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Profile: Robert Pasnau (University of Colorado, Boulder)
  1.  30
    Robert Pasnau (2011). Metaphysical Themes, 1274-1671. Oxford University Press.
    The thirty chapters work through various fundamental metaphysical issues, sometimes focusing more on scholastic thought, sometimes on the seventeenth century.
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  2.  64
    Robert Pasnau (2001). Thomas Aquinas on Human Nature: A Philosophical Study of Summa Theologiae 1a, 75-89. Cambridge University Press.
    This is a major new study of Thomas Aquinas, the most influential philosopher of the Middle Ages. The book offers a clear and accessible guide to the central project of Aquinas' philosophy: the understanding of human nature. Robert Pasnau sets the philosophy in the context of ancient and modern thought, and argues for some groundbreaking proposals for understanding some of the most difficult areas of Aquinas' thought: the relationship of soul to body, the workings of sense and intellect, the will (...)
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  3. Robert Pasnau (1999). What is Sound? Philosophical Quarterly 50 (196):309-24.
    Our standard view about sound is incoherent. On the one hand, we suppose that sound is a quality, not of the object that makes the sound, but of the surrounding medium. This is the supposition of our ordinary language, modern science and a long philosophical tradition. On the other hand, we suppose that sound is the object of hearing. This too is the assumption of ordinary language, modern science and a long philosophical tradition. Yet these two assumptions cannot both be (...)
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  4. Robert Pasnau (2004). Form, Substance, and Mechanism. Philosophical Review 113 (1):31-88.
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  5.  43
    Robert Pasnau (2014). Veiled Disagreement. Journal of Philosophy 111 (11):608-630.
    A theory of how rationally to respond to disagreement requires a clear account of how to measure comparative reliability. Such an account faces a Generality Problem analogous to the well-known problem that besets reliabilist theories of knowledge. But whereas the problem for reliabilism has proved recalcitrant, I show that a solution in the case of disagreement is available. That solution is to measure reliability in the most fine-grained way possible, in light of all the circumstances of the present disagreement, but (...)
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  6.  11
    Robert Pasnau (2016). Therapeutic Reflections on Our Bipolar History of Perception. Analytic Philosophy 57 (3):n/a-n/a.
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  7.  42
    Robert Pasnau (1997). Theories of Cognition in the Later Middle Ages. Cambridge University Press.
    This book is a major contribution to the history of philosophy in the later medieval period (1250-1350). It focuses on cognitive theory, a subject of intense investigation during these years. In fact many of the issues that dominate philosophy of mind and epistemology today - intentionality, mental representation, scepticism, realism - were hotly debated in the later medieval period. The book offers a careful analysis of these debates, primarily through the work of Thomas Aquinas, John Olivi, and William Ockham. Each (...)
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  8. Myles Burnyeat, Richard Gaskin, Joël Biard, Peter Simons, Victor Caston, Richard Sorabji, Christof Rapp, Hermann Weidemann, Dorothea Frede, Claude Panaccio, Elizabeth Karger, Robert Pasnau & Cyrille Michon (2001). Ancient and Medieval Theories of Intentionality. Brill.
    This volume, including sixteen contributions, analyses ancient and medieval theories of intentionality in various contexts: perception, imagination, and intellectual thinking. It sheds new light on classical theories and examines neglected sources, both Greek and Latin.
     
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  9. Robert Pasnau (2011). On Existing All at Once. In C. Tapp (ed.), God, Eternity, and Time. Ashgate
    It is important to distinguish between two ways in which God might be timelessly eternal: eternality as being wholly outside of time, versus the sort of timelessness that consists in lacking temporal parts, and so existing “all at once.” A prominent but neglected historical tradition, most clearly evident in Anselm, advocates putting God in time, but in an all-at-once sort of way that makes God immune to temporal change. This is an intrinsically plausible conception of divine eternality, which also sheds (...)
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  10.  24
    Robert Pasnau (2010). Science and Certainty. In Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy. Cambridge University Press
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  11.  46
    Robert Pasnau (2003). Souls and the Beginning of Life (a Reply to Haldane and Lee). Philosophy 78 (4):521-531.
    In a recent book, I attempt to use the metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas to defend a moderate view regarding abortion: that an abortion at any time during a pregnancy should be considered a grave loss, but that it should be considered murder only after roughly the middle of the second trimester. John Haldane and Patrick Lee contend that I have misunderstood the implications of Aquinas's view, and that in fact his metaphysics supports the conclusion that a human being comes into (...)
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  12. Robert Pasnau (2011). Philosophy of Mind and Human Nature. In Brian Davies & Eleonore Stump (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Aquinas. Oxford University Press
    A theory of human nature must consider from the start whether it sees human beings in fundamentally biological terms, as animals like other animals, or else in fundamentally supernatural terms, as creatures of God who are like God in some special way, and so importantly unlike other animals. Many of the perennial philosophical disputes have proved so intractable in part because their adherents divide along these lines. The friends of materialism, seeing human beings as just a particularly complex example of (...)
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  13. Robert Pasnau (2011). Metaphysical Themes 1274-1671. Oxford University Press Uk.
    Robert Pasnau traces the developments of metaphysical thinking through four rich but for the most part neglected centuries of philosophy, running from the thirteenth century through to the seventeenth. At no period in the history of philosophy, other than perhaps our own, have metaphysical problems received the sort of sustained attention they received during the later Middle Ages, and never has a whole philosophical tradition come crashing down as quickly and completely as did scholastic philosophy in the seventeenth century. The (...)
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  14.  83
    Robert Pasnau (2005). Review: Aquinas. [REVIEW] Mind 114 (453):203-206.
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  15. John Haldane, James Mcevoy, Michael Dunne, Fergus Kerr, Brian Davies & Robert Pasnau (2004). Mind, Metaphysics and Value in the Thomistic and Analytical Traditions. Philosophical Quarterly 54 (216):469-473.
     
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  16.  89
    Robert Pasnau (2012). Mind and Hylomorphism. In John Marenbon (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Medieval Philosophy. Oxford University Press
    For later medieval philosophers, writing under the influence of Aristotle’s natural philosophy and metaphysics, the human soul plays two quite different roles, serving as both a substantial form and a mind. To ask the natural question of why we need a soul at all – why we might not instead simply be a body, a material thing – therefore requires considering two very different sets of issues. The first set of issues is metaphysical, and revolves around the central question of (...)
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  17.  44
    Robert Pasnau (2010). Medieval Social Epistemology:Scientia for Mere Mortals. Episteme 7 (1):23-41.
    Medieval epistemology begins as ideal theory: when is one ideally situated with regard to one's grasp of the way things are? Taking as their starting point Aristotle's Posterior Analytics, scholastic authors conceive of the goal of cognitive inquiry as the achievement of scientia, a systematic body of beliefs, grasped as certain, and grounded in demonstrative reasons that show the reason why things are so. Obviously, however, there is not much we know in this way. The very strictness of this ideal (...)
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  18.  26
    Robert Pasnau (2015). Disagreement and the Value of Self-Trust. Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2315-2339.
    Controversy over the epistemology of disagreement endures because there is an unnoticed factor at work: the intrinsic value we give to self-trust. Even if there are many instances of disagreement where, from a strictly epistemic or rational point of view, we ought to suspend belief, there are other values at work that influence our all-things considered judgments about what we ought to believe. Hence those who would give equal-weight to both sides in many cases of disagreement may be right, from (...)
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  19.  63
    Robert Pasnau (2000). Sensible Qualities: The Case of Sound. Journal of the History of Philosophy 38 (1):27-40.
  20.  2
    Robert Pasnau (2003). Cognition. In Thomas Williams (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Duns Scotus. Cambridge University Press 285.
  21.  16
    Robert Pasnau (1996). Review of Everson, "Language". [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 49 (3):650-651.
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  22.  13
    Robert Pasnau (1997). Olivi on the Metaphysics of Soul. Medieval Philosophy and Theology 6 (2):109-132.
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  23.  17
    Robert Pasnau (1995). William Heytesbury on Knowledge: Epistemology Without Necessary and Sufficient Conditions. History of Philosophy Quarterly 12 (4):347 - 366.
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  24.  79
    Robert Pasnau (2006). A Theory of Secondary Qualities. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):568–591.
    No philosophical intuition has a longer history than that which divides sensible qualities into two kinds, primary and secondary. Something like it appears in Democritus, nearly 2500 years ago, and has been continuously maintained in some form or another ever since then. Philosophers today largely continue to think that there is something right about the distinction, even while it remains notoriously difficult to find agreement on just where its ultimate basis lies. As Mark Johnston (1992) puts it, the primary–secondary distinction (...)
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  25.  2
    Robert Pasnau (2015). Snatching Hope From the Jaws of Epistemic Defeat. Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2):257--275.
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  26.  25
    Robert Pasnau (1998). Aquinas and the Content Fallacy. Modern Schoolman 75 (4):293-314.
  27.  24
    Robert Pasnau (2011). A Realistic Theory of Categories. Review of Metaphysics 51 (3):666-667.
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  28.  28
    Robert Pasnau (1997). Aquinas on Thought's Linguistic Nature. The Monist 80 (4):558-575.
  29.  71
    Robert Pasnau (2009). The Event of Color. Philosophical Studies 142 (3):353 - 369.
    When objects are illuminated, the light they reflect does not simply bounce off their surface. Rather, that light is entirely reabsorbed and then reemitted, as the result of a complex microphysical event near the surface of the object. If we are to be physicalists regarding color, then we should analyze colors in terms of that event, just as we analyze heat in terms of molecular motion, and sound in terms of vibrations. On this account, colors are not standing properties of (...)
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  30.  69
    Robert Pasnau (2007). Democritus and Secondary Qualities. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 89 (2):99-121.
    Democritus is generally understood to have anticipated the seventeenthcentury distinction between primary and secondary qualities. I argue that this is not the case, and that instead for Democritus all sensible qualities are conventional.
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  31.  12
    Robert Pasnau (2010). On Evil. Review of Metaphysics 57 (3):599-601.
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  32. Leonard Boyle, Victor White, John Wippel, Peter Geach, Robert Pasnau, Anthony Kenny, Herbert McCabe, Eleonore Stump, Bonnie Kent & Fergus Kerr (2005). Aquinas's Summa Theologiae. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    Thomas Aquinas was first and foremost a Christian theologian. Yet he was also one of the greatest philosophers of the Middle Ages. Drawing on classical authors, and incorporating ideas from Jewish and Arab sources, he came to offer a rounded and lasting account of the origin of the universe and of the things to be found within it, especially human beings.
     
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  33.  39
    Robert Pasnau (2002). What Is Cognition? A Reply to Some Critics. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 76 (3):483-490.
    In an earlier work, I proposed understanding Aquinas’s theory of cognition in terms of the possession of information about the world. This proposal has seemed problematic in various ways. It has been said to include too much, and too little, and to be the wrong sort of account altogether. Nevertheless, I continue to think of it as the most plausible interpretation of Aquinas’s theory.
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  34.  10
    Robert Pasnau (1996). Language. Review of Metaphysics 49 (3):650-651.
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  35.  9
    Robert Pasnau (1995). Action, Intention, and Reason. Review of Metaphysics 49 (2):398-400.
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  36.  21
    Robert Pasnau (2014). On Metaphysical Themes: Replies to Critics. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 171 (1):37-50.
    Reply to NormoreCalvin Normore offers a very interesting big-picture thesis about the later medieval period, one with multiple components. First, he thinks the first quarters of the thirteenth century—the era of Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas—are “gobsmacked” by the recovery of Aristotle’s work, and hence are “anomalous.” Second he thinks that, once the gobsmacking is over, the philosophers—beginning with Peter John Olivi and onward into the fourteenth century—return to “building upon the insights of the twelfth century”—that is, back to (...)
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  37.  27
    Robert Pasnau (2006). A Theory of Secondary Qualities. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):568-591.
    The secondary qualities are those qualities of objects that bear a certain relation to our sensory powers: roughly, they are those qualities that we can readily detect only through a certain distinctive phenomenal experience. Contrary to what is sometimes supposed, there is nothing about the world itself (independent of our minds) that determines the distinction between primary and secondary qualities. Instead, a theory of the secondary qualities must be grounded in facts about how we conceive of these qualities, and ultimately (...)
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  38.  49
    Robert Pasnau (2010). Form and Matter. In Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy. Cambridge University Press
    The first unquestionably big idea in the history of philosophy was the idea of form. The idea of course belonged to Plato, and was then domesticated at the hands of Aristotle, who paired form with matter as the two chief principles of his metaphysics and natural philosophy. In the medieval period, it was Aristotle’s conception of form and matter that generally dominated. This was true for both the Islamic and the Christian tradition, once the entire Aristotelian corpus became available. For (...)
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  39.  11
    Robert Pasnau (1996). Pyrrhonian Reflections on Knowledge and Justification. Review of Metaphysics 49 (3):653-654.
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  40.  5
    Robert Pasnau (2001). Intentionality and Final Causes. In Dominik Perler (ed.), Ancient and Medieval Theories of Intentionality. Brill 301--24.
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  41.  6
    Robert Pasnau (1997). Mediaeval Reactions to the Encounter Between Faith and Reason. The Aquinas Lecture, 1995. Review of Metaphysics 51 (1):179-180.
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  42.  6
    Robert Pasnau (1997). Other Minds. Review of Metaphysics 51 (1):166-168.
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  43.  35
    Robert Pasnau, Divine Illumination. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  44.  23
    Robert Pasnau (1995). Henry of Ghent and the Twilight of Divine Illumination. Review of Metaphysics 49 (1):49 - 75.
  45.  3
    Tyler Huismann & Robert Pasnau (2014). Questiones super Physicam by Nicole Oresme. Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (3):610-611.
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  46.  5
    Robert Pasnau (2000). Plotting Augustine's Confessions. Logos 3 (2).
    Some ideas on how to teach the Confessions in an introductory philosophy class.
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  47.  13
    Robert Pasnau (1995). Review of Audi, "Action, Intention, and Reason". [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 49 (2):398-400.
  48.  21
    Robert Pasnau (1993). Justified Until Proven Guilty: Alston's New Epistemology. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 72 (1):1 - 33.
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  49.  12
    Robert Pasnau (1996). Review of Fogelin, "Pyrrhonian Reflections on Knowledge and Justification". [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 49 (3):653-654.
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  50.  12
    Robert Pasnau (1996). Who Needs an Answer to Skepticism? American Philosophical Quarterly 33 (4):421 - 432.
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