In the sixth and fifth centuries B.C. a new kind of thinker appeared in Greek city-states, dedicated to finding the origins of the world and everything in it, using observation and reason rather than tradition and myth. We call these thinkers Pre-socratic philosophers, and recognize them as the first philosophers of the Western tradition, as well as the originators of scientific thinking.
In this handbook twenty-six leading scholars survey the development of philosophy between the middle of the sixteenth century and the early eighteenth century. The five parts of the book cover metaphysics and natural philosophy; the mind, the passions, and aesthetics; epistemology, logic, mathematics, and language; ethics and political philosophy; and religion.
The philosophy of the social sciences considers the underlying explanatory powers of the social (or human) sciences, such as history, economics, anthropology, politics, and sociology. The type of questions covered includes the methodological (the nature of observations, laws, theories, and explanations) to the ontological - whether or not these sciences can explain human nature in a way consistent with common-sense beliefs.