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date: 31 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Although the concept “baroque” is less obviously applicable to philosophy than to the visual arts and music, early modern philosophy can be shown to have connections with baroque culture. Baroque style and rhetoric are employed or denounced in philosophical controversies, to license or discredit a certain style of philosophizing. Philosophers engage with themes current in baroque literature (the mad world, the world as a stage, the quest for the self) and occasionally transform these into philosophical problems, especially of an epistemological kind (are the senses reliable? how far is our access to reality limited by our perspective?) Finally, the philosophies of Malebranche and Berkeley, with their radical challenges to so-called common sense, and their explanation of conventional understandings of the world as based on illusion, have something of the disturbing quality of baroque art and architecture.

Keywords: baroque, rhetoric, imagination, self, mind and body, epistemology, perspective, skepticism, sense-perception, occasionalism

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