This paper is an attempt to argue that there existed a very prominent view of signs and signification in late sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe which can help us to understand several puzzling aspects of baroque culture. This view, called here "pansemioticism," constituted a fundamental part of the baroque conception of the world. After sketching the content and importance of pansemioticism, I will show how it can help us to understand the (from a modern perspective) rather puzzling concept of the (...) polymath, or polyhistor, which constituted the ideal of the baroque scientist. In this context I will also discuss a seventeenth century phenomenon essentially connected with polyhistorism, namely that of the early modem polyhistorical collections, the Wunderkamnmern. Since such a study needs a clearly determined focal point, we will concentrate on the last three quarters of the seventeenth century and will mainly discuss works by German authors of the time. (shrink)
In this paper I make a case for a genuine and legitimate role for philosophy in modern Islamic culture. However, I argue that in order to make any progress towards reinstating such philosophical activity, we need to look deep into the nature and essence of modern philosophy. In this paper I aim to do this precisely by challenging modern philosophy’s self conception as an absolute critique (i.e. a critique of everything/anything). I argue that such a conception is (...) not only misconceived, it is also ideological in character. Looking back to its origins, I develop a genealogy of modern philosophy’s self-understanding in order to deconstruct it and disassociate it from other possible alternative conceptions of philosophy. I argue that we should reject the notion of philosophy as absolute critique, as it is ideologically motivated and oppressive. Instead, I argue for a more modest conception of philosophy as a subject which provides tools for developing human powers of reflection. (shrink)
Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy focuses on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries--the extraordinary period of intellectual flourishing that begins, very roughly, with Descartes and his contemporaries and ends with Kant. It also publishes papers on thinkers or movements outside of that framework, provided they are important in illuminating early modern thought.
Debates in Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings and Contemporary Responses provides an in-depth, engaging introduction to important issues in modern philosophy. It presents 13 key interpretive debates to students, and ranges in coverage from Descartes' Meditations to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. -/- Debates include: -/- Did Descartes have a developed and consistent view about how the mind interacts with the body? Was Leibniz an idealist, or did he believe in corporeal substances? What is Locke's theory of personal identity? (...) Could there be a Berkeleian metaphysics without God? Did Hume believe in causal powers? What is Kant's transcendental idealism? -/- Each of the thirteen debates consists of a well known article or book chapter from a living philosopher, followed by a new response from a different scholar, specially commissioned for this volume. Every debate is prefaced by an introduction written for those coming upon the debates for the first time and followed by an annotated list for further reading. The volume starts with an introduction that explains the importance and relevance of the modern period and its key debates to philosophy and ends with a glossary that covers terms from both the modern period and the study of the history of philosophy in general. -/- Debates in Modern Philosophy will help students evaluate different interpretations of key texts from modern philosophy, and provide a model for constructing their own positions in these debates. (shrink)
Here is the concluding volume of Sir Anthony Kenny's monumental four-volume history of philosophy, the first major single-author narrative history to appear for several decades. In this volume, Kenny tells the fascinating story of the development of philosophy in the modern world, from the early nineteenth century to the end of the millennium. Alongside (and intertwined with) extraordinary scientific advances, cultural changes, and political upheavals, the last two centuries have seen some of the most intriguing and original developments in (...) philosophical thinking, which have transformed our understanding of ourselves and our world. In the first part of the book, Kenny offers a lively narrative introducing the major thinkers in their historical context. Among those we meet are the great figures of continental European philosophy, from Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche to Heidegger, Sartre, and Derrida; the Pragmatists such as C.S. Pierce and William James, who first developed a distinctively American philosophical tradition; Marx, Darwin, and Freud, the non-philosophers whose influence on philosophy was immense; and Wittgenstein and Russell, friends and colleagues who set the agenda for analytic philosophy in the twentieth century. Kenny then proceeds to guide the reader lucidly through the nine main areas of philosophical work in the period, offering a serious engagement with ideas and arguments about logic, language, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, politics, and the existence of God. Graced with many beautiful illustrations, Philosophy in the Modern World concludes Kenny's stimulating history of the intellectual development of Western civilization, allowing readers to trace the birth and growth of philosophy from antiquity to the present day. (shrink)
Sir Anthony Kenny's engaging new multi-volume history of Western philosophy now advances into the modern era. The Rise of Modern Philosophy captures the fascinating story of the emergence, from the early sixteenth to the early nineteenth century, of the great ideas and intellectual systems that shaped modern thought. Kenny introduces us to some of the world's most original and influential thinkers and helps us gain an understanding of their famous works. The great minds we meet include Rene (...) Descartes, traditionally seen as the founder of modern philosophy; the great British philosophers Hobbes, Locke, and Hume; continental thinkers such as Spinoza, Liebniz, and Hegel; and the towering figure of Immanuel Kant, who perhaps more than any other made philosophy what it is today. Kenny first tells the story of modern philosophy chronologically: his lively, accessible narrative brings the philosophers to life and fills in the historical and intellectual background to their work. It is ideal as the first thing to read for someone new to this wonderfully creative period. Kenny then backtracks to look closely at each of the main areas of philosophical exploration in this period: knowledge and understanding; the nature of the physical universe; metaphysics (the most fundamental questions there are about existence); mind and soul; the nature and content of morality; political philosophy; and God. The book also features many intriguing and beautiful illustrations which evoke the human and social side of philosophy. Anyone who is interested in the evolution of modern thought will find this a book a treasure. (shrink)
The revival of modern Western virtue ethics presents the question of whether or not virtue ethics is appropriate for modern society. Ethicists believe that virtue ethics came from traditional society, to which it conforms so well. The appearance of the market economy and a utilitarian spirit, together with society’s diversification, is a sign that modern society has arrived. This also indicates a transformation in the moral spirit. But modern society has not made virtues less important, and (...) even as modern life has become more diversified, rule-following ethics have taken on even greater importance. Modern ethical life is still the ethical life of individuals whose self-identity contains the identity of moral spirit, and virtues have a very important influence on the self-identical moral characters. Furthermore, modern society, which is centered around utilitarianism, makes it apparent that rules themselves are far from being adequate and virtues are important. Virtues are a moral resource for modern people to resist modern evils. (shrink)
The history of modern philosophy is a major topic in philosophy and is crucial to an understanding of the advent of feminist philosophy. Feminism and Modern Philosophy introduces fundamental topics in modern philosophy from a feminist perspective. It takes the student through the subject step by step by looking at the main thinkers most usually examined on a course in modern philosophy and by examining the role of gender in studying classic philosophical texts. The book covers (...) the following structure looking at the ideas and work of the important thinkers in this period: * Rereading the canon * The attack on modernist philosophical reason * The nature of "Man" * The search for male allies * Discovering women philosophers * Are there universal philosophical truths? * The function of history within the discipline of philosophy Each chapter looks closely at the way in which the traditional philosophical canon has been re-interpreted by feminist theory and examines the implications for our interpretation of specific texts. It looks at, for example: * A feminist critique of Cartesian rationalism * The implications of Locke's state of nature for the idea of the family * An appreciation of Hume's unique "collaboration" with Annette Baier Chapters close with a summary and the book contains an extensive annotated bibliography. Andrea Nye's style is student friendly and will be ideal for anyone coming to the topic for the first time. It will be appropriate for philosophy as well as gender studies courses looking at the development of modern Western thought. (shrink)
The philosophy of Immanuel Kant is the watershed of modern thought, which irrevocably changed the landscape of the field and prepared the way for all the significant philosophical movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This volume, which complements The Cambridge Companion to Kant, covers every aspect of Kant's philosophy, with a particular focus on his moral and political philosophy. It also provides detailed coverage of Kant's historical context and of the enormous impact and influence that his work has (...) had on the subsequent history of philosophy. The bibliography also offers extensive and organized coverage of both classical and recent books on Kant. This volume thus provides the broadest and deepest introduction currently available on Kant and his place in modern philosophy, making accessible the philosophical enterprise of Kant to those coming to his work for the first time. (shrink)
Humanism and Early Modern Philosophy is an original and timely volume that examines the distinctive and important role played by humanism in the development of early modern philosophy. Focusing on individual authors as well as intellectual trends, this collection of essays aims to portray the humanist movement as an essential part of the philosophy of the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Modem neo-Confucianism is studied at two levels, one is at the historical level and the other at the academic level. Modern neo-Confucianism at the historical level was developed in the modern context, but its basic content belongs to the traditional Confucianism or the study of Confucian classics. Modem neo-Confucianism at the academic level recognizes both the deficiencies of the traditional Confucianism and rationality of western learning, and dedicates itself to the modernization of Confucianism. Though Ma Yifu's moral philosophy (...) is developed in the context of modem Chinese culture, it fails to deal with the problem of modern transformation of Confucian ethical values and its content still belongs to the traditional Confucianism. So it should be labeled as the modern neo-Confucianism in the historical sense. In this paper, the author makes a systematic exploration and an evaluation of Ma Yifu's ethical thought. (shrink)
Yoga has come to be an icon of Indian culture and civilization, and it is widely regarded as being timeless and unchanging. Based on extensive ethnographic research and an analysis of both ancient and modern texts, Yoga in Modern India challenges this popular view by examining the history of yoga, focusing on its emergence in modern India and its dramatically changing form and significance in the twentieth century. Joseph Alter argues that yoga's transformation into a popular activity (...) idolized for its health value is based on modern ideas about science and medicine. Alter centers his analysis on an interpretation of the seminal work of Swami Kuvalayananda, one of the chief architects of the Yoga Renaissance in the early twentieth century. From this point of orientation he explores current interpretations of yoga and considers how practitioners of yogic medicine and fitness combine the ideas of biology, physiology, and anatomy with those of metaphysics, transcendence, and magical power. The first serious ethnographic history of modern yoga in India, this fluently written book is must reading not only for students and scholars but also practitioners who seek a deeper understanding of how yoga developed over time into the exceedingly popular phenomenon it is today. (shrink)
This contribution starts from Max Scheler’s claim that modern philosophy holds two differing views on feelings. The first view, which Scheler attributes to René Descartes, presents them in their intentional role but rejects their independence; the other view, which Scheler attributes to Immanuel Kant, holds that they cannot be reduced to the rational part of the soul and thus affirms their independence, but deprives them of all cognitive powers. After considering both views, I discuss the views of Franz Brentano (...) and Edmund Husserl. Husserl takes an ambivalent approach to attunement, which opens the possibility of understanding Martin Heidegger’s thought of fundamental attunement. (shrink)
The Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Philosophy is a comprehensive introduction to the central topics and changing shape of philosophical inquiry in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It explores one of the most innovative periods in the history of Western philosophy, extending from Montaigne, Bacon and Descartes through Hume and Kant. During this period, philosophers initiated and responded to major intellectual developments in natural science, religion, and politics, transforming in the process concepts and doctrines inherited from ancient and medieval (...) philosophy. In this Companion, leading specialists examine early modern treatments of the methodological and conceptual foundations of natural science, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, logic and language, moral and political philosophy, and theology. A final chapter looks forward to the philosophy of the Enlightenment. This will be an invaluable guide for all who are interested in the philosophical thought of the early modern period. (shrink)
Early modern philosophers looked for inspiration to the later ancient thinkers when they rebelled against the dominant Platonic and Aristotelian traditions. The impact of the Hellenistic philosophers (principally the Stoics, Epicureans, and Skeptics) on such philosophers as Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, and Locke was profound and is ripe for reassessment. This collection of new essays offers precisely that. Leading historians of philosophy explore the connections between Hellenistic and early modern philosophy in ways that take advantage of new scholarly and (...) philosophical advances. The essays display a challenging range of methods and will be an invaluable point of reference for philosophers, historians of ideas and classicists. (shrink)
The view of language is greatly changed from early modern philosophy to later modern philosophy and to postmodern philosophy. The linguistic question in early modern philosophy, which is characterized by rationalism and empiricism, is discussed in this paper. Linguistic phenomena are not at the center of philosophical reflections in early modern philosophy. The subject of consciousness is at the center of the philosophy, which makes language serve purely as an instrument for representing thoughts. Locke, Leibniz and (...) Descartes consider language from a representationalist point of view. To them, language itself is idealized and represents thought as if it were thought representing itself. Like the structural linguist Saussure, the founders of phenomenology and analytical philosophy give much attention to the logical or static structure of language, and stick up for the representationalism of early modern philosophy. However, their successors refuse to accept this attitude, meaning the final collapse of representationalism. (shrink)
The Contradictions of Modern Moral Philosophy is a highly original and radical critique of contemporary moral theory. Johnston skillfully demonstrates how much of recent moral philosophy runs aground on the issue of whether we can make correct moral judgements. His analysis begins with an insightful discussion of the divisions within moral philosophy. On one hand many philosophers deny that it is possible to make correct judgements on other peoples actions; on the other, they remain preoccupied with distinguishing between what (...) is "right" and "wrong". Paul Johnston shows how much recent moral philosophy consists of unsuccessful attempts to eliminate this contradiction. (shrink)
Part of the Blackwell Readings in the History of Philosophy series, this survey of early modern philosophy focuses on the key texts and philosophers of the period whose beliefs changed the course of western thought. Assembles the key texts from the most significant and influential philosophers of the early modern era to provide a thorough introduction to the period. Features the writings of the major philosophical, scientific, and political thinkers of the time, including Descartes, Hobbes, Leibniz and Spinoza. (...) Focuses on the development and growth of Rationalism which stressed reason, logic, and experimentation in the pursuit of truth. Readings are accompanied by expert commentary from the editors, who are leading scholars in the field. (shrink)
This article discusses the conditions under which the use of expert knowledge may provide an adequate response to public concerns about high-tech, late modern risks. Scientific risk estimation has more than once led to expert controversies. When these controversies occur, the public at large – as a media audience – faces a paradoxical situation: on the one hand it must rely on the expertise of scientists as represented in the mass media, but on the other it is confused by (...) competing expert claims in the absence of any clear-cut standard to judge these claims. The question then arises, what expertise can the public trust? I argue that expert controversies cannot be settled by appealing to neutral, impartial expertise, because each use of expert knowledge in applied contexts is inextricably bound up with normative and evaluative assumptions. This value-laden nature of expert contributions, however, does not necessarily force us to adopt a relativist conception of expert knowledge. Nor does it imply active involvement of ordinary citizens in scientific risk estimation – as some authors seem to suggest. The value-laden, or partisan, nature of expert statements rather requires an unbiased process of expert dispute in which experts and counter-experts can participate. Moreover, instead of being a reason for discrediting expert contributions, experts'' commitment may enhance public trustworthiness because it enlarges the scope of perspectives taken into account, to include public concerns. Experts who share the same worries as (some of) the public could be expected to voice these worries at the level of expert dispute. Thus, a broadly shaped expert dispute, that is accessible to both proponents and opponents, is a prerequisite for public trust. (shrink)
This paper argues that early modern experimental philosophy emerged as the dominant member of a pair of methods in natural philosophy, the speculative versus the experimental, and that this pairing derives from an overarching distinction between speculative and operative philosophy that can be ultimately traced back to Aristotle. The paper examines the traditional classification of natural philosophy as a speculative discipline from the Stagirite to the seventeenth century; medieval and early modern attempts to articulate a scientia experimentalis; and (...) the tensions in the classification of natural magic and mechanics that led to the introduction of an operative part of natural philosophy in the writings of Francis Bacon and John Johnston. The paper concludes with a summary of the salient discontinuities between the experimental/speculative distinction of the mid-seventeenth century and its predecessors and a statement of the developments that led to the ascendance of experimental philosophy from the 1660s. (shrink)
This ambitious and important book provides the first truly general account of Francis Bacon as a philosopher. It describes how Bacon transformed the values that had underpinned philosophical culture since antiquity by rejecting the traditional idea of a philosopher as someone engaged in contemplation of the cosmos. The book explores in detail how and why Bacon attempted to transform the largely esoteric discipline of natural philosophy into a public practice through a program in which practical science provided a model that (...) inspired many from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. Stephen Gaukroger shows that this reform of natural philosophy was dependent on the creation of a new philosophical persona: a natural philosopher shaped through submission to the dictates of Baconian method. This book will be recognized as a major contribution to Baconian scholarship, of special interest to historians of early-modern philosophy, science, and ideas. (shrink)
Did the Gulf War defend moral principle or Western oil interests? Is violent pornography an act of free speech or an act of violence against women? In Casuistry and Modern Ethics , Richard B. Miller sheds new light on the potential of casuistry--case-based reasoning--for resolving these and other questions of conscience raised by the practical quandaries of modern life. Rejecting the packaging of moral experience within simple descriptions and inflexible principles, Miller argues instead for identifying and making sense (...) of the ethically salient features of individual cases. Because this practical approach must cope with a diverse array of experiences, Miller draws on a wide variety of diagnostic tools from such fields as philosophy of science, legal reasoning, theology, literary theory, hermeneutics, and moral philosophy. Opening new avenues for practical reasoning, Miller's interdisciplinary work will challenge scholars who are interested in the intersections of ethics and political philosophy, cultural criticism, and debates about method in religion and morality. (shrink)
This essay examines the method and context that underlie Josiah Royce's The Spirit of Modern Philosophy (SMP). I locate this work among Royce's German influences, and I argue that SMP represents a considerable departure from his early Neo-Kantianism. In the concluding sections, I outline the ethical approach to historiography that Royce practices in SMP. Focusing on his polemic against Hans Vaihinger, I then draw from Royce some suggestions concerning how we should study and write the history of philosophy.
The representatives of modern Neo-Confucianism all greatly value Yi Zhuan and regard it as one of their spiritual resources, and give their own creative interpretations and transformations. Xiong Shili's ontological-cosmological theory takes "qian yuan" as its center; Ma Yifu has a theory of ontology-cultivation centered on "nature-principle"; Fang Dongmei has a metaphysics of production and reproduction; Mou Zongsan takes the view of "completely knowing the fathomless and understanding transformation" as a moral metaphysics; and in Tang Junyi there is a (...) theory of the harmony of doctrines on Heaven and man in which "the knowledge of divine understanding" is its key concept. They employ modern philosophical concepts and thinking to illustrate the cosmology, ontology, theory of life, theory of human nature, theory of spiritual worlds, axiology and their connections in Zhou Yi. They affirm that the characteristics of Chinese philosophy that are different from Western philosophy consist in a naturalist view of vital life, a harmonious view of totality, an axiological view that values exist in natural universe and the world of fact, the pursuit of Good and Beauty, and intuitive experience of inner world. (shrink)
The article investigates the role of symbolic means of knowledge representation in concept development using the historical example of medieval diagrams of change employed in early modern work on the motion of fall. The parallel cases of Galileo Galilei, Thomas Harriot, and René Descartes and Isaac Beeckman are discussed. It is argued that the similarities concerning the achievements as well as the shortcomings of their respective work on the motion of fall can to a large extent be attributed to (...) their shared use of means of knowledge representation handed down from antiquity and the Middle Ages. While the interpretation of medieval diagrams was unproblematic in the scholastic context from which they arose, in the early modern context, which was characterized by the confluence of natural philosophy and practical mathematics, it became ambiguous. It was the early modern mathematicians’ work within this contradictory framework that brought about a new conceptualization of motion which, in particular, eventually led to an infinitesimal concept of velocity. In this process, the diagrams themselves remained largely unchanged and thus functioned as a catalyst for concept development. (shrink)
"Modern" philosophy in the West is said to have begun with Bacon and Descartes. Their methodological and metaphysical writings, in conjunction with the discoveries that marked the seventeenth-century scientific revolution, are supposed to have interred both Aristotelian and scholastic science and the philosophy that supported it. But did the new or "modern" philosophy effect a complete break with what preceded it? Were Bacon and Descartes untainted by scholastic influences? The theme of this book is that the new and (...) traditional philosophies have much more in common than the orthodox account suggests. The contributors consider not only modernity in metaphysics and the sciences but also the claims of Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Spinoza to have invented "modern" ethics and politics. These two aspects of "modernity" in philosophy are connected for the first time. The book offers a broad view of the early modern philosophers, covering not only the much-studied major figures but also relatively neglected writers: Mersenne, Gassendi, White, and Sergeant. (shrink)
This article argues that the problem of modernity concerns the circumstances of existence and human destiny in modern times. To understand the nature of this problem and find the corresponding solution, we need to reinterpret the thought of Karl Marx regarding the contradictions of human existence and its historical dimensions. Following Marx’s line of thinking, this article reviews his critical sequence, creative transformation, and development of duality of thought on man and the world in Western history, focusing on the (...) following four issues: (1) how Marx, on the basis of man’s sensuous objective activities, observes the duality of man and the world as well as the relationship between man’s internal and external activities; (2) how Marx discloses the true connotation and real significance of man’s historical existence, history, and historicity; (3) how Marx reveals the inherent contradictions of modern capitalist society and the destiny of modern man based on historic thought concerning man’s existence; and (4) by praising Marx’s views on material production and the eternal significance of ancient Greek culture, the article reveals another dimension of Marx’s thought, a dimension that tends to be ignored. This article holds that in this era of globalization, it is extremely important and urgent to have an in-depth understanding of Marx’s historical thoughts regarding human existence and of the feasibility of his theory. Moreover, it is imperative to further develop this understanding to create a clearer picture of our own path of development and our outlook on humanity. (shrink)
Van Heijenoort’s account of the historical development of modern logic was composed in 1974 and first published in 1992 with an introduction by his former student. What follows is a new edition with a revised and expanded introduction and additional notes.
Part of the Blackwell Readings in the History of Philosophy series, this survey of late modern philosophy focuses on the key texts and philosophers of the period whose beliefs changed the course of western thought. Gathers together the key texts from the most significant and influential philosophers of the late modern era to provide a thorough introduction to the period. Features the writings of Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Leibniz, Kant, Rousseau, Bentham and other leading thinkers. Examines such topics as (...) empiricism, rationalism, and the existence of God. Readings are accompanied by expert commentary from the editors, who are leading scholars in the field. (shrink)
JOTIRAO GOVINDRAO PHULE occupies a unique position among the social reformers of Maharashtra in the nineteenth century. While other reformers concentrated more on reforming the social institutions of family and marriage with special emphasis on the status and right of women, Jotirao Phule revolted against the unjust caste system under which millions of people had suffered for centuries and developed a critique of Indian social order and Hinduism. During this period, number of social and political thinkers started movement against such (...) systems and methods. These thinkers aimed at upliftment of the status of women socially, economically, educationally and politically. Of these socio-political thinkers Mahatma Phule, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, and such other have organized movement for striving equality for dalits, backward classes and women. As such, Mahatma Phule was an earliest leader, who strongly opposed gender inequality. He was in the real sense a great thinker finder of truth. He was of the view that every individual should search for the truth and mould accordingly, only then the human society can remain happy. He said that British rule provided an opportunity for the masses to get themselves liberated from the slavery of the Brahmins. But at the same time, he also criticized the British bureaucracy for its policy of supporting higher education and for its tendency to rely upon Brahmin subordinates. Interestingly, Mahatma Phule nurtured a favourable perspective of the British Rule in India because he thought it at least introduced the modern notions of justice and equality into the Indian society. He also criticized the economic policy of the British rule in many respects it was unfavorable to the poor peasants. He suggested a number of solutions to improve the conditions of the agriculture sector. In place of exploitative Indian social order, Phule wanted to establish a society founded on principles of individual liberty and equality and in place of Hinduism he would have liked to put universal religion. In this paper my attempt is to give an analysis of ideas of Mahatma Phule with his core philosophical outlook. (shrink)
Ethics in the modern context is under the dual pressure of scientific-technological rationality and market commercialization, which has led to breakthroughs in the original boundaries of knowledge and academic methodology. The gradual separation of the domain of public life and that of private life in modern society and the former’s increasing pressure on the latter, in addition to the above dual pressure on ethics, is causing a dramatic transformation of the structure of ethical knowledge itself. All of these (...) raise new theoretical problems for ethics and ethicists in the modern context. Answering and solving these problems makes sense for the future development of ethics as one of the classic humanities, and tests modern ethicists’ ability to realize their moral and theoretical duties. (shrink)
Stanisław Brzozowski formulated the ideal of modern man in the polemic with the contemporary man, who has ceased to believe in truth and moral values and is devoid of the will to act. For Brzozowski modernity involves the discovery of truth about the human condition: about man as an autonomous subject, a creator of values, who struggles with non-human reality. This truth was formulated in Kant’s idea of autonomy and in Marx’ idea of a collective conquest of the world (...) of nature. For Brzozowski, ideal modern man is “the conscious labourer,” who labours because he wants to proudly impose a human law on the non-human world. At the same time Brzozowski used the term “modernity” to describe life of constant change in the modern world, understood as a set of results of man’s reign over nature. For the sake of human maturity, Brzozowski expected the truly modern man to perceive modern life as an unquestionable value. Undoubtedly, there is an evident tension in Brzozowski’s ideal of modern man between the affirmation of creativity in the world of change and the necessity of disciplined production, including unchangeable moral foundations of labour. There is also a major shift in this ideal, stemming from Brzozowski’s change of attitude towards religion. (shrink)
This article examines the, hitherto comparatively unexplored, reception of Greek embryology by medieval Muslim jurists. The article elaborates on the views attributed to Hippocrates (d. ca. 375 BC), which received attention from both Muslim physicians, such as Avicenna (d. 1037), and their Jewish peers living in the Muslim world including Ibn Jumayʽ (d. ca. 1198) and Moses Maimonides (d. 1204). The religio-ethical implications of these Graeco-Islamic-Jewish embryological views were fathomed out by the two medieval Muslim jurists Shihāb al-Dīn al-Qarāfī (d. (...) 1285) and Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 1350). By putting these medieval religio-ethical discussions into the limelight, the article aims to argue for a two-pronged thesis. Firstly, pre-modern medical ethics did exist in the Islamic tradition and available evidence shows that this field had a multidisciplinary character where the Islamic scriptures and the Graeco-Islamic-Jewish medical legacy were highly intertwined. This information problematizes the postulate claiming that medieval Muslim jurists were hostile to the so-called ‘ancient sciences’. Secondly, these medieval religio-ethical discussions remain playing a significant role in shaping the nascent field of contemporary Islamic bioethics. However, examining the exact character and scope of this role still requires further academic ventures. (shrink)
Chapter One Introduction Serial Iteration in Modern Art This book is an analysis of the theoretical and historical relations between modern painting and seriality. While many modern artists have created and presented their works in the ...
Reflections on the relationship of aesthetics to politics tend to circle, almost compulsively, around a relatively stable set of conceptual oppositions, inherited from German philosophies of the late 18th century. This essay proposes an expansion of the theoretical terms of the debate by extending the field of transcendental aesthetics into the domain of historical temporalization. Fundamental art-historical categories may thereby be incorporated, philosophically transformed, into ‘aesthetics’ as forms of historical temporalization: avant-garde, modern, contemporary. The essay expounds two theses, in (...) particular: 1. The historical subsumption of the temporality of the avant-garde by the temporality of the modern: the modern stands to the avant-garde as the negation of its politics by the repetition of the new –‘the new as the ever–same’; 2. the historical subsumption of the temporality of the modern by ‘the contemporary’: the contemporary stands to the modern as the negation of the dialectical logic – and hence specifically developmentalist futurity – of the new by a spatially determined, but imaginary co-presencing. One effect of this latter subsumption, it is argued, is a particular, regressive ‘repetition of the national’, at the level of cultural representation, on the terrain of the global. (shrink)
In Metaphysical Themes: 1274–1671, Robert Pasnau compares the medieval and early modern approaches to the material-immaterial divide and suggests the medievals held the advantage on this issue. I argue for the opposite conclusion. I also argue against his suggestion that we should approach the divide through the notion of a special type of extension for immaterial entities, and propose that instead we should focus on their indivisibility.
This book places under sustained scrutiny some of our most basic modern assumptions about inheritance, genealogy, blood relations, and racial categories. It has at its core a deceptively simple question, one too often taken for granted: what constitutes good bonds among humans, and what compels us to determine them so across generations as both a physical and a metaphysical attribute? Answering this question is complex and involves a foray into a seemingly disparate array of early modern sources: from (...) adages, common law, and literature about bloodlines and bastardy to philosophical, political, and scientific discourses that both confirm and confound the common sense of familial, communal, national, and racial identity. (shrink)
Did people in early modern Europe have a concept of an inner self? Carla Mazzio and Douglas Trevor have brought together an outstanding group of literary, cultural, and history scholars to answer this intriguing question. Through a synthesis of historicism and psychoanalytic criticism, the contributors explore the complicated, nuanced, and often surprising union of history and subjectivity in Europe centuries before psychoanalytic theory. Addressing such topics as "fetishes and Renaissances," "the cartographic unconscious," and "the topographic imaginary," these essays move (...) beyond the strict boundaries of historicism and psychoanalysis to carve out new histories of interiority in early modern Europe. Contributors: Ann Rosalind Jones, Peter Stallybrass, James R. Siemon, John Guillory, Eric Wilson, Karen Newman, Tom Conley, Jeffrey Masten, Carla Mazzio, Katharine Eisaman Maus, Jonathan Goldberg, Douglas Trevor, Kathryn Schwarz, David Hillman, Marjorie Garber. (shrink)
The article traces the development of Hungarian intellectual history of the early modern period from the emergence of the national romantic constructions of literary history to the recent turn towards contextualist and conceptual history. One of its main findings is the ideological importance of this period for the formation of the national canon, as it became a central point of reference for the emerging local methodological tradition of intellectual history, even if it was often compartamentalized under other categories. From (...) this perspective, the article puts particular emphasis on ideological constructions seeking to define the nation and depict the emergence of modern national identity. This finding also offers a vantage point for analyzing the interplay between literary history and the socio-culturally focused approaches, which can be considered the main framework for the developments of the last two decades, when these local historiographical traditions entered into an interesting dialogue with the Western European and American schools of intellectual history. Along these lines, while pointing out the discursive continuities with the previous paradigms, which are shaping even the contemporary historiographical production, the article also ponders the ways in which the inherited (post-)romantic constructions can be successfully challenged. (shrink)
Chaos theory not only stretched the concept of chaos well beyond its traditional semantic boundaries, but it also challenged fundamental tenets of physics and science in general. Hence, its present and potential impact on the Western worldview cannot be underestimated. I will illustrate the relevance of chaos theory in regard to modern Western thought by tracing the concept of order, which modern thinkers emphasised as chaos’ dichotomic counterpart. In particular, I will underline how the concern of seventeenth-century natural (...) philosophers with order and conservation oriented the production of their concept of nature. Moreover, I will match this resulting world of natural facts with both the classical construction of the cosmos , and the nineteenth-century physico-chemical structure of conservation laws. Furthermore, I will recall the challenges to the deterministic and determinable modern scientific framework. These challenges arose from within the hard sciences, and they were often understood as a temporary lack of knowledge. I will argue that scientists long failed to acknowledge results that were at odds with their expectations, which were deeply engrained in modern Western thought, and which even harked back to the classical theoretical framework. Finally, I will suggest a link between the cultural earthquake that shook Western societies during the ‘long sixties,’ and the questioning of scientific expectations, which chaos theory defied. (shrink)
The best representatives of the self-reflection of xinxue 心学 (the School of Mind) and its development during the Ming and Qing Dynasties are the three masters from the late Ming Dynasty. The overall tendency is to shake off the internal constraints of the School of Mind by studying the Confucian classics and history. During the Qing Dynasty, Dai Zhen had attempted to set up a theoretical system based on Confucian classics and history, offering a theoretical foundation for a new academic (...) movement that gradually suspended issues studied by the School of Mind. But the suspension of these issues does not mean they were resolved. For Peng Shaosheng, xinzong 心宗 (the Doctrine of Mind) has emerged from a bottleneck in the development of the Confucian yi li zhi xue 义理之学 (doctrine of meanings and principles): The only way to find the transcendent connection between the doctrine of meanings and principles and the Dao was through the internality of belief. In this case, the Lay Buddhists, represented by Peng Shaosheng, Wang Dashen and Luo Yougao, as lixue biepai 理学别派 (Alternative School of Principles), played the role that the School of Mind had undertaken in the late Ming Dynasty, thus becoming a shelter for the Confucian doctrine of meanings and principles. To a certain extent, the revival of weishixue 唯识学 (the Consciousness-Only School) during modern times was simply a continuance of the “Alternative School of Principles”. It took over the Lay Buddhist theme of the doctrine of meanings and principles of the Qing Dynasty and tried to construct a new pattern of learning for Confucian classics that matched up with the doctrine of meanings and principles, offering a model of integration for the reconstruction of the Confucian tradition. (shrink)
We trace the history of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis, and of genetic Darwinism generally, with a view to showing why, even in its current versions, it can no longer serve as a general framework for evolutionary theory. The main reason is empirical. Genetical Darwinism cannot accommodate the role of development (and of genes in development) in many evolutionary processes. We go on to discuss two conceptual issues: whether natural selection can be the “creative factor” in a new, more general (...) framework for evolutionary theorizing; and whether in such a framework organisms must be conceived as self-organizing systems embedded in self-organizing ecological systems. (shrink)
Modern Jewish philosophy emerged in the seventeenth century, with the impact of the new science and modern philosophy on thinkers who were reflecting upon the nature of Judaism and Jewish life. This collection of new essays examines the work of several of the most important of these figures, from the seventeenth to the late-twentieth centuries, and addresses themes central to the tradition of modern Jewish philosophy: language and revelation, autonomy and authority, the problem of evil, messianism, the (...) influence of Kant, and feminism. Included are essays on Spinoza, Mendelssohn, Cohen, Buber, Rosenzweig, Fackenheim, Soloveitchik, Strauss, and Levinas. Other thinkers discussed include Maimon, Benjamin, Derrida, Scholem, and Arendt. The sixteen original essays are written by a world-renowned group of scholars especially for this volume and give a broad and rich picture of the tradition of modern Jewish philosophy over a period of four centuries. (shrink)
Mit dem Handbuch Departure for Modern Europe, das die Beiträge des 2007 ausgetragenen Ersten Internationalen Kongresses der European Society for Early Modern Philosophy enthält, liegt erstmalig eine von Experten internationalen Ranges ...