An Evolving Theory: The Work of Erasmus Darwin Between Lamarckism and Darwinism The work of the English physician, botanist and poet Erasmus Darwin has repeatedly described as anticipating both Lamarckism and Darwinism. The present analysis is aimed to the analysis of the true contribution of E. Darwin, in order to appreciate its value independently of what has been included in subsequent theories.
The article considers arguments presented by Erasmus of Rotterdam, Julien Garnier and their modern followers against the authenticity of the Commentary on the Prophet Isaiah, which has been preserved in mansucsripts as a work of Basil the Great. A survey of the correspondence of Erasmus and of the circumstances of his attempted translation of the book shows that his critical judgement on the authorship was motivated by the need to justify his abandoning of the project of translation rather than by (...) the evidence of the text itself. The first systematic examination of Garnier’s critical dossier demonstrates that his statements about the incompatibility of many linguistic features of the Commentary with undisputed writings of Basil are not supported by the text of his own edition of the book. Moreover, his rigid criteria for stylistic analysis are based on misleading notions about textual aspects of the creation and transmission of Patristic works. Isolated observations of the modern followers of the Maurist need to be assessed on the basis of a new and critical edition of the text; however, without the support of his numerous unfounded arguments, they are not sufficient by themselves to refute the attribution of the book in the manuscript tradition. (shrink)
Few historical figures have been more important in modeling the ideal of impartial critical scholarship than Erasmus of Rotterdam (1469-1536). Yet his critical scholarship, though beholden to no one, was not dispassionate. James Tracy shows how Erasmus the scholar sought through his writings to promote the moral and religious renewal of Christian society. Tracy finds the genesis of the humanist's notion of a "Christian republic" of pious and learned individuals in his "Burgundian," or Low Countries, roots. Erasmus's vision of reform, (...) Tracy argues, sprung from a humanist tradition focusing on the importance of teaching (_doctrina_), a tradition from which Erasmus departed in his optimism about human nature and his deep suspicion of the powers that be. Amid the storms of Reformation controversy, he pruned back the "dissimulation" by which he had thought to convey different meanings to different readers, yet in the end he could not control the way his words were read. If Erasmus's scholarly ideal carries an enduring fascination, so too does his dilemma as a man of circumspection who would also be a reformer. This title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press’s mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1966. (shrink)
In this contribution, I discuss some less well-known premodern and early modern antecedents of Spinoza’s concepts and claims in the _Tractatus Theologico-Politicus_. On the one hand, I will argue, Spinoza’s notion of prophecy owes more to Moses Maimonides than to any Christian author; and through Maimonides, Spinoza may be linked to the discussion of prophecy in _The Virtuous City_ by the tenth-century Islamic philosopher al-Farabî. Spinoza’s concern with prophecy as a popular formulation of the Divine Law may be fruitfully seen (...) in the light of these two authors. On the other hand, Spinoza’s notion of _pietas_ has arguably been shaped by a number of early modern authors from the Low Countries, including Thomas a Kempis and Erasmus: it does not consist in merely obeying the law, but also has a clear devotional and theist dimension of love for God and for one’s neighbors. As such, it may be associated with recent ideas on philosophy and spiritual exercises. These findings have a number of non-trivial implications for Spinoza’s place in the rise of modern, academic Western philosophy. I will discuss these implications in the context of Pierre Hadot’s influential views on philosophy as a way of life and Michel Foucault’s notion of spirituality. (shrink)
The recent studies on the relations between humanism or humanists and jurisprudence convince that Reneaissance, especially in XVIth century, when the national states began to raise, belonged to the periods of increased interest in the issue of law. Although Erasmus was not a layer, nor he introduced in any of his works a complete theory of law, he maintained close relations with many leading theoreticians of the law and jurists and sometimes spoke in the legal discussions of his age. Among (...) hist most important works concerning the matter of law were: Institutio principis Christiani, Ratio seu Methodus verae theologiae, Christiani matrimonii institutio, De interdicto esu carnium and Ecclesiastes. In the paper I’m going to concentrate on this latter work, in which Erasmus discusses the significance of preaching, preacher and widely understood Christian rhetoric. In the Ecclesiastes Erasmus touches the law subject with the special emphasis on historical character of law and relations between the divine law, the law of Christ and the law of Nature. After a short discussion about his understaning of law I will concentrate on the essential differentiation between the letter of law and the spirit of law, and I will point at proposed by Erasmus ways of introduction of law into human life. Erasmus, on the one hand, escaped a rigidity and abstraction of law and, on the other, he neutralised an aspect of the coercion of law. In his solution Erasmus appreciated the political dimension of preaching and acknowledged preacher as a more important guide of the people, than ruler. I’m going to interpret the Erasmian concept of preaching as an rhetorical mean of introduction of law in analogical way to “introduction” proposed by Plato in his Nomoi. (shrink)
Contrary to the legend that evolved in late sixteenth century Recusant More hagiography, of a distancing or even a breach in the spiritual and intellectual friendship between Thomas More and Erasmus of Rotterdam, the primary texts point to the persistence of an intimate bond between them. Even More's late letter to Erasmus informing him of his resignation addresses the matter of Erasmus's churchmanship and doctrinal reliability. Here we find More defending and praising the writings of Erasmus, and not merely against (...) the rabid and ill-willed scholastic ignoramuses who had attacked his New Testament translation, but even against morally upright and well-meaning ecclesiastical scholars, who had failed to remove the beam from their own eyes before hypocritically endeavoring to pluck the speck out of Erasmus's. Thomas More adhered to the commendation of Erasmus published by Pope Leo X, and whether More's modern admirers like it or not, Thomas More remained for two decades Erasmus's first and best apologist. (shrink)
The Bologna Process indicates that preparation for living as active citizens in a democratic society is one of the main purposes of higher education. Moreover, other relevant European strategies postulate that social competences development in HE graduates as well as the European Qualifications Framework should comprise the pillar of 'competences: autonomy and responsibility'. The United Nations and OECD emphasise the role of education and developing social competences, too. Higher Education Institutions' educational mission involves the transfer of knowledge and skills, as (...) well as shaping the social competences of students. This article aims to show good practices in the development of students' social competences by different HEIs. Based on the cases the findings were formulated that the development and assessment of social competences in HEIs is possible, however, one standardised solution cannot be developed. Diversity is crucial in the presented programmes. Our main recommendation is to create room for debates about social competences in the researched countries and in the whole EHEA. (shrink)
This article evaluates the discussion concerning the relationship between the Kalām Cosmological Argument and Divine Omniscience in recent articles in Sophia, 263–272, 2016; Erasmus Sophia, 57, 151–156, 2018a). I argue that, in his latest article, Erasmus is guilty of shifting the focus of the discussion from the KCA to the Infinity Argument. I contribute to the discussion by replying to the four difficulties Erasmus Sophia, 57, 151–156, mentions against my defence of the notion that God has an undivided intuition of (...) all reality. I show that Erasmus has failed to allay the worry that the redefinition of omniscience by Erasmus and Verhoef is unmotivated and problematic. (shrink)
Many scholars have sought to understand renaissance culture in terms of self-fashioning, a concept that sees the sixteenth-century preoccupation with imitation and performance as symptoms of a desire to conform outwardly to social expectations. Historians of Tudor England and biographers of Thomas More, influenced by this concept, have despaired of discovering the “true” Thomas More behind a bewildering array of self-fashioned masks that More “wore” as both an author and public figure. Recent scholarship seeks to show the coherence of More's (...) character, despite the fact that his life and writings do not fit neatly into contemporary scholarly categories. Understanding More as a “Christian Humanist” and focusing on More's intervention in a controversy between his friends Erasmus and Dorp, this study positions More as engaging in typological emulation, whereby in imitating the correspondence of Jerome and Augustine, he seeks to embody more perfectly the ideal of the Christian orator. (shrink)
What became of Erasmus' books? The most famous scholar of his day died in peaceful prosperity and in the company of celebrated and responsible friends. His zeal for useful books was insatiable. Indeed, he had taken care to insure that after his death they would pass to an appreciative noble owner, yet after his death their fate was unknown. Erasmus and His Books provides the most comprehensive evidence available about the books of Erasmus of Rotterdam - the books he owned (...) and his attitude towards them, when and how he acquired them, how he housed, used, and cared for them, and how, from time to time, he disposed of them. Part 1 details the formation, growth, scope, and arrangement of Erasmus' library and opens the door to a new understanding of the more intimate side of his daily life as a scholar at home with his books, friends, publishers, and booksellers. Part 2 presents a carefully annotated catalogue, the Versandliste, of the more than 400 books in Erasmus' possession at one point. Drawing upon his command of bibliographical data and his extensive knowledge of Erasmus' correspondence and related records, Egbertus van Gulik proposes as precise an identification of each of the titles as the evidence will allow."-- Provided by publisher. (shrink)
De bijdragen in deze bundel zijn een uitwerking van een symposium over Erasmus (1467/69-1536), georganiseerd door Driestar hogeschool naar aanleiding van zijn vijfhonderd jaar geleden verschenen Griekse editie van het Nieuwe Testament. Deze Bijbeltekst gold eeuwenlang als de standaard. Verschillende vertalingen zijn hierop gebaseerd, waaronder de Statenvertaling. Erasmus hield zich verder intensief bezig met de vraag hoe de religieuze verdeeldheid kon worden opgeheven. Zijn opvattingen over opvoeding en onderwijs blijken ook invloedrijk onder gereformeerde pedagogen in de zeventiende eeuw. De auteurs (...) illustreren niet alleen Erasmus? veelzijdigheid en zijn betekenis als christenhumanist, maar schenken ook aandacht aan zijn onderbelicht gebleven invloed binnen de protestants-christelijke traditie. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 5 - 34 The purpose of this paper is to consider the role of the emotions in the _Ecclesiastes_ as they come to bear on Erasmus’ understanding of teaching and learning in the context of the Christian sermon and the relationship between the preacher and the congregation. The emotions do not only feature in Erasmus’ attempts to adjudicate the manner in which it is incumbent upon the preacher to _move_ the congregation, but a (...) specifically Christian sort of affectivity governs the way in which Erasmus imagines the preacher to be learned, and thus also to teach. As a result of its breadth and depth in covering an array of topics relevant to cultivating learned piety in the context of Christian preaching, the _Ecclesiastes_ represents the most detailed treatment Erasmus offered of the importance of emotion in numerous areas of Christian thought and life. And without close attention to the affective aspects of Erasmus’ ideal method of teaching and preaching, one simply cannot provide an adequate account of the humanist’s theological program of learned piety. (shrink)
Desiderius Erasmus Desiderius Erasmus was one of the leading activists and thinkers of the European Renaissance. His main activity was to write letters to the leading statesmen, humanists, printers, and theologians of the first three and a half decades of the sixteenth century. Erasmus was an indefatigable correspondent, controversialist, self-publicist, satirist, translator, commentator, editor, … Continue reading Erasmus, Desiderius →.
_ Source: _Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 35 - 52 A number of Protestants and their adversaries produced striking testimonies to the influence which Erasmus exercised on Protestant-minded people in the sixteenth-century Southern Netherlands. Yet Erasmus’ impact on the break-through and the further development of the Protestant reform movements is more complex than these testimonies seem to suggest. The first part of this article tries to probe Erasmus’ influence by using the evidence from the printing press. Data about book production, (...) book ownership, and the index of forbidden books point to a strong distribution of Erasmus’ work even in the vernacular. The second part of the article highlights how a number of rhetoricians active in Brabant and Flanders assimilated and adapted Erasmus’ ideas for a broader vernacular audience. The printing press, the activities of the rhetoricians, and schooling were interconnected agents of cultural and intellectual life which reinforced each other. They created in any case a fertile soil for religious change. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 5 - 33 The ironic but very readable dialogues on folk religion in Erasmus’ Colloquia were used as school books for two centuries. Though their influence on the battle against superstition is difficult to measure, they obviously reflect the practices and debates of their own time. This article confronts Erasmus’ dialogue on exorcism with the ideas and practices of folk religion in the sixteenth-century biconfessional duchy of Cleves under Duke William V. Two sources (...) stand out in particular: the influential treatise De praestigiis daemonum of court physician Johan Wier, an admirer of Erasmus and opponent of magic and sorcery, and the vernacular treatise on magical agency by Jacob Vallick, Catholic parish priest of the village of Groessen, which was printed by Nicolaas Biestkens in 1559. Vallick’s practical and pastoral approach to these matters, though it greatly irritated Wier, nevertheless reflects the influence of Erasmianism in Cleves even among the lower clergy. (shrink)
The name Erasmus of Rotterdam conjures up a golden age of scholarly integrity and the disinterested pursuit of knowledge, when learning could command public admiration without the need for authorial self-promotion. Lisa Jardine, however, shows that Erasmus self-consciously created his own reputation as the central figure of the European intellectual world. Erasmus himself—the historical as opposed to the figural individual—was a brilliant, maverick innovator, who achieved little formal academic recognition in his own lifetime. What Jardine offers here is not only (...) a fascinating study of Erasmus but also a bold account of a key moment in Western history, a time when it first became possible to believe in the existence of something that could be designated "European thought.". (shrink)
This paper aims to explore the variety of sophistic argumentations that the Paduan philosopher and writer Sperone Speroni (1500-1588) applies in the so-called paradoxical work Dialogo della Discordia (1542), in which style as well as content factor into the author’s interest in ancient sophistic rhetoric. In analyzing the subject, the paper focuses on the influence of Erasmus’ Praise of Folly (1511) in Speroni’s dialogue. In so doing, the paper also intends to contribute to a deeper understanding of the impact of (...) Erasmus’ work in the Venetian area - in particular, the rebirth of ancient sophistic literature in the Italian Renaissance. (shrink)
The aim of this essay is to show that Erasmus’s concept of peace should be understood as a form of irenicism rather than pacifism. I argue that Erasmus’s basic claims on war and peace do not qualify him as a pacifist, first of all because his concept of peace is non-universal: it is exclusively Christian since it does not include Muslims and Jews unless they have converted to Christianity. Secondly, Erasmus’s willingness to fight the Turks and his call for a (...) Christian war against them suggests that he was not a pacifist. Since the peace Erasmus preached for was exclusively Christian, it cannot be identified as pacifism in its accepted universal sense, but rather as a commitment to the peace of Christendom, and therefore his concept of peace should more precisely be described as irenic. By shedding new light on Erasmus’s notion of war and peace, this essay suggests that his alleged religious tolerance should be considered anew. (shrink)
In my paper I try to reconstruct the core of Martin Luther’s and Erasmus of Rotterdam’s view on the question of free will on the basis of my analysis of Erasmus’ treatise De libero arbitrio diatribé sive collatio and Luther’s answer De servo arbitrio. I also examine the compatibility of their views, or rather the main reasons for their incompatibility. I analyse the problematic and adversarial moments of both of the great thinkers views, which I fi nd in the case (...) of Martin Luther for example in the idea of all-doing God and in the view on the creation of the fi rst human, Adam; and in the case of Erasmus of Rotterdam for example in the question of merits and in the assertion that a spreading of the truth might be scandalous. Before presenting my conclusions I also deal with the diff erences in applied terminology and methodology of these two reform thinkers, which leads me to the question of the criterion of the truth. On the basis of these observationsI search for the key reasons for the disagreement between the two protagonists of this dispute and I evaluate the whole debate. (shrink)
Erasmus was one of the most widely read and controversial authors of the early modern period, inspiring a broad range of reader reactions. The present volume addresses various aspects of Erasmus's reception, including how the author's name was sometimes used to bolster decidedly "un-Erasmian" ideals.
Originally published in 1904, this book discusses the fundamental importance of education and theories of education within the works of Erasmus. Beginning with an outline of the life and characteristics of Erasmus, the text moves through his educational aims, ideas on the beginnings of the educational process and conception of the liberal arts. The second part of the text presents four extracts from the writings of Erasmus which express his views on education. Apart from a short chapter from De Conscribendis (...) Epistolis, which is given in Latin with English headings, these extracts are all translated into English. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in Erasmus and the historical development of education. (shrink)