I’m aware of the irony of writing about rejection just last night. And it’s true – I got two rejections yesterday. But I also was notified that a new paper of mine is finally out in the world via Intellectual History Review.
Walter Charleton, Wellbeing and the Cartesian Passions
Walter Charleton is an often-overlooked figure in the history of seventeenth-century philosophy, frequently thought of as a mere conduit for the ideas of others, rather than a significant thinker in his own right. As a self-described “eclectic,” Charleton saw himself as avoiding dogmatism by selecting the best ideas from his sources and fitting them together into a new, coherent system. Here I argue his method allowed him to innovate on his sources, and led to attempts at overcoming the limitations of the systems he drew on. My focus is Charleton’s Natural History of the Passions (1674) and what it takes from René Descartes’s Passions of the Soul (1650). There are two benefits to this analysis. First, it will help contextualise Charleton’s work and defend him against the accusation of lacking originality. Second, it will further our understanding of a hitherto understudied facet of Descartes’s influence in early modern England.