Lewis Powell: “Style vs. Substance in Early Modern Philosophy”

Lewis Powell.

Lewis Powell

Scholars@Hallwalls presented by the UB Humanities Institute.

February 10, 2023
Friday, 4:00 to 6:00 pm ET
341 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14202

Abstract: John Locke called figurative language and the art of rhetoric an abuse of language used “for nothing else but to insinuate wrong ideas, move the passions, and thereby mislead the judgment”.  Meanwhile, the 17th and 18th centuries were a flourishing time for a huge variety of philosophical styles: dialogues, poems, plays, epistles, and so on.  Locke’s vision of proper philosophical style has largely won out.  In this presentation, Powell explores some philosophical conflicts surrounding allegedly clear and plain-meaning writing in opposition to more literary/rhetorical forms. Profile.

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