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This analysis of the human need to persuade offers a new, creative, application of Aristotelian essentialism to human discourse. Using Thomas Aquinas's adaptation of essentialism as a starting point, Jeffrey J. Maciejewski argues that persuasion is natural to human beings and that it possesses dispositional properties that bring about stages of human action that ultimately harmonize the operations of the mind in addition to harmonizing human relationships. Aquinas's philosophy of human nature is reviewed and re-examined in order to discover why it is that humans need to persuade themselves and each other. The book should be of considerable interest to scholars of human nature, Thomist philosophy, and those interested in the history of rhetoric and rhetorical theory.
The enigmatic sixteenth-century Swiss physician and natural philosopher Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, called Paracelsus, is known for the almost superhuman energy with which he produced his innumerable writings, for his remarkable achievements in the development of science, and for his reputation as a visionary (not to mention sorcerer) and alchemist. Little is known of his biography beyond his legendary achievements, and the details of his life have been filled in over the centuries by his admirers. This richly illustrated anthology presents in modernized language a selection of the moral thought of a man who was not only a self-willed genius charged with the dynamism of an impetuous and turbulent age but also in many ways a humble seeker after truth, who deeply influenced C. G. Jung and his followers.
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 book provides a comprehensive overview of the key themes in Greek and Roman science, medicine, mathematics and technology. A distinguished team of specialists engage with topics including the role of observation and experiment, Presocratic natural philosophy, ancient creationism, and the special style of ancient Greek mathematical texts, while several chapters confront key questions in the philosophy of science such as the relationship between evidence and explanation. The volume will spark renewed discussion about the character of 'ancient' versus 'modern' science, and will broaden readers' understanding of the rich traditions of ancient Greco-Roman natural philosophy, science, medicine and mathematics.
The Old English Boethius boldly refashions in Anglo-Saxon guise a great literary monument of the late-antique world, The Consolation of Philosophy. Condemned to death for treason around 525 ce, the Roman scholar Boethius turned to philosophy to transform his personal distress into a powerful meditation on fate, free will, and the human capacity for virtue in a flawed, fallen world. Boethius's Latin dialogues found a receptive audience in Anglo-Saxon England, where they were translated into Old English some time around 900. The translator (traditionally identified with King Alfred) freely adapts the Latin for a new audience: the Roman Fabricius, for example, becomes the Germanic weapon-smith Weland. The translation replicates Boethius's alternation of prose and verse-only in this case Old English prose alternates with alliterative verse. In later centuries Chaucer and Queen Elizabeth each turned The Consolation of Philosophy into English, but the Old English translation was the first to bring it to a wider vernacular audience. Verse prologues and epilogues for works traditionally associated with King Alfred fill out the volume, offering readers a fascinating glimpse of the moment when English confidently claimed its birthright as a literature capable of anything, from sublime ideas to subtle poetry.
The book called The Consolation of Philosophy was throughout the Middle Ages, and down to the beginnings of the modern epoch in the sixteenth century, the scholars familiar companion. Few books have exercised a wider influence in their time. It has been translated into every European tongue, and into English nearly a dozen times, from King Alfreds paraphrase to the translations of Lord Preston, Causton, Ridpath, and Duncan, in the eighteenth century.
The soul-body problem was among the most controversial issues discussed in thirteenth-century Europe, and it continues to capture much attention today as the quest to understand human identity becomes more and more urgent. What made the discussion about this problem particularly interesting in the scholastic period was the tension between the traditional dualist doctrines and a growing need to affirm the unity of the human being. This debate is frequently interpreted as a conflict between the "new" philosophy, conveyed by the rediscovered works of Aristotle and his followers, and doctrinal requirements, especially the belief in the soul's immortality. However, a thorough examination of Parisian texts, written between approximately 1150 and 1260, leads to surprising conclusions.
In The Soul-Body Problem at Paris, ca. 1200 1250, the study and edition of some little-known texts of Hugh of St-Cher and his contemporaries, ranging from Gilbert of Poitiers to Thomas Aquinas, reveals an extremely rich and colorful picture of the Parisian anthropological debate of the time. This book also offers an opportunity to reconsider some received views concerning medieval philosophy, such as the conviction that the notion of "person" did not play any major role in the anthropological controversies."
Drawing on Arabic passages from Ibn Gabirol's original Fons Vitae text, and highlighting philosophical insights from his Hebrew poetry, Sarah Pessin develops a 'theology of desire' at the heart of Ibn Gabirol's eleventh-century cosmo-ontology. She challenges centuries of received scholarship on his work, including his so-called Doctrine of Divine Will. Pessin rejects voluntarist readings of the Fons Vitae as opposing divine emanation. She also emphasizes pseudo-Empedoclean notions of 'divine desire' and 'grounding element' alongside Ibn Gabirol's use of a particularly Neoplatonic method with apophatic (and what she terms 'doubly apophatic') implications. In this way, Pessin reads claims about matter and God as insights about love, desire, and the receptive, dependent and fragile nature of human beings. Pessin reenvisions the entire spirit of Ibn Gabirol's philosophy, moving us from a set of doctrines to a fluid inquiry into the nature of God and human being - and the bond between God and human being in desire.
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.
Celebrating the fortieth anniversary of this seminal book, this new edition includes an illuminating foreword by Carlos Eire and Ronald K. Rittges The seeds of the swift and sweeping religious movement that reshaped European thought in the 1500s were sown in the late Middle Ages. In this book, Steven Ozment traces the growth and dissemination of dissenting intellectual trends through three centuries to their explosive burgeoning in the Reformations-both Protestant and Catholic-of the sixteenth century. He elucidates with great clarity the complex philosophical and theological issues that inspired antagonistic schools, traditions, and movements from Aquinas to Calvin. This masterly synthesis of the intellectual and religious history of the period illuminates the impact of late medieval ideas on early modern society. With a new foreword by Carlos Eire and Ronald K. Rittgers, this modern classic is ripe for rediscovery by a new generation of students and scholars.
Born out of the political turmoil of the English Civil War, Leviathan stands out as one of the most influential political and philosophical texts of the seventeenth century. It argues for the restoration of the monarchy, in light of the Republic, and calls for a commonwealth ruled by an authoritative, autocratic figure with absolute sovereignty. This would put an end to all controversy, war and fear, and establish peace via social contract. Over the course of the book Hobbes targets Christianity and contemporary philosophic methods, rejecting the idea of spirits and souls, and arguing for a philosophy to end divisiveness and provide indisputable conclusions. These highly controversial theses led to book burnings in 1666 and Hobbes being dubbed the `Monster of Malmsbury'.
Reading Illegitimacy in Early Iberian Literature presents illegitimacy as a fluid, creative, and negotiable concept in early literature which challenges society's definition of what is acceptable. Through the medieval epic poems Cantar de Mio Cid and Mocedades de Rodrigo, the ballad tradition, Cervantes's Novelas ejemplares, and Lope de Vega's theatre, Geraldine Hazbun demonstrates that illegitimacy and legitimacy are interconnected and flexible categories defined in relation to marriage, sex, bodies, ethnicity, religion, lineage, and legacy. Both categories are subject to the uncertainties and freedoms of language and fiction and frequently constructed around axes of quantity and completeness. These literary texts, covering a range of illegitimate figures, some with an historical basis, demonstrate that truth, propriety, and standards of behaviour are not forged in the law code or the pulpit but in literature's fluid system of producing meaning.
Aquinas on Emotion's Participation in Reason aims to present Aquinas's answer to the perennial and now popular question: In what way can the emotions be rational? For Aquinas, the starting point of this inquiry is Aristotle's claim (EN. I. 13) that there are three parts to the soul: 1) the rational part, 2) the non-rational part which can participate in reason, and 3) the non-rational part that does not participate in reason. It is the extent to which the second part (the sense appetites, the seat of the emotions) participates in reason that the emotions can become rational. However, immediately after Aristotle introduces his tripartite division of the soul, he warns that one need not delve into the details of the division or the participation. Aquinas, however, ignores Aristotle, and uses his precise metaphysics of participation within in his sophisticated anthropology to great effect in his ethics. Unlike Aristotle, to fully understand Aquinas's thinking on how the emotions can become rational, we simply must delve into the kinds of precisions that Aristotle thinks are misplaced. When Aquinas's views emerge from these precisions, he has a surprisingly level-headed and commonsense view of how the emotions can become rational. On this point, he is more pessimistic than Aristotle and more optimistic than Kant; he is certainly not, as is he is often thought to be, the faithful follower of Aristotle and the polar opposite of Kant. Nicholas Kahm argue that Aquinas has a realistic and plausible view of how far reason can go in shaping our emotions. Furthermore, his plausible views can accommodate the serious current challenge raised against virtue ethics from social psychology. The method has mainly been a careful reading of primary texts, but unlike the rest of the scholarship on Aquinas's ethics, Kahm is particularly sensitive to Aquinas's historical and philosophical development.
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.
'It remains astonishingly radical ... one of Utopia's most striking aspects is its contemporaniety' Terry Eagleton In Utopia, Thomas More gives us a traveller's account of a newly-discovered island where the inhabitants enjoy a social order based on natural reason and justice, and human fulfilment is open to all. As the traveller describes the island, a bitter contrast is drawn between this rational society and the practices of Europe. How can the philosopher reform his society? In his discussion, More takes up a question first raised by Plato and which is still a challenge in the contemporary world. In the history of political thought few works have been more influential than Utopia, and few more misunderstood. Translated and introduced by Dominic Baker-Smith
What connection is there between human rationality and happiness? This issue was uppermost in the minds of the Ancient Greek philosophers and continued to be of importance during the entire early medieval period. Starting with the Socrates of Plato's early dialogues, who is regarded as having initiated the eudaimonistic ethical tradition, the present volume looks at Plato, Aristotle, the Skeptics, Seneca (Stoicism), Epicurus, Plotinus (neo-Platonism), Augustine, Boethius, Anselm, and ends with Abelard, the final major figure in early medieval philosophy. Special efforts are made to reveal and trace the continuity and development of the views on rationality and happiness among these major thinkers within this period. The book's approach is historical, but the topics it treats are relevant to many discussions pursued in contemporary philosophical circles. Specifically, the book aims to make two major contributions to the ongoing development of virtue ethics. First, contemporary virtue ethics often draws distinctions between ancient Greek ethics and modern moral philosophy (mainly utilitarianism and Kantianism), and seeks to model ethics on ancient ethics. In doing so, however, contemporary virtue ethics often ignores the transition from Greek ethics to the early Latin medieval tradition. Second, contemporary virtue-based ethics, in its efforts to seek insights from ancient ethics, centers on virtue. In contrast, in ancient and medieval ethics, virtue is pursued for the sake of happiness (eudaimonia), and virtue is conceived as excellence of rationality. Hence, the relationship between rationality and happiness provides the framework for ethical inquiry within which the discussion of virtue takes place. Contributors: JULIA ANNAS, RICHARD BETT, JORGE J.E. GRACIA, BRAD INWOOD, WILLIAM MANN, JOHN MARENBON, GARETH B. MATTHEWS, MARK L. McPHERRAN, DONALD MORRISON, C.C.W. TAYLOR, JONATHAN SANFORD, JIYUAN YU. Jiyuan Yu is Assistant Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Jorge J. E. Gracia is Samuel P. Capen Chair and SUNY Distinguised Professor in the Departments of Philosophy and Comparative Literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Medieval Political Philosophy: A Sourcebook, edited by Ralph Lerner and Muhsin Mahdi, has been a classroom favorite since its publication in 1963. When it first appeared, it was the only anthology of medieval political philosophy to contain major texts from all three Western monotheistic traditions Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and that claim remains true today. This new edition of this classic text of political philosophy revised and enlarged by Joshua Parens and Joseph C. Macfarland will make accessible to today's students the insights of these profound medieval thinkers.
Prior to the modern separation of religion from politics, these medieval thinkers explored a variety of approaches to the relation between religion and politics approaches that prompted renewed interest in a world divided over how best to relate the two. For the authors gathered in this volume including Alfarabi, Alghazali, Averroes, Maimonides, Judah Halevi, Thomas Aquinas, Boethius of Dacia, and Dante Alighieri among many others there was a greater uniformity of general intention than at any other period. All of these authors studied the works of classical political philosophy and considered in a variety of ways the implications of this political thought for their contemporary situation in a monotheistic religious community."
This audacious collection of modern writings on Plato and the Law argues that Plato's work offers insights for resolving modern jurisprudential problems. Plato's dialogues, in this modern interpretation, reveal that knowledge of the functions of law, based upon intelligible principles, can be reformulated for relevance to our age. Leading interpreters of Plato: Vlastos, Hall, Strauss, Weinrib, Annas, and Morrow, are included in the collection. The editor supplies an insightful introduction and extensive bibiography to the collection.
This book describes how and why the early modern period witnessed the marginalisation of astrology in Western natural philosophy, and the re-adoption of the cosmological view of the existence of a plurality of worlds in the universe, allowing the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Founded in the mid-1990s, the discipline of astrobiology combines the search for extraterrestrial life with the study of terrestrial biology - especially its origins, its evolution and its presence in extreme environments. This book offers a history of astrobiology's attempts to understand the nature of life in a larger cosmological context. Specifically, it describes the shift of early modern cosmology from a paradigm of celestial influence to one of celestial inhabitation. Although these trends are regarded as consequences of Copernican cosmology, and hallmarks of a modern world view, they are usually addressed separately in the historical literature. Unlike others, this book takes a broad approach that examines the relationship of the two. From Influence to Inhabitation will benefit both historians of astrology and historians of the extraterrestrial life debate, an audience which includes researchers and advanced students studying the history and philosophy of astrobiology. It will also appeal to historians of natural philosophy, science, astronomy and theology in the early modern period.
The importance of Bessarion's contribution to the history of Byzantine and Renaissance philosophy and culture during the 15th century is beyond dispute. However, an adequate appreciation of his contribution still remains a desideratum of scholarly research. One serious impediment to scholarly progress is the fact that the critical edition of his main philosophical work "In Calumniatorem Platonis" is incomplete and that this work has not been translated in its entirety into any modern language yet. Same can be stated about several minor but equally important treatises on literary, theological and philosophical subjects. This makes editing, translating and interpreting his literary, religious and philosophical works a scholarly priority. Papers assembled in this volume highlight a number of philological, philosophical and historical aspects that are crucial to our understanding of Bessarion's role in the history of European civilization and to setting the directions of future research in this field.
In Debating the Stars, Ovanes Akopyan sheds new light on the astrological controversies that arose in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries after the publication of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola's Disputationes adversus astrologiam divinatricem (1496). This treatise has often been held responsible for a contemporary reassessment of the status of astrology, a discipline that attracted widespread fascination in the Renaissance. Akopyan's reconstruction of the development of Pico's views demonstrates that the Disputationes was a continuation of rather than a drastic rupture with the rest of his legacy. By investigating the philosophical and humanist foundations for Pico's attack on astrological predictions, Akopyan challenges the popular assumption that the treatise was written under Girolamo Savonarola's spell. He shows instead how it was appropriated ideologically by pro-Savonarolan circles after Pico's death. This book also offers a comprehensive study of the immediate reception of the Disputationes across Italy and Europe and reveals that the debates initiated by Pico's intervention pervaded all of the European intellectual oikumene.
Posthumous Life launches critical life studies: a mode of inquiry that neither endorses nor dismisses a wave of recent "turns" toward life, matter, vitality, inhumanity, animality, and the real. Questioning the nature and limits of life in the natural sciences, the essays in this volume examine the boundaries and significance of the human and the humanities in the wake of various redefinitions of what counts as life. They explore the possibility of theorizing life without assuming it to be either a simple substrate or an always-mediated effect of culture and difference. Posthumous Life provides new ways of thinking about animals, plants, humans, difference, sexuality, race, gender, identity, the earth, and the future.
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