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Erasmus' Paraphrases on the New Testament provide a startling example of the adaptation of the Bible to the religious and rhetorical ideals of Renaissance humanism. Yet very little is known about the production and reception of the Paraphrases, which comprise nine volumes of the Collected Works of Erasmus in English. In this collection of twelve contributed essays, Hilmar Pabel and Mark Vessey aim to address this gap in Erasmus studies. The papers reflect recent critical scholarship in three main areas: Erasmus' promotion of the ideals of Renaissance humanism; his work as an editor, translator, and interpreter of the New Testament; and the impact of his published writings on the culture of early modern Europe. Holy Scripture Speaks represents the most concerted collective study of Erasmus' Paraphrases on the New Testament since the completion of the first English translation by scholars during the reign of Edward VI (1548/9). It reveals the rich complexity of the literary, theological, and cultural dimensions of the Paraphrases, and indicates future directions that research in this area should take.
In A Comparative Analysis of Cicero and Aquinas, Charles P. Nemeth investigates how, despite their differences, these two figures may be the most compatible brothers in ideas ever conceived in the theory of natural law. Looking to find common threads that run between the philosophies of these two great thinkers of the Classical and Medieval periods, this book aims to determine whether or not there exists a common ground whereby ethical debates and dilemmas can be evaluated. Does comparison between Cicero and Aquinas offer a new pathway for moral measure, based on defined and developed principles? Do they deliver certain moral and ethical principles for human life to which each agree? Instead of a polemical diatribe, comparison between Cicero and Aquinas may edify a method of compromise and afford a more or less restrictive series of judgements about ethical quandaries.
Volume 1 includes the whole of the First Part of the Summa Theologica. Pegis's revision and correction of the English Dominican Translation renders Aquinas' technical terminology consistently as it conveys the directness and simplicity of Aquinas' writing; the Introduction, notes, and index aim at giving the text its proper historical setting, and the reader the means of studying St. Thomas within that setting. Volume 2 includes substantial selections from the Second Part of the Summa Theologica and the Summa Contra Gentiles. Pegis's revision and correction of the English Dominican Translation renders Aquinas' technical terminology consistently as it conveys the directness and simplicity of Aquinas' writing; the Introduction, notes, and index aim at giving the text its proper historical setting, and the reader the means of studying St. Thomas within that setting.
Aristotle's highly influential work on the soul, entitled De anima, formed part of the core curriculum of medieval universities and was discussed intensively. It covers a range of topics in philosophical psychology, such as the relationship between mind and body and the nature of abstract thought. However, there is a key difference in scope between the so-called "science of the soul," based on Aristotle, and modern philosophical psychology.
This book starts from a basic premise accepted by all medieval commentators, namely that the science of the soul studies not just human beings but all living beings. As such, its methodology and approach must also apply to plants and animals. The Science of the Soul discusses how philosophers from Thomas Aquinas to Pierre d Ailly dealt with the difficult task of giving a unified account of life and traces the various stages in the transformation of the science of the soul between 1260 and 1360. The emerging picture is that of a gradual disruption of the unified approach to the soul, which will ultimately lead to the emergence of psychology as a separate discipline."
Metaphysics and Hermeneutics in the Medieval Platonic Tradition consists of twelve essays originally published between 2006 and 2015, dealing with main trends and specific figures within the medieval Platonic tradition. Three essays provide general surveys of the transmission of late ancient thought to the Middle Ages with emphasis on the ancient authors, the themes, and their medieval readers, respectively. The remaining essays deal especially with certain major figures in the Platonic tradition, including pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, Iohannes Scottus Eriugena, and Nicholas of Cusa. The principal conceptual aim of the collection is to establish the primacy of hermeneutics within the philosophical program developed by these authors: in other words, to argue that their philosophical activity, substantially albeit not exclusively, consists of the reading and evaluation of authoritative texts. The essays also argue that the role of hermeneutics varies in the course of the tradition between being a means towards the development of metaphysical theory and being an integral component of metaphysics itself. In addition, such changes in the status and application of hermeneutics to metaphysics are shown to be accompanied by a shift from emphasizing the connection between logic and philosophy to emphasizing that between rhetoric and philosophy. The collection of essays fills in a lacuna in the history of philosophy in general between the fifth and the fifteenth centuries. It also initiates a dialogue between the metaphysical hermeneutics of medieval Platonism and certain modern theories of hermeneutics, structuralism, and deconstruction. The book will be of special interest to students of the classical tradition in western thought, and more generally to students of medieval philosophy, theology, history, and literature.
The Summa contra gentiles is perhaps the most peculiar work of St. Thomas Aquinas, due to Thomas's decision to structure the work first according to what humans can say about God without revelation and then what humans can say about God once revelation is explicitly introduced. Such an approach to the human pursuit of the divine is otherwise unheard of in Thomas's own day, and this unusual structure has provided a fertile seedbed for a wide range of interpretations. Matthew Kostelecky's book shows the integral relationship between the conceptions of human nature and God operative throughout the Summa contra gentiles such that the text is always in a twofold movement, at once describing what humans can say about God while also reflecting human nature back on itself by delineating its limits and capabilities with respect to the possible human knowledge of God. As a result, the Summa contra gentiles is presented as a mirror of human nature as that nature is directed to its most noble object.
Abelard's major ethical writings--Ethics, or Know Yourself, and Dialogue between a Philosopher, a Jew and a Christian, are presented here in a student edition including cross-references, explanatory notes, a full table of references, bibliography, and index.
The main purpose of this book is to investigate, from the philosophical point of view, the concept of mind in some quickly developing fields of contemporary science, from physics and cosmology to biology and cognitive science. New scientific investigations have brought many empirical results that help to explain natural phenomena from quantum states to human thinking, yet the question of the nature of the mind itself is still open. In this book, the authors discuss several philosophical problems raised or reformulated by recent scientific discoveries. The authors use an interdisciplinary and holistic approach that bridges the gap between scientific and humanistic pictures of the mind.
Here are The Prince and the most important of the Discourses newly translated into spare, vivid English. Why a new translation? Machiavelli was never the dull, worthy, pedantic author who appears in the pages of other translations, says David Wootton in his Introduction. In the pages that follow I have done my best to let him speak in his own voice. (And indeed, Wootton's Machiavelli does just that when the occasion demands: renderings of that most problematic of words, virtu, are in each instance followed by the Italian). Notes, a map, and an altogether remarkable Introduction no less authoritative for being grippingly readable, help make this edition an ideal first encounter with Machiavelli for any student of history and political theory.
An entertaining illumination of the stupid beliefs that make us
2011 Reprint of 1961 Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. Fromm provides what was at the time a new and provocative view of Marx's humanism that challenged both Soviet distortion and Western ignorance of the basic philosophical underpinning of classical Marxism. Included is also a translation Marx's Philosophical Manuscripts.
"Machiavelli's Ethics" challenges the most entrenched understandings of Machiavelli, arguing that he was a moral and political philosopher who consistently favored the rule of law over that of men, that he had a coherent theory of justice, and that he did not defend the "Machiavellian" maxim that the ends justify the means. By carefully reconstructing the principled foundations of his political theory, Erica Benner gives the most complete account yet of Machiavelli's thought. She argues that his difficult and puzzling style of writing owes far more to ancient Greek sources than is usually recognized, as does his chief aim: to teach readers not how to produce deceptive political appearances and rhetoric, but how to see through them. Drawing on a close reading of Greek authors--including Thucydides, Xenophon, Plato, and Plutarch--Benner identifies a powerful and neglected key to understanding Machiavelli.
This important new interpretation is based on the most comprehensive study of Machiavelli's writings to date, including a detailed examination of all of his major works: "The Prince, The Discourses, The Art of War, " and "Florentine Histories." It helps explain why readers such as Bacon and Rousseau could see Machiavelli as a fellow moral philosopher, and how they could view "The Prince" as an ethical and republican text. By identifying a rigorous structure of principles behind Machiavelli's historical examples, the book should also open up fresh debates about his relationship to later philosophers, including Rousseau, Hobbes, and Kant.
Using new and cutting-edge perspectives, this book explores literary criticism and the reception of Aristotle's Poetics in early modern Italy. Written by leading international scholars, the chapters examine the current state of the field and set out new directions for future study. The reception of classical texts of literary criticism, such as Horace's Ars Poetica, Longinus's On the Sublime, and most importantly, Aristotle's Poetics was a crucial part of the intellectual culture of Renaissance Italy. Revisiting the translations, commentaries, lectures, and polemic treatises produced, the contributors apply new interdisciplinary methods from book history, translation studies, history of the emotions and classical reception to them. Placing several early modern Italian poetic texts in dialogue with twentieth-century literary theory for the first time, The Reception of Aristotle's Poetics in the Italian Renaissance and Beyond models contemporary practice and maps out avenues for future study.
In So What's New about Scholasticism? thirteen international scholars gauge the extraordinary impact of a religiously inspired conceptual framework in a modern society. The essays that are brought together in this volume reveal that Neo-Thomism became part of contingent social contexts and varying intellectual domains. Rather than an ecclesiastic project of like-minded believers, Neo-Thomism was put into place as a source of inspiration for various concepts of modernization and progress. This volume reconstructs how Neo-Thomism sought to resolve disparities, annul contradictions and reconcile incongruent, new developments. It asks the question why Neo-Thomist ideas and arguments were put into play and how they were transferred across various scientific disciplines and artistic media, growing into one of the most influential master-narratives of the twentieth century. Edward Baring, Dries Bosschaert, James Chappel, Adi Efal-Lautenschlager, Rajesh Heynickx, Sigrid Leyssen, Christopher Morrissey, Annette Mulberger, Jaume Navarro, Herman Paul, Karim Schelkens, Wim Weymans and John Carter Wood reconstruct a bewildering, yet decipherable thought-structure that has left a deep mark on twentieth century politics, philosophy, science and religion.
The texts edited in this volume all deal with creation, and investigate such central philosophical and theological issues as action, production, and causality, being and nothingness, the nature of time, God's relation to the world, and the distinction between God's creation and God's conservation of the world. Throughout these twelve questions, Marchia challenges the ideas of some of the later Middle Ages' best minds.
Jacques Maritain was deeply engaged in the intellectual and political life of France through the turbulent decades that included the two world wars. Accordingly, his philosophical reflections often focus on an attempt to discover man's role in sustaining a social and political order that seeks and maintains both liberty and peace. "Scholasticism and Politics", first published in 1940, is a collection of nine lectures Maritain delivered at the University of Chicago in 1938. While the lectures address a variety of diverse topics, they explore three broad topics: the nature of modern culture, its relationship to Christianity, and the origins of the crisis which has engulfed it; the true nature and authentic foundations of human freedom and dignity and the threats posed to them by the various materialist and naturalistic philosophies that dominate the modern cultural scene; and, the principles that provide the authentic foundation of a social order in accord with human dignity. Maritain championed the cause of what he called personalist democracy - a regime committed to popular sovereignty, constitutionalism, limited government, and individual freedom. He believed a personalist democracy offered the modern world the possibility of a political order most in keeping with the demands of human dignity, Christian values, and the common good.
Did God exist a thousand years ago? This book discusses and analyses the origins of questioning God and Religion in Medieval Middle Eastern and European literature and thought. Author Fatemeh Azinfar analyses two medieval texts from the Middle East, "A Thousand and One Nights" and "Vis and Ramin", both of which question God's existence and actions. Europeans such as Dante, Abelard, Chaucer, the author of Chanson de Roland, and the author of "The Pearl" poem are shown to have asked similar questions. Azinfar argues that the European authors were influenced by the religious scepticism inherent in medieval Middle Eastern texts. The roots of the ideas of rationalism, existentialism, surrealism, and feminism are traced from the Islamic world to the medieval West. Azin-far shows that a period most view as steeped in religious dogmatism was actually an analytical era, rooted in rationality, scientific advancement, and scepticism. Tales of questing knights who rescue damsels also con-tain theories that question traditional views on religion, the possibility of the existence of a physical world, and nihilism.
The idea that there once existed a language which perfectly and
unambiguously expressed the essence of all possible things and
concepts has occupied the minds of philosophers, theologians,
mystics and others for at least two millennia. This is an
investigation into the history of that idea and of its profound
influence on European thought, culture and history.
From the early Dark Ages to the Renaissance it was widely
believed that the language spoken in the Garden of Eden was just
such a language, and that all current languages were its decadent
descendants from the catastrophe of the Fall and at Babel. The
recovery of that language would, for theologians, express the
nature of divinity, for cabbalists allow access to hidden knowledge
and power, and for philosophers reveal the nature of truth.
Versions of these ideas remained current in the Enlightenment, and
have recently received fresh impetus in attempts to create a
natural language for artificial intelligence.
The story that Umberto Eco tells ranges widely from the writings
of Augustine, Dante, Descartes and Rousseau, arcane treatises on
cabbalism and magic, to the history of the study of language and
its origins. He demonstrates the initimate relation between
language and identity and describes, for example, how and why the
Irish, English, Germans and Swedes - one of whom presented God
talking in Swedish to Adam, who replied in Danish, while the
serpent tempted Eve in French - have variously claimed their
language as closest to the original. He also shows how the late
eighteenth-century discovery of a proto-language (Indo-European)
for the Aryan peoples was perverted to support notions of racial
To this subtle exposition of a history of extraordinary
complexity, Umberto Eco links the associated history of the manner
in which the sounds of language and concepts have been written and
symbolized. Lucidly and wittily written, the book is, in sum, a"
tour de force" of scholarly detection and cultural interpretation,
providing a series of original perspectives on two thousand years
of European History.
The paperback edition of this book is not available through Blackwell outside of North America.
Thirteen original essays by leading scholars explore aspects of Spinoza's ethical theory and, in doing so, deepen our understanding of the richly rewarding core of his system. Given its importance to his philosophical ambitions, it is surprising that his ethics has, until recently, received relatively little scholarly attention. Anglophone philosophy has tended to focus on Spinoza's contribution to metaphysics and epistemology, while philosophy in continental Europe has tended to show greater interest in his political philosophy. This tendency is problematic not only because it overlooks a central part of Spinoza's project, but also because it threatens to present a distorted picture of his philosophy. Moreover, Spinoza's ethics, like other branches of his philosophy, is complex, difficult, and, at times, paradoxical. The essays in this volume advance our understanding of his ethics and also help us to appreciate it as the centerpiece of his system. In addition to resolving interpretive difficulties and advancing longstanding debates, these essays point the direction for future research. Spinoza's enduring contribution to the development of ethical theory, to early modern philosophy, and indeed to early modern history generally, provide us with good reason to follow the lead of these essays.
The early modern and modern cultural world in the West would be unthinkable without Petrarch and Boccaccio. Despite this fact, there is still no scholarly contribution entirely devoted to analysing their intellectual revolution. Internationally renowned scholars are invited to discuss and rethink the historical, intellectual, and literary roles of Petrarch and Boccaccio between the great model of Dante's encyclopedia and the ideas of a double or multifaceted culture in the era of Italian Renaissance Humanism. In his lyrical poems and Latin treatises, Petrarch created a cultural pattern that was both Christian and Classical, exercising immense influence on the Western World in the centuries to come. Boccaccio translated this pattern into his own vernacular narratives and erudite works, ultimately claiming as his own achievement the reconstructed unity of the Ancient Greek and Latin world in his contemporary age. The volume reconsiders Petrarch's and Boccaccio's heritages from different perspectives (philosophy, theology, history, philology, paleography, literature, theory), and investigates how these heritages shaped the cultural transition between the end of the Middle Ages and the early modern era, as well as European identity.
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