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The volumes of the series Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca et Byzantina. Sources and Studies, will present and interpret Greek textual sources on the transmission and reception of Aristotle from late antiquity to the Byzantine middle ages and the Renaissance era applying philological, historical, and exegetical methods. Hyperlink to Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca et Byzantina. Series academica: https://www.degruyter.com/view/serial/CAGBSA-B
"This book is nothing less than the definitive study of a text long considered central to understanding the Renaissance and its place in Western culture." -James Hankins, Harvard University Pico della Mirandola died in 1494 at the age of thirty-one. During his brief and extraordinary life, he invented Christian Kabbalah in a book that was banned by the Catholic Church after he offered to debate his ideas on religion and philosophy with anyone who challenged him. Today he is best known for a short speech, the Oration on the Dignity of Man, written in 1486 but never delivered. Sometimes called a "Manifesto of the Renaissance," this text has been regarded as the foundation of humanism and a triumph of secular rationality over medieval mysticism. Brian Copenhaver upends our understanding of Pico's masterwork by re-examining this key document of modernity. An eminent historian of philosophy, Copenhaver shows that the Oration is not about human dignity. In fact, Pico never wrote an Oration on the Dignity of Man and never heard of that title. Instead he promoted ascetic mysticism, insisting that Christians need help from Jews to find the path to heaven-a journey whose final stages are magic and Kabbalah. Through a rigorous philological reading of this much-studied text, Copenhaver transforms the history of the idea of dignity and reveals how Pico came to be misunderstood over the course of five centuries. Magic and the Dignity of Man is a seismic shift in the study of one of the most remarkable thinkers of the Renaissance.
"The Platonic Theology" is a visionary work and the philosophical masterpiece of Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499), the Florentine scholar-philosopher-magus who was largely responsible for the Renaissance revival of Plato. A student of the Neoplatonic schools of Plotinus and Proclus, he was committed to reconciling Platonism with Christianity, in the hope that such a reconciliation would initiate a spiritual revival and return of the golden age. His Platonic evangelizing was eminently successful and widely influential, and his "Platonic Theology," translated into English for the first time in this edition, is one of the keys to understanding the art, thought, culture, and spirituality of the Renaissance.This is the fourth of a projected six volumes.
The History and Philosophy of Science: A Reader brings together seminal texts from antiquity to the end of the nineteenth century and makes them accessible in one volume for the first time. With readings from Aristotle, Aquinas, Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Lavoisier, Linnaeus, Darwin, Faraday, and Maxwell, it analyses and discusses major classical, medieval and modern texts and figures from the natural sciences. Grouped by topic to clarify the development of methods and disciplines and the unification of theories, each section includes an introduction, suggestions for further reading and end-of-section discussion questions, allowing students to develop the skills needed to: read, interpret, and critically engage with central problems and ideas from the history and philosophy of science understand and evaluate scientific material found in a wide variety of professional and popular settings appreciate the social and cultural context in which scientific ideas emerge identify the roles that mathematics plays in scientific inquiry Featuring primary sources in all the core scientific fields - astronomy, physics, chemistry, and the life sciences - The History and Philosophy of Science: A Reader is ideal for students looking to better understand the origins of natural science and the questions asked throughout its history. By taking a thematic approach to introduce influential assumptions, methods and answers, this reader illustrates the implications of an impressive range of values and ideas across the history and philosophy of Western science.
This compact collection of philosophical texts from the Summa Theologica --on God, creation, the soul, human acts, moral good and evil, love, habits, virtue, and law--is presented newly translated in abridged form and cast in a modified version of the medieval quaestio . Included are only the most important objections and Aquinas' replies; appeals to scriptural, theological, and philosophical authorities have been omitted. Unlike the ordering of the originals, questions and answers are here presented prior to objections and replies; the result is a sharp, rich, topically organized question-answer presentation of Aquinas' major philosophical arguments within a brief compass. A general Introduction, headnotes, a glossary, an index, and a select bibliography offer expert guidance to the work of this major philosopher.
Too often the study of philosophical texts is carried out in ways that do not pay significant attention to how the ideas contained within them are presented, articulated, and developed. This was not always the case. The contributors to this collected work consider Jewish philosophy in the medieval period, when new genres and forms of written expression were flourishing in the wake of renewed interest in ancient philosophy. Many medieval Jewish philosophers were highly accomplished poets, for example, and made conscious efforts to write in a poetic style. This volume turns attention to the connections that medieval Jewish thinkers made between the literary, the exegetical, the philosophical, and the mystical to shed light on the creativity and diversity of medieval thought. As they broaden the scope of what counts as medieval Jewish philosophy, the essays collected here consider questions about how an argument is formed, how text is put into the service of philosophy, and the social and intellectual environment in which philosophical texts were produced.
Avicenna (Ibn Sina) greatly influenced later medieval thinking about the earth and the cosmos, not only in his own civilization, but also in Hebrew and Latin cultures. The studies presented in this volume discuss the reception of prominent theories by Avicenna from the early 11th century onwards by thinkers like Averroes, Fahraddin ar-Razi, Samuel ibn Tibbon or Albertus Magnus. Among the topics which receive particular attention are the definition and existence of motion and time. Other important topics are covered too, such as Avicenna's theories of vacuum, causality, elements, substantial change, minerals, floods and mountains. It emerges, among other things, that Avicenna inherited to the discussion an acute sense for the epistemological status of natural science and for the mental and concrete existence of its objects. The volume also addresses the philological and historical circumstances of the textual tradition and sheds light on the translators Dominicus Gundisalvi, Avendauth and Alfred of Sareshel in particular. The articles of this volume are presented by scholars who convened in 2013 to discuss their research on the influence of Avicenna's physics and cosmology in the Villa Vigoni, Italy.
This new edition of An Aquinas Reader contains in one closely knit volume representative selections that reflect every aspect of Aquinas's philosophy. Divided into three section - Reality, God, and Man - this anthology offers an unrivaled perspective of the full scope and rich variety of Aquinas's thought. It provides the general reader with an overall survey of one of the most outstanding thinks or all time and reveals the major influence he has had on many of the world's greatest thinkers. This revised third edition of Clark's perennial still has all of the exceptional qualities that made An Aquinas Reader a classic, but contains a new introduction, improved format, and an updated bibliography.
While the great medieval philosopher, theologian, and physician Maimonides is acknowledged as a leading Jewish thinker, his intellectual contacts with his surrounding world are often described as related primarily to Islamic philosophy. "Maimonides in His World" challenges this view by revealing him to have wholeheartedly lived, breathed, and espoused the rich Mediterranean culture of his time.
Sarah Stroumsa argues that Maimonides is most accurately viewed as a Mediterranean thinker who consistently interpreted his own Jewish tradition in contemporary multicultural terms. Maimonides spent his entire life in the Mediterranean region, and the religious and philosophical traditions that fed his thought were those of the wider world in which he lived. Stroumsa demonstrates that he was deeply influenced not only by Islamic philosophy but by Islamic culture as a whole, evidence of which she finds in his philosophy as well as his correspondence and legal and scientific writings. She begins with a concise biography of Maimonides, then carefully examines key aspects of his thought, including his approach to religion and the complex world of theology and religious ideas he encountered among Jews, Christians, Muslims, and even heretics; his views about science; the immense and unacknowledged impact of the Almohads on his thought; and his vision of human perfection.
This insightful cultural biography restores Maimonides to his rightful place among medieval philosophers and affirms his central relevance to the study of medieval Islam.
A distinguished philosopher offers a novel account of experience and reason, and develops our understanding of conscious experience and its relationship to thought: a new reformed empiricism. The role of experience in cognition is a central and ancient philosophical concern. How, theorists ask, can our private experiences guide us to knowledge of a mind-independent reality? Exploring topics in logic, philosophy of mind, and epistemology, Conscious Experience proposes a new answer to this age-old question, explaining how conscious experience contributes to the rationality and content of empirical beliefs. According to Anil Gupta, this contribution cannot be determined independently of an agent's conceptual scheme and prior beliefs, but that doesn't mean it is entirely mind-dependent. While the rational contribution of an experience is not propositional-it does not, for example, provide direct knowledge of the world-it does authorize certain transitions from prior views to new views. In short, the rational contribution of an experience yields a rule for revising views. Gupta shows that this account provides theoretical freedom: it allows the observer to radically reconceive the world in light of empirical findings. Simultaneously, it grants empirical reason significant power to constrain, forcing particular conceptions of self and world on the rational inquirer. These seemingly contrary virtues are reconciled through novel treatments of presentation, appearances, and ostensive definitions. Collectively, Gupta's arguments support an original theory: reformed empiricism. He abandons the idea that experience is a source of knowledge and justification. He also abandons the idea that concepts are derived from experience. But reformed empiricism preserves empiricism's central insight: experience is the supreme epistemic authority. In the resolution of factual disagreements, experience trumps all.
Analyzing Shakespeare's views on theatre and magic and John Dee's concerns with philosophy and magic in the light of the Italian version of philosophia perennis (mainly Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola and Giordano Bruno), this book offers a new perspective on the Italian-English cultural dialogue at the Renaissance and its contribution to intellectual history. In an interdisciplinary and intercultural approach, it investigates the structural commonalities of theatre and magic as contiguous to the foundational concepts of perennial philosophy, and explores the idea that the Italian thinkers informed not only natural philosophy and experimentation in England, but also Shakespeare's theatre. The first full length project to consider Shakespeare and John Dee in juxtaposition, this study brings textual and contextual evidence that Gonzalo, an honest old Counsellor in The Tempest, is a plausible theatrical representation of John Dee. At the same time, it places John Dee in the tradition of the philosophia perennis-accounting for what appears to the modern scholar the conflicting nature of his faith and his scientific mind, his powerful fantasy and his need for order and rigor-and clarifies Edward Kelly's role and creative participation in the scrying sessions, regarding him as co-author of the dramatic episodes reported in Dee's spiritual diaries. Finally, it connects the Enochian/Angelic language to the myth of the Adamic language at the core of Italian philosophy and brings evidence that the Enochian is an artificial language originated by applying creatively the analytical instruments of text hermeneutics used in the Cabala.
Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy showcases the best scholarly research in this flourishing field. The series covers all aspects of medieval philosophy, including the Latin, Arabic, and Hebrew traditions, and runs from the end of antiquity into the Renaissance. It publishes new work by leading scholars in the field, and combines historical scholarship with philosophical acuteness. The papers will address a wide range of topics, from political philosophy to ethics, and logic to metaphysics. OSMP is an essential resource for anyone working in the area.
This monograph details a new solution to an old problem of metaphysics. It presents an improved version of Ostrich Nominalism to solve the Problem of Universals. This innovative approach allows one to resolve the different formulations of the Problem, which represents an important meta-metaphysical achievement.In order to accomplish this ambitious task, the author appeals to the notion and logic of ontological grounding. Instead of defending Quine's original principle of ontological commitment, he proposes the principle of grounded ontological commitment. This represents an entirely new application of grounding. Some metaphysicians regard Ostrich Nominalism as a rejection of the problem rather than a proper solution to it. To counter this, the author presents solutions for each of the formulations. These include: the problem of predication, the problem of abstract reference, and the One Over Many as well as the Many Over One and the Similar but Different variants. This book will appeal to anyone interested in contemporary metaphysics. It will also serve as an ideal resource to scholars working on the history of philosophy. Many will recognize in the solution insights resembling those of traditional philosophers, especially of the Middle Ages.
'Montaigne is one of the great sages of that modern world which in a sense began with the Renaissance. He is the bridge linking the thought of pagan antiquity and of Christian antiquity with our own.' In 1572 Montaigne retired from public life and began the reading and writing which were to develop into 'assays' of his thoughts and opinions. Nobody in Western civilization had ever tried to do what Montaigne set out to do. In a vivid, contemporary style he surprises us with entertaining quotations; he moves swiftly from thought to thought, often digressing from an idea only to return to it triumphantly, having caught up with it elsewhere, and in so doing leads the reader along the criss-cross paths of a journey of discovery. Montaigne set out to discover himself. What he discovered instead was the human race.
Giovanni Pontano, who adopted the academic sobriquet "Gioviano," was prime minister to several kings of Naples and the most important Neapolitan humanist of the quattrocento. Best known today as a Latin poet, he also composed dialogues depicting the intellectual life of the humanist academy of which he was the head, and, late in life, a number of moral essays that became his most popular prose works. The De sermone (On Speech), translated into English here for the first time, aims to provide a moral anatomy, following Aristotelian principles, of various aspects of speech such as truthfulness and deception, flattery, gossip, loquacity, calumny, mercantile bargaining, irony, wit, and ridicule. In each type of speech, Pontano tries to identify what should count as the virtuous mean, that which identifies the speaker as a person of education, taste, and moral probity.
Lorenzo Valla (1407-1457) was the most important theorist of the humanist movement. He wrote a major work on Latin style, "On Elegance in the Latin Language," which became a battle-standard in the struggle for the reform of Latin across Europe, and "Dialectical Disputations," a wide-ranging attack on scholastic logic. His most famous work is "On the Donation of Constantine," an oration in which Valla uses new philological methods to attack the authenticity of the most important document justifying the papacy's claims to temporal rule. It appears here in a new translation with introduction and notes by G. W. Bowersock, based on the critical text of Wolfram Setz (1976). This volume also includes a text and translation of the "Constitutum Constantini," commonly known as the "Donation of Constantine."
This volume and its companions contain the first English translation of the letters written by the philosopher-priest who helped to shape the changes that we associate with the Renaissance. The letters in this eleventh volume cover the period from autumn 1492 to the spring of 1495, when they appeared in print. A few related or later items are included in an Appendix. A twelfth volume will bring the series to completion with nine distinctive treatises which Ficino gathered into a separate volume in 1476 but later re-included in his Letters as Book II. In the 1490s, Ficino was occupied with the political upheavals in Florence, and much of his effort was concentrated on trying to bring people back into dialogue with one another, in the hope of finding a more constructive outlook. Many of the letters in this book are covering letters to accompany copies of his work On the Sun, which considers the sun in its many aspects, as a heavenly body, a physical life force, a source of inspiration and an allegorical representation of the governing power in the universe. Other important letters include advice on coping with the evils of the time, the responsibilities and privileges of the philosopher, a reiteration of the importance of love, and further reflections on the theme of light. We note the increasing presence of friends in German lands, where several of his works were now being published. He also writes to friends in the French court. One unusual letter tackles a religious question: Ficino was moved to intervene in an argument on the degree to which the Platonic philosophers of old anticipated aspects of the Christian Trinity. While it would be comforting to find such agreement, Ficino says there is none in Plato, though some of the later Platonists offer confirmation of Christian doctrines in their writings. Another controversy relates to the status of astrology, for which Ficino claims only a modest place despite his own writings on the subject. In a related letter on Providence he again returns to the evils the city is experiencing and how these might best be met. Facing one of those evils head on, Ficino composed an address to the French King whose armies were threatening Florence. It is not known whether this address was delivered delivered in the presence of the king during the meeting which Ficino and others attended, but it lies on record as a genuine attempt to resolve hostilities. The illustration on the front of the jacket is from a manuscript of the earliest version of Ficino's work On the Sun, written in 1492 for Count Eberhard of Wurttemberg. It is reproduced with kind permission of the Wurttembergische Landesbibliothek, Stuttgart (HB XV 65,fol.7r). A translation of this early version is included in the Appendix.
This new introduction replaces Marenbon's best-selling editions Early Medieval Philosophy (1983) and Later Medieval Philosophy (1987) to present a single authoritative and comprehensive study of the period. It gives a lucid and engaging account of the history of philosophy in the Middle Ages, discussing the main writers and ideas, the social and intellectual contexts, and the important concepts used in medieval philosophy. Medieval Philosophy gives a chronological account which: treats all four main traditions of philosophy that stem from the Greek heritage of late antiquity: Greek Christian philosophy, Latin philosophy, Arabic philosophy and Jewish philosophy provides a series of 'study' sections for close attention to arguments and shorter 'interludes' that point to the wider questions of the intellectual context combines philosophical analysis with historical background includes a helpful detailed guide to further reading and an extensive bibliography All students of medieval philosophy, medieval history, theology or religion will find this necessary reading.
Natural theology is that branch of philosophy that investigates what human reason, unaided by revelation, can tell us concerning God. The end at which it aims is to demonstrate the existence of God, to establish the principal divine attributes, to vindicate God's relation to the world as that of the Creator to the creature, and, finally, to throw what light it can on the action of divine providence in regard to man and on the problem of evil.
Critically engaging the thought of Heidegger, Gadamer, and others,
William Franke contributes both to the criticism of Dante's "Divine
Comedy" and to the theory of interpretation.
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