreed.
Ernest Gellner, who died on 5 November 1995, was one of the great polymaths of the century. Many of his twenty books were concerned with philosophy, sociology and anthropology. Yet at the core of his work was an historical question.
Russell, Conrad Sebastian Robert, Fifth Earl Russell (1937–2004)
The idea of the ‘two cultures’ was launched by C. P. Snow in the Rede lecture, delivered in Cambridge on 9 March 1959, and entitled, ‘The two cultures and the scientific revolution’.
The Industrial Revolution has traditionally been seen as a transformation in the technological basis of production and in the social arrangements surrounding it. On the other hand, the Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries was originally conceived as a purely intellectual transition, a shift in mentalities or worldviews.
In spite of the time period implied in her subtitle, Ann Thomson’s book covers debates about the materiality of the soul from 1650 to the early 19th century. She deals with a vast range of thinkers – primarily in England and France, but also in the Netherlands.
In our age of climate change and peak oil anxiety, environmental problems loom increasingly large in politics as well as everyday life. Yet even if ecology were to become the preeminent science, it is difficult to imagine a future where the authority of nature will form a unified source of morality, aesthetic value, and scientific truth. Such a world seems irretrievably lost to us.
This is the book about German Orientalism I felt I could not and did not want to write, and I am very grateful to Ian Almond for having produced it.
In recent years Ashgate Publishing has become one of the most dominant forces in the field of early modern studies, and the recent appearance of the impressive volume edited by Michael Hunter of Birkbeck College entitled Printed Images in Early Modern Britain: Essays in Interpretation (2010) is a case in point.
The term ‘early modern’ was introduced into mainstream historical analysis during the 1940s as a catch-all description for the changes that had occurred between the 16th and 18th centuries.