In 1893, three young men in their early twenties, Xavier Léon, Élie Halévy and Léon Brunschvicg, founded the Revue de métaphysique et de morale. This article explores the motives of this endeavour, and how they made the journal the centre of three great scientific enterprises: in 1894 they promoted the edition of Descartes’s Œuvres completes; in 1900, they organized the first international congress of philosophy in Paris; in 1901, they founded the Societé française de philosophie.
During the second half of the 20th century, despite the flourishing of Spinoza scholarship (particularly in the French-speaking world) references to Spinoza seem to be rather infrequent in the famous Catholic journal Revue philosophique de Louvain. On closer inspection, however, it is possible to trace a precise attitude of the editors of the Belgian journal, according to which the historiographic representation of the Dutch philosopher constitutes the test-bed of a more general cultural strategy. In contact with phenomenology, anti-Cartesianism, the biological (...) sciences, psychoanalysis and Marxism, the Spinoza of the Catholic journal becomes an entirely new and unusual figure, with respect to the image still prevalent in Spinoza studies today. (shrink)
The article analyses libertine themes and authors of 17th century in articles, critical notes and reviews of three major Italian journals of the 20th century – Rivista di filosofia, Giornale critico della filosofia italiana and Rivista critica di storia della filosofia (since 1984 titled Rivista di storia della filosofia). The category of ‘libertinism’ refers to various disciplinary fields: philosophy, politics, literature, modern history or religious history. This ambiguity influences the analyses of libertinism in the Italian historic-philosophical debate. The last two (...) decades of the 20th century show a renewed interest of the three journals on libertine themes and on the relationship between libertinism and philosophy. Research on libertine thought focuses mainly on French libertinism (i.e. libertinage érudit) and on the philosophical clandestine literature: the journals discuss or review clandestine texts, as the Theophrastus redivivus (1659), whose critical edition was published in Italy in 1981–1982. (shrink)
The attention paid in the Giornale critico della filosofia italiana to the major exponents of seventeenth-century philosophical rationalism, from its foundation by Giovanni Gentile in 1920 until 1979, reveals important changes that provide us with interesting information on Italian Neo-idealism. The small number of articles on Descartes can be interpreted as the result of an overall approach – sanctioned by Gentile – different from that of Hegel, who considered Descartes as the founder of modern philosophy. For Gentile, Descartes represents a (...) stage in the history of philosophy spanning from Humanism to Spinoza, and, in a more particular Italian perspective, from Campanella to Vico. This interpretative scheme persisted also under the direction of Ugo Spirito, when Cartesianism continued to receive little theoretical and historical attention, with the exception of Eugenio Garin’s contributions. In the years from 1945 to 1979, the Giornale critico emphasized instead the interest for Spinoza, a very important author for Gentile, up to the double monographic issue published on the occasion of the third centenary of Spinoza’s death (1977). In turn, the lack of interest for Leibniz was constant and evident from the small number of articles published from 1920 to 1979, which were furthermore not particularly connected with the international, coeval Leibniz scholarship. (shrink)
Examining the period from the 1920s to the 1970s, one of the key features of the Rivista di filosofia is a lasting interest in the Renaissance and Vico, while the focus on seventeenth-century metaphysics is significantly more time-bound and linked to the activity of some prominent figures in the journal such as Piero Martinetti, Eugenio Colorni, and Gioele Solari. The rise of the Neo-Enlightenment caused a radical change in the editorial choices, and turned the journal’s focus toward the empiricist tradition (...) and the debate on historiographical methodologies. (shrink)
This contribution aims to present the different philosophical interpretations of Descartes and Cartesian philosophies in the 17th century within the Revue Internationale de Philosophie. Studies on Descartes and Cartesian philosophies profoundly influenced the scientific orientations of the Revue by promoting the encounter between historical-philosophical and epistemological research. By reconstructing a century of Cartesian interpretations in the Revue, from the 1930s to the present day, the contribution examines the link between the universality of philosophical ideas and the analysis of texts, between (...) the history of ideas and the history of philosophical systems. (shrink)
In this paper I focus on the historiographical fate of Francisco Suárez (1548–1617) and Pedro da Fonseca (1528–1599) in two Iberian journals ran by Jesuits and founded in 1945: the Spanish Pensamiento, and the Portuguese Revista portuguesa de filosofia. I endeavor to show that the discussions of Suárez’s and Fonseca’s ideas on these journal is a two-sided case of constructing the legacies of major figures in late scholasticism, and I emphasize how the demand to identify cultural national heroes intertwines with (...) theoretical and ideological elements, especially the peculiar history of the Iberian Peninsula, and to the historical relationships between Spain and Portugal. With regard to Suárez, the Pensamiento group strives to carve out a specific place for Neo-Suarezianism within Neo-Thomism, also via a substantive reassessment of Suárez’s importance in the history of scholasticism and of philosophy in general. Hence, Suárez’s thought undergoes triumphant reevaluation, which even aims at ousting Aquinas as the ultimate reference of scholasticism, to make Suárez’s Thomism the principal authority of contemporary schools. By contrast, Fonseca remains a rather obscure and neglected figure, dug up by his fellow compatriots on the Revista portuguesa de filosofia, also against this attempt at establishing a Suarezian, Spanish hegemony. (shrink)
This paper examines how Descartes’ philosophy was presented and discussed in articles and reviews published in Mind from 1900 to 1947, a period in which this most prestigious British philosophical journal was edited by George F. Stout (until 1920) and then by George E. Moore (from 1921 to 1947). The survey deals with various aspects of the reception of Cartesian philosophy in the journal: articles devoted to several topics of Cartesian thought, critical notices and reviews of the secondary literature, discussions (...) of twentieth-century English translations of Cartesian works. In line with the theoretical character of Mind, most of the interpreters discussed Cartesian philosophy with the aim either of checking its internal consistency or of proving how the Cartesian system might be rendered consistent with its own premises. In this respect, all the themes revolving around the problem of the Cartesian circle attracted the attention of commentators, and the intuitionist foundation of Cartesian theory was analyzed. Descartes’ metaphysics and natural philosophy were often evaluated from the perspective of contemporary philosophical debates, while their original historical context was neglected. Of particular relevance were issues like the mind-body problem, discussed at the beginning of the century in relation to developments in psychology, and the question of the existence of the external world, which was examined from various standpoints, metaphysically, epistemologically and from the point of view of linguistic analysis. Interest in Descartes was shown by many authors from major philosophers (such as Ward, Schiller, Taylor, Broad, Ryle) to lesser known scholars whose profiles and contributions are outlined. Through the angle of the Cartesian presence a sketch emerges of the rich and variegated philosophical scene of British culture in the first half of the twentieth century. (shrink)
The present essay provides an overview of the images of seventeenth-century philosophy in the Rivista di storia della filosofia (then retitled Rivista critica di storia della filosofia) in the years 1946–1983. Founded in 1946 by Mario Dal Pra, the journal promoted a new anti-idealistic approach to the history of philosophy. Based on philological accuracy, this approach enhanced the complexity of history and the interdependence of different fields of knowledge. In particular, the unprecedented emphasis on the connections between science and philosophy (...) entailed a preeminent place for empiricism in the Rivista. This explains why this essay focuses on empiricist currents in seventeenth-century philosophy and especially on three of their representatives, namely Galileo Galilei, Thomas Hobbes and Francis Bacon. (shrink)
In the 20th century, Leibniz studies flourished in Italy, as attested by the large number of scholarly articles and translations of his main works. Articles on Leibniz’s philosophy were published in the Archivio di Filosofia, which has long been the journal of the Italian Philosophical Society. This paper examines articles on Leibniz published in Italy, and notably in the Archivio di Filosofia. It is divided into three parts. The first one examines Italian research on Leibniz from 1900 to 1930. The (...) second one takes into account articles on Leibniz published in Archivio di Filosofia from 1930 to 1945. The last part is dedicated to Leibnizian studies published in the same journal after 1945. (shrink)
The article presents the various phases in which one of the most eminent journals of the history of philosophy, the Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie (1888–), dealt with Leibniz’s philosophy and his intellectual legacy. In particular, this study compares the main moments of historiographical interest and disinterest for this subject to the specific attitudes of the journal during the long 20th century.
An analysis of the issues of the Journal of the History of Philosophy shows that the journal has effectively recorded the changing image of Hobbes over the course of the 20th century, shifting from a strictly political perspective and a marked focus on the internal coherence of Hobbesian thought (with particular reference to the moral/political nexus and the examination of the “naturalistic fallacy”), to an increasing emphasis on the theme of theology and civil religion. Three examples are examined in this (...) article: the theme of moral obligation as the foundation of political obligation as discussed in the 1970s issues of the Journal of the History of Philosophy, the centrality of the contract and the concept of authorisation brought into focus in the 1980s, and the theme of Hobbes’ religious sincerity or atheism at the centre of discussion in the 1990s. (shrink)
Truth is a key notion in Ockham’s philosophical reductionist program, a notion that has been the object of contrasting interpretations in scholarship. My interpretation is that, for Ockham, ‘being true’ expresses an epistemological relation, namely the one through which our mind reflects on a proposition of language, compares it with an extra-mental state of affairs, and thus ascertains their correspondence. Placing truth at a point of intersection of language with mind and reality, Ockham’s interpretation of Aristotle’s characterization of philosophy as (...) the science of truth comes to be innovative. For Ockham, philosophy is a meticulous training of interpretation of language in order to account correctly for the truth-value of propositions. (shrink)
In Latin Europe, the controversy over spontaneous generation of perfect animals – namely those whose breeding occurs through sexual reproduction – is received in different ways, varying from positions very close to Avicenna’s, as in the case of Pietro Pomponazzi, to interpretations that rather refer to Averroes’ perspective. To this ‘Averroist front’ undoubtedly belongs the figure of Urbano da Bologna, author of the Expositio commenti Averrois in VIII libros Physicorum – a work that can be defined a supercommentary to Averroes’ (...) Physica – composed in Bologna around 1334. The present study aims to provide the complete transcription of a quaestio that is present in the work – but which was disputed according to its author also in public – as an example of the elaboration of the theme of spontaneous generation in the early 14th century. The text deals with many aspects of the problem, especially elaborating on the correspondence between each specific form and its appropriate matter, in the light of the lively debates of the time, and reveals a mature understanding of Aristotle’s natural philosophy and its Averroist interpretation. (shrink)
q. 16 of John of Naples’ Quodlibet III – Utrum dolor vel passio damnatae animae separatae sit, sicut in subiecto immediato, in eius essentia vel potentia – evokes one of the most delicate debates, both from a theological and philosophical point of view, of scholastic eschatology between the end of the 13th century and the first decades of the 14th: that relating to the action of hellfire (considered, due to the auctoritas of Gregory the Great, corporeal and identical in essence (...) to sublunar fire) on an immaterial reality such as the soul in its state of separation (i.e. in the period between the individual death and the final judgement). The article retraces the way in which (in the well-known q. 2 of Quodlibet VI) John of Naples defends Thomas Aquinas from the suspicion of incurring, with his position, the condemnations of Tempier in 1270 and 1277, and how Aquinas himself tries to explain (especially in q. 26 of his Quaestiones disputatae de veritate) the passio or pain of the soul (both in the state of separation and in that of conjunction), through the double distinction between passio corporalis and passio animalis, and, within the former, between laesio and experimentalis perceptio laesionis. It then analyses q. 16 of Quodlibet III, in which John of Naples identifies the rational appetite – i.e. the will – as the immediate subject of the separate soul’s pain. In the appendix, an edition of John’s question is provided on the basis of the manuscripts Napoli, Biblioteca Nazionale, VII.B. 28 (= N) and Tortosa, Biblioteca de la Catedral, 244 (= T). (shrink)
The conceptions of lovesickness and of its remedies that emerge in the Decameron result from a medical tradition that in previous centuries was assimilated by the Latin culture. The case of the Decameron is particularly interesting because this work was composed during the Black Death epidemic, between 1348 and 1354. Boccaccio’s Decameron seems to be situated in a tension between two diseases: the black plague, from which the brigata tries to escape, and lovesickness. It is quite significant that Boccaccio dedicated (...) his work to women who love and need the comfort of literature, thereby addressing a new ideal of noble women, not based on their wealth, but on their intelligence and sensitivity. Women are often victims of their melancholy, because they have no opportunity to distract themselves, being confined to the private space of their rooms. Boccaccio describes women as being subject to passion and illness, so that the lovesickness cases described in the Decameron strongly allude to the discrimination of women and to the oppression they had to endure. An explicative example that testifies to the preeminent role that the medical culture played is Decameron X, 7, in which Lisa, the daughter of an apothecary, strangely cannot be healed by pharmacological remedies that her father knows, and not a single physician can help to heal her lovesickness. The case of Lisa can be interpreted as an exemplum: a woman afflicted by the same sickness as Lisa could understand how to behave by means of reading of this novella. Moreover, this paper will demonstrate that a useful outline of Lisa’s symptomatology can be found in Dino del Garbo’s commentary on Guido Cavalcanti’s poem Donna me prega. (shrink)