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Giorgio Tonelli: Writings on Kant and the Philosophy of the Eighteenth Century (1961-1974)

Contents of this Section


  1. Tonelli, Giorgio. 1961. "Critiques of the Notion of Substance Prior to Kant." Tijdschrift voor Filosofie no. 23:285-301.

    "The Ages of Reason and Enlightenment aimed not only to advance knowledge but also tried to distinguish carefully between things which can and cannot be known. Characteristic of those ages is the manner in which metaphysical speculation was reduced by the sciences or brushed aside by the leading philosophical schools.

    The general problem of the limits of human understanding became one of the leading philosophical themes of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Doubts about the possible scope of human reasoning concerned not only God, the spirits, and the nature of the human soul, (1) but also went to the very core of that reality which man was then trying to subdue intellectually; several conceptual elements were discovered whose nature many thinkers found mysterious and inaccessible to the mind. In fact, beside a clear awareness of the limits of human understanding in general, the notions of mathematical infinity, (2) force, (3) and substance were considered by many philosophers to be above man’s reason. The purpose of the present paper is to study the criticisms which were directed against the last of these notions, criticisms which played a rather important role in the famous "Copernican revolution" of 1769 at the start of Kant's critical period. (4) We shall consider not only criticisms of the notion of substance itself, but also those of the closely related notions of essence and materia prima; these often include the notion of substance, or serve as a foundation for." (pp. 285-286)

    (1) For opinions about the human soul in that period see: G. Tonelli, Elementi melodologici e metafisici in Kant precritico (1745-1768), Cap. VII, § 30 and foll. About God's unintelligibility, Ibid., Cap. VII, § 17 (In the II Vol., to be published in short. Vol. I, Torino 1959).

    (2) See G. Tonelli, Le problème des bornes de l'entendement humain au XVllle siècle et la genèse du criticisme kantien particulièrement par rapport à la question de l’infini, "Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale", 1959.

    (3) See Tonelli, Elementi, Cap. VII, § 21 and foll.

    (4) A not very thorough history of the notion of substance is in K. Heidmann, Der Substanz-Begriff von Abälard bis Spinoza, Berlin 1889, (Dissertation).

  2. ———. 1963. "The Law of Continuity in the Eighteenth Century." Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century no. 24-27:1619-1638.

    "Some excellent research has been made into the eighteenth-century attitude towards the assumption that nature’s ways are essentially simple, and towards the principle of least action (1). But another methodologically fundamental principle, upon which the learned men of the time concentrated their attention, and which caused them much bitter argument, namely the law of continuity, has not yet been studied with a more systematic and modem approach. The only historical survey of the question is G. Ploucquet’s old dissertation, published in 1761, which one very rarely meets nowadays, for it is almost completely forgotten*.

    The purpose of the present paper is to fill this gap. We shall first summarise the question as it stood in the seventeenth century, and we shall try to expound in greater detail the vicissitudes the problem suffered during the period in which we are chiefly interested.

    The topics treated by A. O. Lovejoy in his well-known work The Great chain of being (1933; the Cambridge, Mass. 1957 edition is quoted), show some important similarities to the question we propose to study. Our problem is in fact much more precise and limited, but this will not prevent us from recalling from time to time some pertinent elements from Lovejoy’s book." (p. 1619)

    (1) for a bibliography of these works, and an original contribution to the history of that problem, see G. Tonelli, Elementi metafisici e metodologici in Kant dal 1745 al 1768, Torino 1959, i. cap.l, nota (80) and cap.u, nota (3).

    * G. Ploucquet, Dissertatio historìco-cosmologica de lege continuitatis sive gradationis leibnitiana (Tübingen 1761).



    The case of the principle of continuity in the eighteenth century is very interesting indeed in the history of ideas. It is a good example of a badly defined and exceedingly general principle, whose multifarious applications extended the dispute to widely different fields. One has the feeling that its acceptance or rejection was never based on an independent discussion of its purely theoretical side—whose very imprecision led to a very elastic interpretation, making any abstract examination practically useless; no, they were rather motivated by the more or less welcome consequences which could be drawn from the principle in a specific case, about which an author usually had preconceived ideas, in case, that is, he was not motivated merely by personal hostility towards its real or pretended supporters or detractors. Many of the people partaking in the discussion seemed, wittingly or unwittingly, to ignore at least some of the opinions previously expressed in die dispute, and attacked positions which nobody had thought of defending, and which really only represented a rough vulgarisation of the principle.

    The climax of the dispute (the Berlin Academy against Wolff) seems to have been brought about for merely personal motives. In fact at both earlier and later periods the principle played a fairly important rôle in some fields of science more or less independently of theoretical discussions about it, and after the waning of those discussions." (p. 1638)

  3. ———. 1966. "Kant's Early Theory of Genius (1770-1779): Part I." Journal of the History of Philosophy no. 4:109-131.

    Italian translation in: G. Tonelli, Da Leibniz a Kant. Saggi sul pensiero del Settecento, Napoli: Prismi, 1987, pp. 183-203.

    "The importance of the theory of genius in Kant's philosophy was realized comparatively early in the history of Kantforschung, and several works have been devoted to this subject (1) But nobody has, until now, tried to reconstruct the development of Kant's ideas on genius utilizing the materials contained in his Nachlass, published by Adickes. (2) This is what I shall attempt in the present paper, limiting the study to the period from 1770 to 1779, coinciding with Kant's preliminary works for the elaboration of the Critique of Pure Reason.

    First I shall try to establish Kant's opinions on genius in the aforesaid span of time, second, to trace the sources of such opinions in Kant's cultural background." (p. 109)

    (1) See especially: K. Hoffman, Die Umbildung der Kantischen Lehre vom Genie in Schellings System des transscendentalen Idealismus (Bern: 1907, Berner Studien zur Philos. u. ihrer Geschiehte, LIII); R. Schlapp, Kants Lehre vom Genie und die Entstehung der "Kritik der Urteilskraft" (G6ttingen: 1901); O. Schöndörffer, "Kant's Definition vom Genie," Altpreussische Monatsschrift, 1893, xxx; O. Wichmann, "Kant's Begriff vom Genie und seine Bedeutung" Deutsche Akademische Rundschau, Jhg. II, 12 Sem., Folge N. 2; 7, 15 Jan. 1925.

    Schlapp's work, utilizing Kant's Kolleghefte (or notes taken from his lectures), is peculiarly important.

    (2) In Kants Gesammelte Schriften, published by the Preussische Akademie der Wissenschaften. This is the edition we refer to in our quotations. We give only the number of the volume and the page for the printed works of Kant, and the number of the volume and that of the Reflexion for the Nachlass. We refer to the last issue of the Preussische Akademie Ausgabe edition. We intend to utilize Kant's Nachlass following the same criteria as in: G. Tonelli, Kant, dall'estetica metafisica all'estetica psicoempirica. Studi sulla genesi del criticismo (1754-1771) e sulle sue fonti (Torino: 1955), Memorie della Accademia delle Scienze di Torino, Serie 35 Tomo 3, Parte III. See pp. 7-10, 192, 253-255.

  4. ———. 1966. "Kant's Early Theory of Genius (1770-1779): Part II." Journal of the History of Philosophy no. 4:209-224.

    Italian translation in: G. Tonelli, Da Leibniz a Kant. Saggi sul pensiero del Settecento, Napoli: Prismi, 1987, pp. 203-234.

  5. ———. 1969. "Divinae Particula Aurae; Genial Ideas, Organism, and Freedom: A Note on Kant's Reflection N. 938." Journal of the History of Philosophy no. 7:192-198.

    Italian translation in: G. Tonelli, Da Leibniz a Kant. Saggi sul pensiero del Settecento, Napoli: Prismi, 1987, pp. 237-245.

    "In § 21 of my article "Kant's Early Theory of Genius (1770-1779)," published in this journal (1) two years ago, I quote from Kant's Reflection N. 938, of which the complete text is as follows:

    Spirit is referred to the universal, because it is a kind of divinae particula aurae, and it draws from the Universal Spirit. Therefore, Spirit [in itself] has no particular characters; but it vivifies in different ways, following the different talents and sensitivities [of men] it meets, and, as these are so multifarious, every [human] Spirit has something peculiar. One should not say: geniuses. [But: there is only one genius.] It is the unity of the Soul of the World. (2)

    Kant refers to this Spirit as the source of both genial or "original" ideas in the human mind and of organic life in the ouside world (KETG, §§ 22, 23). This theory derives of course from the ancient Platonic-Stoic-Hermetic-etc. doctrine of the Soul of the World, which had a tremendous diffusion not only in the Middle Ages (School of Chartres, etc.) but also from the Renaissance to the eighteenth century and even later, especially among Stoic, Cabbalistic, Hermetic, Pansophic, and Mosaic philosophers, both in psychology (where the human soul was taken as a part of the soul of the World) and in natural philosophy among the opponents of mechanism (either in general or in connection with living organisms only) (3)."

    (1) IV (1966), 209; the article is printed in two parts, pp. 109-131 and 209-224 (cited hereafter as KETG).

    (2) "Weil der Geist aufs allgemeine geht, so ist er so zu sagen divinae particula aurae und aus dem allgemeinen Geist geschöpft. Daher hat der Geist nicht besondere Eigenschaften, sondern nach den verschiedenen Talenten und Empfindsamkeiten, worauf er fallt, belebt er verschiedentlich und, weil diese so mannigfaltig seyn, so hat ieder Geist was eigenthtimliches. Man muss nicht sagen: Die genie's. Es ist die Einheit der Weltseele" (Immanuel Kant, Gesammelte Schriften [Berlin: Preussische Akademie der Wissenschaften], XV [1923], part 1, 416). This Reflection is a note on Baumgarten's Metaphysica. According to Adickes, it was probably written between 1776 and 1778, less probably in 1772. s See "World Soul" (with bibliographical references, by T. Gregory and G. Tonelli) in the 1967 ed. of the New Catholic Encyclopedia. A still useful, although very partial, historical account of this doctrine is given by A. Rechenberg (praeses) and J. D. Gilttner (Auctor & Respondens), De mundi anima dissertatio (Lipsiae, 1678). See also KETG, note 153.

  6. ———. 1971. "The "Weakness" of Reason in the Age of Enlightenment." Diderot-Studies no. 14:217-244.

    Reprinted in Scepticism in the Enlightenment (1997), pp. 35-50.

    Italian translation in: G. Tonelli, Da Leibniz a Kant. Saggi sul pensiero del Settecento, Napoli: Prismi, 1987, pp. 21-41.

    "Among the different aspects of the problem of limits I have been surveying, hardly one may be found where eighteenth-century thought had not been heralded in some aspects at least by thinkers of the proceeding century. This happens, of course, in all ages and for all problems. In some cases, as for the critique of the notions of substance and of that of infinity, eighteenth-century philosophers were, in the main, repeating old arguments. But on the whole, the Anglo-French Enlightenment gave to these attitudes an importance and a diffusion previously unknown: opposition to ontology, and partially to logic, agnosticism in respect of transcendent subjects in general, claimed ignorance of the inner texture and properties of bodies and of the first causes. Opposition to hypotheses and to general systems not founded on experience are, both in their extention and in their stress, a basic novelty in modern philosophy. For this, seventeenth-century philosophy was much more an Age of Reason than was the Enlightenment; and this “reason” was unmasked by the Enlightenment as a specious and obnoxious pretension of the human mind. The Enlightenment’s reason sometimes merely paid lip service to Revelation; however this outer limit of reason was replaced by an inner and more effective one, which could also be reconciled with Revelation, with the advantage, perhaps, of a clearer “separation of powers”.

    The German Enlightenment was, as it were, more “traditionalist”, especially in Wolff’s case: only a few of the limiting attitudes were accepted by Wolff. On he other hand, the school of Thomasius and Crusius represented, for very special reasons, a kind of via media, and was the catalyzer of a creative synthesis between the Anglo-French and the German approach. In this way, positions which could appear “Traditional” as sponsored by Wolff became the foundation of future German philosophy; “traditionalism” and “modernism” in the history of thought are nothing but relative terms.

    If we may still speak of “traditionalism” then, the Enlightenment was on the whole much less revolutionary that it has sometimes been represented; this has already become clear concerning its political theory, but should also be extended to other aspects of the century’s thought.

    The Anglo-French Enlightenment, with its intellectual modesty and respect for its heralds in the preceding century, shows one side of this attitude, an attitude matched in the practice of a very real quest for discovery, but exalted, at the same time, by an equal respect for science. Philosophy, certainly, is no longer the servant of theology, but it partially becomes the servant of science. And this is shown, among other things, by the basic impact of Newtonianism on the problem of limits, an impact which has not been as yet sufficiently clarified. In fact, it is a commonplace in our day to talk about Newton’s role in the development of philosophy, but as soon as this role is clearly defined, an escape is found in some vague and frequently erroneous statement.

    The German Enlightenment, less humble in its intentions, showed its modesty by facts: it refrained from relegating to the scrap-heap many basic attitudes of eighteenth-century thought, and reshaped them into formulas pregnant with future developments.

    In contrast to romantic philosophy’s frenzy for originality at any cost, the Enlightenment philosophy was not haunted by a quest for novelty for novelty’s sake. In fact it gave full regard to its predecessors while simultaneously opening up numerous new directions for science to follow in the ensuing centuries." (pp. 243-244)

  7. ———. 1971. A Short-Title List of Subject Dictionaries of the XVIth, XVIIth, and XVIIIth Centuries as Aids to the History of Ideas. London: Warburg Institute.

    Second extended edition revised and annotated by Eugenio Canone and Margherita Palumbo, Firenze: Leo S. Olschki, 2006.

    Contents: Introduction 1; Symbols for names of libraries 5; List I: Sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth century dictionaries as aids to the history of ideas 7; Chronological-systematic index of dictionaries included in List I 37; List II: Pseudo-dictionaries, dictionaries not ordered alphabetically, or of minor importance 43; List III: Dictionaries not located 53; Index of names 57; Index of anonyma 64.


    Historians of sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth century ideas are realizing increasingly that dictionaries contemporary with the period under consideration are in many cases a basic aid to their work. Some of these reference books are well-known, and are currently used by scholars in all fields. Nevertheless, a more careful inquiry into this kind of source discloses an unsuspected number of works which are mostly unknown or difficult to locate.

    The aim of this bibliography is to provide for the first time an extensive list of these dictionaries and their basic locations in Europe, together with some information concerning their doctrinal affiliations, diffusion and present usefulness. I have been collecting and examining these materials in the major European libraries during the past fifteen years. I acknowledge my debt of gratitude to Professor Enrico de Angelis, Professor Alberto Martino, Dr. P. F. Mugnai (who received a grant from the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche in Rome for this purpose), and my wife, Dr. Grazia Tonelli, all of whom helped me during the final stage of work on this bibliography by research in several libraries; to Miss Pamela Sargent, for revising and typing the manuscript, and to Miss Susan Cabral for typing the indexes.

    I hope that my work may stimulate interest in the history of lexicography. Studying the development of the criteria and methods of lexicography, the connexion of dictionaries with doctrinal trends contemporary to them, and their influence on the evolution and diffusion of thought should be a basic field in the history of ideas, as well as a further contribution towards a more adequate use of this kind of source in general research. (a)

    This Bibliography is divided into three lists.

    The FIRST LIST includes those dictionaries which, first, meet the basic criteria of selection, and second, have been located and examined.

    (I) Criteria of selection:

    (a) Only dictionaries disposed in alphabetical order have been included. In fact, many encyclopaedias are ordered systematically, and cannot be used as dictionaries any more than any general treatise can. Since the only basic criterion which has proved to be generally effective in making a distinction is that of alphabetical order, some works which are strictly related to dictionaries but which do not fulfil this condition have been excluded from the first list (but included in the second).

    (b) Only subject dictionaries have been included. Onomastic dictionaries (historical, geographical, etc. which do not list terms, but only names of persons and/or places) have beeen excluded.

    (c) Subject indexes to works, compiled either by authors or by editors, have been excluded, with the exception of a few of major importance, which are traditionally known or frequently referred to as dictionaries.

    (d) Works bearing the name of dictionaries, or usually referred to as such, although they are not dictionaries but treatises, have been excluded from the first list (but included in the second).

    (e) Dictionaries prior to 1500 or posterior to 1800 have been excluded in general, with the following exceptions: first, of a few dictionaries prior to 1500 which were still influential (and eventually reprinted) after that date; secondly, of a few dictionaries immediately posterior to 1800 which echo ideas of the preceding century.

    (f) Ana, which are collections of memorabilia or excerpts from the works of a single author (many of which are alphabetically ordered) have been excluded, because they are listed in already existing extensive bibliographies. (b)

    (g) Dictionaries answering to the previously listed criteria, but which are of minor importance, such as bi-lingual dictionaries and compendious dictionaries and encyclopaedias for practical use only, dictionaries of merely linguistic interest, and purely technical dictionaries (e.g., of legal cases, chemical formularies, collections of medical prescriptions, etc.) have been excluded from the first list. Some of them have been included in the second list, because their notoriety or their title might mislead one into considering them useful to the history of ideas. Comprehensive lists of these dictionaries may be found in existing bibliographies of dictionaries. (3)

    (II) Location. All items included in the first list have been checked as to their presence (1) in the major Roman libraries (as listed below in the list of library symbols); (2) in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris (N.P.) ; (3) in the British Museum (B.M.) ; and (d) in the Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, Göttingen (G.). Normally, locations in other libraries are given only for items which are not to be found in any of the above-mentioned libraries.

    N.B. All editions of the same work are listed which have either been examined or identified through library catalogues or general and special bibliographical works and studies. Differences among titles or contents of different editions have been referred to in so far as they could be established in the above ways.

    A chronological-systematic index, attached to the first list, and referring to it-only, allows a general view of all items as ordered (1) by centuries, (2) by categories of dictionaries within a century, (3) by the date of the first edition within a category. It is followed by a list of dictionaries devoted to a single author.

    The SECOND LIST includes items which have been located and seen, but which do not answer to the criteria of selection listed above. The purpose of this second list is: (a) to give an account of items which were seen, but excluded from the first list, in order to establish that they have not been overlooked; (b) to point out that some of them may nevertheless be used as dictionaries. In this case, the location is given.

    The THIRD LIST includes items which could not be located, although they are listed in bibliographies, or referred to elsewhere. Therefore, their character and utility could not be established. This third list is intended as an aid to further research.

    It may be interesting to know that microfilms of dictionaries included in the first list, and not present in Roman libraries, are being collected at the Istituto di Filosofia of Rome University.

    (a) Attempts in this direction are: E. H. Lehmann, Geschichte des Konversationslexikons, V, Leipzig 1934; B. Wendt, Idee und Entwicklungsgeschichte der enzyklopädischen Literatur, Würzburg-Aumühle 1941 ; K. W. Krauss, ‘Zur Lexikologie der Aufklärung’, in Romanische Forschungen, LXVT, 1955 ; W. Gerber, sub voce ‘Philosophical Dictionaries and Encyclopedias’, in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. by P. Edwards, New York-London 1967; L. Geldsetzer, Einleitung to J. Micraelius, Lexicon philosophicum terminorum philosophis usitatorum (reprint), Düsseldorf 1966. See also Zischka’s work, quoted below. For the history of juridical lexicography, see H. E. Dirksen, System der juristischen Lexikographie, Leipzig 1834.

    (b) H. W. Lawätz, Handbuch für Büche freunde und Bibliothekare, T. I, Bd. III, Halle 1789, pp. 476fF. ; Jacques Lacombe, Encyclopédiana, ou Dictionnaire des 'Ana’, Paris 1791; A, F. Aude, Bibliographie critique des ana, Paris 1910. Some titles of this kind do not end in ana, for instance: [J. C. Scaliger], Electa Scaligerea, h.e. J. C. Scaligeri Sententiae, Praecepta, Definitiones, Axiomata, ex universis illius operibus selecta, et per certas Locorum Communium classes disposita . . . , Hanoviae 1634.

    (c) See Durey de Noinville, Table alphabétique des Dictionnaires en toutes sortes de langues, Paris 1758; W. Marsden, A Catalogue of Dictionaries, Vocabularies, Grammars, and Alphabets, London 1796; N. Trubner, A Catalogue of Dictionaries and Grammars of the Principal Languages and Dialects of the World, London 1872, ed. K. W. Hiersemann, London 1882; J. R. Hulbert, Dictionaries: British and American, London 1955; W. Zaunmülier, Bibliographisches Handbuch der Sprachwärterbücher, New York, London, Stuttgart 1958; G. A. Zischka, Index lexicorum, Wien 1959. Many of the items listed in my bibliography are unknown to all these authors.

  8. ———. 1972. "Early Reactions to the Publication of Leibniz's "Nouveaux Essais"." In Proceedings of the Third International Kant Congress 561-567. Dordrecht: Reidel.

    Revised version as: Leibniz on Innate Ideas and the Early Reactions to the Publication of the "Nouveaux Essais" (1765).

    "Leibniz’ Nouveaux Essais, written in 1703-05 (cited in the following as: N E), were posthumously published by Raspein 1765, at the beginning of a moderately significant Leibniz revival. Now, as the great upheaval in Kant’s thought took place in 1769, and as one of the main characteristics of this upheaval was the rejection of sensibility as the sole source of knowledge, it is easy to infer that Kant’s reading of the N E may have been one of the elements which prompted him to adopt his new solution.

    It is not my ambition to answer this difficult question at this time but I will try to clear the ground for an answer to it by inquiring into the early reactions of philosophical circles, especially German, to the appearance of the N E. If the peculiarity of the doctrines of the N E concerning the origin of knowledge was widely noticed, and if the picture of Leibniz’ philosophy was modified accordingly, Kant could have been stimulated by such a widespread reaction to pay special attention to the problem." (p. 561)

  9. ———. 1972. "A Contribution Towards a Bibliography on the Methodology of the History of Philosophy." Journal of the History of Philosophy no. 10:456-458.

    "A recent issue of the Monist (53, 4, October, 1969) was devoted to the "Philosophy of the History of Philosophy." The articles were prefaced by an "Introduction and Bibliography" by Lewis White Beck. The following list is an addition to that bibliography, omitting those contributions not contained in it but quoted in other places in the same issue of the Monist." (p. 456)


    I also wish to point out that, obviously, the methodology of the history of philosophy would greatly profit from taking into consideration methodological research in other branches of history. This includes not only general history, history of science, and the sociology of knowledge (which are rather easy to reach bibliographically), but also those branches of history less obviously connected with our interest or less well-known in English-speaking scholarship:

    (1) Hermeneutic. This ancient approach, employed again by Joachim Wach (Das Verstehen, Ttibingen, 1926. Reprinted, Hildesheim, 1966), was revived with major changes by Emilio Betti (Teoria generale dell'interpretazione, 2 vols., Milano, 1955). It evoked a tremendous response in Germany, culminating in the famous work by Hans-Georg Gadamer, Wahrheit und Methode, Tübingen, 1960. The ensuing debate about this work brought forth a very large number of subsequent contributions.

    (2) Special attention should be paid to the methodology of etymology, onomasiology and semasiology -- branches of philology closely related to the history of ideas. The most important contributors to this field are Kurt Baldinger and Helmut Gipper. The point of view of the latter was summed up by H. Gipper and H. Schwarz in the "Introduction" to their Bibliographisches Handbuch zur Sprachinhaltsforschung (Kön und Opladen, 1962). The Handbuch itself, an indispensable tool for all historians of ideas, has not yet been completely published.


    (3) Also to be kept in mind is the methodology of the history of art, especially useful in connection with the problem of periodization. In this respect, after the well-known W. Pinder's Das Problem der Generation (reprinted, Munich, 1961), it is necessary to mention E. H. Gombrich's Norma e forma: Critica valutativa e morfologia stilistica nella storia dell'arte ((Torino, 1963. Quaderni della "Biblioteca filosofica di Torino," No. 6), and the discussion on "Criteria of Periodization in the History of European Art," in New Literary History 1 (1970)." (pp. 457-458)

  10. ———. 1973. "A Contribution to the Bibliography of General Subject Indexes." Studi internazionali di filosofia no. 5:211-214.

    "Professor Archer Taylor, the famous bibliographer and historian of bibliography, published a history of the General Subject-Indexes Since 1548, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1966, 335 p.

    This work is a new pioneering enterprise of its author: in fact it is the first in its field. It is a detailed study of the development of general bibliographical subject-indexes of books since the Renaissance, i.e, it lists and discusses all those bibliographies: (a) which are ordered by subjects, alphabetically or systematically; (b) but which are general, i.e., not limited to a particular held (e.g., Theology only, Medicine only, etc.). General subject-indexes limited to a single nation and/or language are included, as well as a few specialized general indexes, e.g., subject-indexes to journals. The subject catalogs of some libraries are included, as they are practically identical with general subject-indexes. Some of the works considered are manuscripts. The author also studies some plans for subject-indexes which never were actualized at all, some subject-indexes which never were completed, and some theoretical discussions on the methodology of the indexes in question. I do not understand why the author does not also take into consideration the basic works on bibliotheconomy, in as far as they concern theoretical discussions on the classification of books, or provide classified lists of books to be used as a blueprint for organizing a library; in fact, the problems and the lists in question are identical to those belonging to a general subject-index, as one can see e.g., in the well-known writings on the subject by E. Edwards (1859), J. Petzhold (1866), A. Maire (1896), E. C. Richardson (1901), Berwick-Sayers 41954), etc.

    This is an important contribution to the history of ideas from three points of view: first, because as a history of a branch of bibliography it studies a significant aspect of the development of the organization of learning; second, because it is in many cases a study of an aspect of the history of the systematization of knowledge, i.e., of the classification of the sciences and of their sections; third, because many of the works described are still very useful as bibliographical instruments for the scholars of our time. In fact, many of these works have not been superseded by more recent compilations, and are still basic sources of reference for some periods and areas. Professor Taylor's descriptions are frequently very helpful in determining their present utility although this is not the major aim of this book, the scope of which is first and foremost historical.

    I am listing here some titles which should be added to Professor Taylor's study, but I must warn the reader that as the index of names (Compilers of Subject-Indexes and Kindred Works) at the end of Professor Taylor’s book only lists a few of the names actually mentioned in his work, it is possible that some of the titles in question are mentioned, but escaped my attention. All the works listed below, if they are not described as plans or theoretical discussions of a classification, are general subject-indexes ordered systematically, i.e., in none of them the basic organization is alphabetical, although their sub-sections may occasionally be ordered alphabetically. In many of them the classification merely consists in a few general headings, and under each heading the entries are listed alphabetically by the names of the authors." (p. 211)

  11. ———. 1974. "Leibniz on Innate Ideas and the Early Reactions to the Publication of the "Nouveaux Essais" (1765)." Journal of the History of Philosophy no. 12:437-454.

    Revised version of Early Reactions to the Publication of Leibniz's "Nouveaux Essais" (1972).

    Italian translation in: G. Tonelli, Da Leibniz a Kant. Saggi sul pensiero del Settecento, Napoli: Prismi, 1987, pp. 111-136.

    "Leibniz' Nouveaux Essais, written in 1703-1705 (cited hereafter as NE), were posthumously published by Raspe (1) in 1765, at the beginning of a Leibniz revival which was also marked by the large Dutens edition of 1768. As the great upheaval in Kant's thought took place in 1769, and as this upheaval had as one of its main characteristics the rejection of sensibility as the sole source of knowledge, (2) it is easy to infer that Kant's reading of the NE may have been one of the elements prompting him to adopt his new solution. It is not the ambition of this paper to answer that difficult question: rather it is an attempt towards clearing the ground for an answer to it, by inquiring into the early reactions of philosophical circles, especially German, to the appearance of the NE. To what extent was the significance of the particular doctrines expounded in the NE noticed? To what extent did contemporary philosophers realize that these were to profoundly modify the picture of Leibniz' psychological tenets? And, therefore, to what extent could Kant have been stimulated by a widespread reaction to pay special attention to the pecu!iarities of that work? In conformity with this purpose, I shall focus my research on the question of the origin of knowledge. As it is my task to reconstruct a general philosophical atmosphere, I will not confine my research to philosophic reactions prior to 1769, but will also take into consideration some attitudes of the following decade. As frequently happens in the history of ideas, the impact of a certain event may be noticed almost immediately after its occurrence, but the documentation of its effects may be available only after a certain delay. But they are nevertheless indicative of that prior impact. Before starting this enquiry, I shall: (1) point out the difference between the doctrine in question as it is expounded in the NE and as it appeared in the previously published works of Leibniz; (2) examine the interpretations of Leibniz' psychology prior to 1765, especially as represented in the version which was accepted by Wolff and incorporated into his system." (p. 437)

    (1) Oeuvres philosophiques latines et françaises du feu Mr. de Leibniz tirées de ses Manuscrits qui se conservent dans la Bibliothèque royale à Hanovre et publiées par M. Rud. Eric Raspe. Avec une preface de Mr. Kaestner, Professeur en mathématique à Göttingue (Amsterdam et Leipzig, 1765).

    (2) Tonelli, "Die Umwälzung von 1769 bei Kant," Kant-Studien, LIV (1963), 369 ff.

  12. ———. 1974. "Kant's Ethics as Part of Metaphysics: A Possible Newtonian Suggestion? With Some Comments on Kant's "Dream of a Seer" " In Philosophy and the Civilizing Arts. Essays Presented to Herbert W. Schneider, edited by Walton, Craig and Anton, John P., 236-263. Athens: Ohio University Press.

    Italian translation in: G. Tonelli, Da Leibniz a Kant. Saggi sul pensiero del Settecento, Napoli: Prismi, 1987, pp. 259-282.

    "One of the most remarkable traits of Kant's system of philosophy is the fact that Ethics is classified as a part of Metaphysics, as it appears in the titles of two of Kant’s major works: The Foundation of the Metaphysics of Morals and Metaphysics of Morals. It is just too bad that no commentator, as far as I know, ever stressed the importance of this fact, and of the underlying problems; the fact was taken for granted, the problem ignored. It is high time to call some attention to it.

    Actually, this is one of the most dramatic changes Kant introduced into the structure of philosophy as a whole; before him, a subordination of Ethics to Metaphysics was, as far as I know, totally unheard of. Metaphysics had been subordinated to Ethics by Spinoza, probably under the influence of the later developments of Stoicism, but the opposite had never been attempted.

    This of course does not mean that before Kant Ethics never had been founded on Metaphysics; on the contrary, this foundation of Ethics is certainly one of the most generally accepted positions. Nevertheless, Ethics had been considered all the same as an independent science, and not as a part of Metaphysics.

    On the other hand, if Kant considers Ethics as a part of Metaphysics, this does not mean that in his thought the dependency of Ethics on Metaphysics is increased; on the contrary, Ethics becomes systematically totally independent of Metaphysics stricto sensu; but, as we shall see, it becomes a part of Metaphysics because it is transformed into a foundation of it, and this is quite new.

    The expression “Metaphysics of Morals” (Metaphysik der Sitten) appears, as far as I know, for the first time in Kant’s letter to Herder of May 9, 1768, where Kant states that he is working on a Metaphysics of Morals which should be completed within that year. But, in a letter to Lambert of December 31, 1765, Kant had already announced a work on the “Metaphysical Foundations of Practical Philosophy.” The expression “Metaphysics of Morals” is repeated in Kant’s letter to Lambert of September 2, 1770, (1)1 where our author states that he is busy right then writing a treatise (which never was published) on that subject, without adding any further comments.

    In the Logik Blomberg (1771) and in the Logik Philippi (1772), moral philosophy is not subordinated to the general heading of metaphysics.(2) In the Metaphysik L1 (1775-1780), Metaphysics and Moral philosophy are said to be the two pure philosophical sciences, (3) and in the Lectures on Ethics of 1780-1781, philosophy is divided into theoretical and practical philosophy, (4) but a Metaphysics of Morals is not mentioned. In his lectures Kant frequently takes a more conservative stand than in his private correspondence, in his personal notes or in his published works.

    In a letter to Herz, written towards the end of 1773, Kant announces a detailed plan for his own work: he intends to write a treatise on “transcendental philosophy,” which would be a Critique of Pure Reason; afterwards, he intends to publish a Metaphysics, which would be divided into a Metaphysics of Nature and a Metaphysics of Morals. The last one would appear first. (5)

    Towards the end of the decade, in his lectures on Philosophical Encyclopaedia (1777-1780), (6) Kant expounds his new notion of ethics even in class. Practical philosophy should be divided, in his saying, into: (1) transcendental practical philosophy, dealing with the use of freedom in general; (2) practical rational philosophy viz. Metaphysics of Morals, dealing with the good use of freedom; (3) practical anthropology. (7) We need not consider (3) here, because this section clearly does not belong to pure philosophy. (8) As for (1), it is easy to identify it with that section or aspect of a Critique of Pure Reason which deals with the transcendental foundations of morality. (9) Therefore (2) corresponds to the Metaphysics of Morals properly.

    It is well known that in the section on Architectonic of the Critique of Pure Reason metaphysics is divided into Metaphysics of Nature and Metaphysics of Morals. But Kant felt the need of adding a few words of explanation for a denomination so unusual:

    The term ‘metaphysics,’ in its strict sense, is commonly reserved for the metaphysics of speculative reason. But as pure moral philosophy really forms part of this special branch of human and philosophical knowledge derived from pure reason, we shall retain for it the title ‘metaphysics’. (10)

    Still, in the Prolegomena (1783), Metaphysics and Morals lire mentioned separately. (11) But in a Reflection dated by Adickes in 1783-84, Metaphysics is divided again into Metaphysics of Nature and of Morals. (12) In the Metaphysik Volckmann (1784-85), Kant expands on this distinction. (13)

    In 1785, the publication of the Foundation of the Metaphysics of Morals lends a final official character to this denomination, referring to a science belonging to pure philosophy in as far as this is limited to particular objects of the understanding.(14) The need for a special Critique of Pure Practical Reason is also acknowledged. (15)

    The question, in fact, is settled from now on. In the later years, only after 1790, Morals is distinguished from Metaphysics in the division of the parts of a certain conception of philosophy in general, called “cosmopolitan,” which conception seems to have been unknown before, and which seems not to replace, but to flank, the older conception and division. (16) In fact, the established denomination reappears in the Metaphysics of Morals published in 1797. (pp. 236-240)

    (1) I. Kant, Gesammelte Schriften, Akademie-Ausgabe (Berlin und Leipzig), X (2nd edition), pp. 74, 56 and 97. Professor Norbert Hinske called my attention to the letter of 1768, and to another letter from Hamann to Herder of February 16, 1767, where Hamann states: “Kant arbeitet an einer Metaphysik der Moral” (J. G. Hamann, Briefwechsel, Wiesbaden 1956, Vol. II, p. 390); in another letter to Herder of August 28, 1768, Hamann writes: “Kantens Metaphysik der Moral hält mich in Erwartung” (ibid., p. 421).

    (2) Op. cit., XXIV, 1,1 pp. 31, 314.

    (3) Op. cit., XXVIII, 5,1, p. 173.

    (4) I. Kant, Eine Vorlesung Kants über Ethik, hrsg. v. P. Menzer (Berlin, 1924), p. 1.

    (5) Kant, Ges. Schr., X, p. 145.

    (6) For the correct datation, see my review of its edition, Filosofia, XIII (1962), pp. 511-514.

    (7) I. Kant, Vorlesungen über Enzyklopädie und Logik, Bd. I, Vorlesungen über Philosophische Enzyklopädie (Berlin, 1961), p. 38. (This edition of Kant’s lectures, although published by the Berlin Academy, is not a part of the Gesammelte Schriften. This edition was discontinued after Vol. 1.) Nevertheless, on p. 67, Moral and Metaphysik seem to be distinguished.

    (8) See ibid., p. 68.

    (9) It is well known that Kant realized the need to write a Critique of Practical Reason only after 1781. The Critique of Pure Reason was supposed, at least until 1785, to take care of the transcendental foundation of both the Metaphysics of Nature and the Metaphysics of Morals.

    (10) B. 870. I quote the Critique of Pure Reason using the pagination of the second edition (B). Where the second edition (1787) does not conform to the first, that will be pointed out. For translation into English, I follow N. Kemp Smith.

    (11) Kant, Ges. Schr., IV, p. 363 (§60).

    (12) Op. cit., XVIII, pp. 284-85 (Refl. #5644).

    (13) Op. cit., XXVIII, 5,1, p. 364. On p. 362 a justification of sorts is given for the presence of metaphysics in ethics; but it cannot serve our purpose because, according to this justification, metaphysics is present in all rational sciences, including mathematics (p. 363).

    (14) Op. cit., IV, p. 388. Kant adds: “Auf solche Weise entspringt die Idee einer zweifachen Metaphysik, einer Metaphysik der Natur und einer Metaphysik der Sitten” (ibid.). But what precedes hardly can be considered a clear explanation of this conclusion.

    (15) Loc. cit., p. 391.

    (16) The first appearance of this doctrine which can be dated with certitude is that in the Metaphysik L2 of 1790-91 (op. cit., XXVIII, 5, 2,1, pp. 532-33). The same notion of “cosmopolitan” philosophy reappears in the Wiener Logik of 1794-96 (op. cit., XXIV, I, 2, pp. 798-99), but there is no division. This leads me to think that the section of the Logik J'dsche expounding the same doctrine, and giving the same division (op. cit., IX, pp. 24-25), derives from the Kollegheft of 1790 which, along with another from 1782, was used by Jäsche to compile his text.

  13. ———. 1974. "Pierre-Jacques Changeux and Scepticism in the French Enlightenment." Studia leibnitiana no. 55:106-126.

    Reprinted in Scepticism in the Enlightenment (1997), pp. 51-68.

    "In the year 1767 Pierre-Jacques Changeux published a work entitled Traité des Extremes, ou des éléments de la science de la réalité (Amsterdam, 2 vol.). In the “Avertissement” the author states that his work had been undertaken at first as an article commissioned by the Encyclopédie, but that it had expanded so much that it had not been finished in time (I, p. V). In fact, the volume of the Encyclopédie with the letter R had been published in 1765, and included an article “Réalité” which was completely insignificant, which had nothing to do with Changeux’s ideas.

    A summary of Changeux’s books by Vallet was published in the Encyclopédie d’Yverdon, (1) under the heading of "Extrèmes" (vol. XVIII, 1772). At the end of the article more about Changeux’s work was promised in an article “Réalité”, but this article never was published (it should have appeared in vol. XXXVI, 1774). We do not know the reason for this omission, but it is quite possible that the dangerous character of Changeux’s work had been noticed in the meanwhile, and that timid de Felice had preferred to suppress that article.

    Vallet’s article was reproduced in the Supplément of Diderot’s Encyclopédie (Paris-Amsterdam 1776-77), and incorporated in the later editions of the Encyclopédie; but the new article “Réalité”, still promised in Vallet’s article did not appear." (pp. 106-107).


    "In my opinion, Changeux's main work deserves some attention for two reasons. The first, and the most peculiar, is his notion of the "Ex trèmes"; the second is the fact that he is a rather typical (and comparatively late) representative of that major sceptical trend in French XVIIIth Century philosophy whose importance has been hitherto almost entirely ignored. Changeux's most peculiar thesis is that everything man is, or man can know, lies in the middle of two extremes, which are an infinity of magnitude and an infinity of smallness. All things, or their qualities, are extremes, in as far as they are extended or diminished as much as the imagination allows it (I, 1). The extremes are nothing but words expressing relationships (I. vi). In the present constitution of man, the extremes meet each other, without merging: and reality lies in the middle (I, vi, 8). The extremes are not only terms connected with relationships: they are relative to the different minds thinking them. They also correspond to infinity as applied to all kinds of knowledge - but infinity is conceived differently by the different men (I, vi, viii). The extremes do not contradict each other (I, 3-4): in fact, the universe subsists through an opposition of contraries (I, 9). The middle point (milieu) is the highest degree of reality (I, 14), although this middle point is not the same for all men (I, 17); there are infinite middle points which are only apparent (I, 18)." (p. 108)


    "I will consider now the second basic aspect of Changeux's work, i.e., its scepticism, whose importance can be assessed only in connection with the general development of this school of thought in XVIIIth Century France. The only survey of Enlightenment scepticism we have is a well known article by R. H. Popkin (12), which provides a broad frame of reference, but which neglects many details. Using some research recently produced by other scholars, and adding some elements of my own, I will try to draw a very summary picture of XVIIIth Century French scepticism prior to Changeux. It will appear that scepticism was much more largely diffused in France in that time than it has been hitherto realized: so much, that it is probably justified to consider it as the methodological trend by far dominating in that area. In comparison, German contemporary scepticism was an extremely limited phenomenon (13); as for British scepticism, although it was represented by high ranking personal- ities such as Hume and Bolingbroke, it does not seem to have mastered many other adepts (14)." (pp. 110-111)

    (1) B. De Felice, Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire universal raisonné des connaissances humaines, 42 vol. Yverdon 1770-1775.

    (12) R. H. Popkin, Scepticism in the Enlightenment, in: Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, XXVI, 1963, pp. 1321 ff.

    (13) See my essay, Kant und die antiken Skeptiker, in: Studien zu Kant's philosophischer Entwicklung, hrsg. v. H. Heimsoeth, Hildesheim 1967, p. 109 (and footnotes referred to it).

    (14) I must remark for the sake of objectivity that my search of the British philosophy of that time was not as extensive by far as that of French and German philosophy, and so this side of the picture is not yet quite clear in my mind. But I suspect that a further inquiry would not significantly change the present perspective.

  14. ———. 1974. "Lumières - Aufklärung: A Note on Semantics." Studi internazionali di filosofia no. 6:166-169.

    "There are few periods in the intellectual history of the weslern world which were hypostatized more than the one called « Enlightenment ». Considering this era as a whole determined in time (1700 to 1800?) and in space (Central and Western Europe?) is an historical device whose use certainly was expedient in E. Cassirer’s and P. Hazard’s time, hut which is quite inadequate now (1). It is very encouraging to notice that some of the best research workers are moving towards a more intensive, and less extensive inquiry in this field: such are for example Norbert Hinske and Frieder Lötzsch (2).

    But, to begin with, it is necessary to establish when the terms of « Lumières », « Aufklärung » (and their synonyms) appeared, and what they meant at that time. The general historical problems connected with « light » as a metaphor for « knowledge » were pointed at e.g., by H. Blumenberg almost two decades ago (3). But it is only recently that some precise answers to this question were given, not in general, but exactly in connection with the period in question: F. Schalk and R. Mortier provided the outline of a solid background for the French « Lumières » (4). Schalk’s and Mortier’s papers are extremely interesting and instructive: still, I think that another dimension of the problem should be explored (both for «Lumières» and «Aufklärung»): the connection between « light of nature » and « right reason », « universal reason », « good sense » and « common sense », expressions which were synonyms for centuries. Inquiring into this side of the question could possibly clarify the need for a further inquiry into the connection between what is traditionally called « Enlightenment » and what is called « Common Sense Philosophy »; a connection which would probably prove not to be entirely accidental (5).

    Another obvious direction of expansion of the problem is the exploration of the connections between « lumières », « Aufklärung », and « The Age of Reason », « le siècle philosophique », « das kritische Jahrhundert », and other denominations of that era, in order to establish in how far they simply overlap, and in how far they reveal different aspects of that very complex phenomenon.

    As for the German « Aufklärung », apart from the data offered also on this theme by Schalk in the paper mentioned above, some interesting elements are provided by Th. Mahlmann (6), and an even more thorough and important investigation was produced by Horst Stuke, in his article « Aufklärung », in Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe (7).

    It is my intention to list here a few elements which might tentatively prove to be useful for gaining a more detailed view of the problems involved." (p. 166)

    (1) I present the reason for my misgivings about the protracted use of this approach in my article: « The Weakness of Reason in the Age of Enlightenment »), Diderot Studies, 1971, and in: « La philosophie allemande de Leibniz a Kant », in Histoire de la Philosophie, vol. II, ed. by Y. Belaval, Paris 1973.

    (2) Was ist Aufklärung? Beiträge aus der Berlinischen Monatsschrift. In Zusammenarbeit mit M. Albrect ausgewählt, eingeleitet ... von Norbert Hinske; F. Lötzsch, « Zur Genealogie der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung?: Mendelssohn, Kant und die Neologie », in: Theokratia, 11, 1970-1972. See also: Aufklärung (Volk und Wissen, volkseigener Verlag), Berlin 1971.

    (3) H. Blumenberg, « Licht als Metapher der Wahrheit », Studium Generale, X, 1957.

    (4) F. Schalk, « Zur Semantik von Aufklärung in Frankreich », Festschrift W. v. Wartburg zum 80. Geburtstag, hrsg. v. K. Baldinger, Tübingen 1968, vol. I; R. Mortier, « Lumière et lumières. Histoire d'une image et d'une idée », in: R. Mortier, Clartés et ombres du siècle des Lumières, Genève 1969.

    (5) I will provide an outline of the history of this question in my article « Gesunder Verstand - Gesunde Vernunft », to be published in the Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie, hrsg. v. J. Ritter, Basel-Stuttgart. This article will offer further reference to studies in this field.

    (6) In his article in the Historisches Wörterbuch, cit., vol. I, 1971, pp. 633-634, s.v. « Aufklärung ».

    (7) Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe. Historisches Lexikon zur politisch-sozialen Sprache in Deutschland, hrsg. v. O. Brunner, W. Conze, R. Kosellek, vol. I, Stuttgart 1971, p. 243ff. Stuke promises to produce a monograph entirely devoted to this subject.

  15. ———. 1974. "More About General Subject Indexes." Studi internazionali di filosofia no. 5:185-186.

    "In the last issue of this yearbook I published « A Contribution to the Bibliography of General Subject Indexes », dealing with works other than those studied by Archer Taylor in his book General Subject - Indexes since 1548, Philadelphia 1966.

    The following are new additions to the same, according to the same criteria, collected by me during the last year, in particular at the Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris). I saw the works followed by the acrostic BN at the Bibliothèque Nationale." (p. 186)