The essays in this collection have been written for Gerd Buchdahl, by colleagues, students and friends, and are self-standing pieces of original research which have as their main concern the metaphysics and philosophy of science of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They focus on issues about the development of philosophical and scientific thought which are raised by or in the work of such as Bernoulli, Descartes, Galileo, Kant, Leibniz, Maclaurin, Priestly, Schelling, Vico. Apart from the initial bio-bibliographical piece and those by Robert Butts and Michael Power, they do not discuss Buchdahl or his ideas in any systematic, lengthy, or detailed way. But they are collected under a title which alludes to the book, Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science: The Classical Origins, Descartes to Kant (1969), which is central in the corpus of his work, and deal with the period and some of the topics with which that book deals.
Gerd Buchdahl: Biographical and Bibliographical.- Gerd Buchdahl: A Tribute.- Nature and Science in the Renaissance.- Galileo and the Jesuits.- Descartes and the Rosicrucian Enlightenment.- Descartes' Conception of Inference.- The Demarcation between Metaphysics and Other Disciplines in the Thought of Leibniz.- Leibniz and Occasionalism.- Vico's Heroic Metaphor.- Dynamics and Intelligibility: Bernoulli and MacLaurin.- Sensible and Intelligible Worlds in Leibniz and Kant.- Transcendental Reasoning and the Indeterminacy of the Human Point of View.- Buchdahl and Rorty on Kant and the History of Philosophy.- The Early Reception of Kant's Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science.- The Enlightenment and the Chemical Revolution.- The Significance of Schelling's "Epoch of a Wholly New Natural History": An Essay on the Realization of Questions.- Notes on the Contributors.