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The Good Life in the Scientific RevolutionDescartes, Pascal, Leibniz, and the Cultivation of Virtue$
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Matthew L. Jones

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226409542

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226409566.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The Good Life in the Scientific Revolution
University of Chicago Press

This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose, which is to contribute to the history of truth and falsity. The chapters reconstruct the often-idiosyncratic standards for truth, proof, and evidence in Descartes, Pascal, and Leibniz, standards far removed from our own. All three stressed that prevailing philosophical accounts of truth, deduction, and evidence failed to capture their mathematical and natural-philosophical practices. Descartes, Pascal, and Leibniz also drew heavily on their practices in developing new accounts of human knowledge in their methodological and epistemological writings. Without implying that their methodological writings correctly describe their practices, a study of their work can illustrate the productive interactions among their motivations, models, methodological theorizing, and practices.

Keywords:   truth, falsity, Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz, proof, evidence

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