X—Epistemology Past and Present



I draw attention to certain differences between how seventeenth-century philosophers thought about knowledge and how contemporary philosophers think about it. These differences do not strike me as particularly subtle; they are gross enough that we might wonder about the extent to which seventeenthth-century philosophers and modern philosophers are interested in the same thing. We might also wonder about the extent to which it is helpful to apply the same label—say, ‘epistemology’—to both sets of interests. I think, for example, one might reasonably raise the question, Is there any epistemology, in our sense of the term, in Spinoza or Leibniz?