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  1.  9
    Violent Fraternity: Indian Political Thought in the Global Age Violent Fraternity: Indian Political Thought in the Global Age, by Shruti Kapila, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2021, 313 pp., $35.00(hb), ISBN 978-0-691-19522-3. [REVIEW]Milinda Banerjee - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):520-522.
    India is the world’s largest democracy. It is also a peculiarly violent one, frustrating liberals who expect democracies to be well-behaved – a horse still unbridled to rule of law. Its riders have...
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  2.  8
    Uncivil Mirth: Ridicule in Enlightenment Britain Uncivil Mirth: Ridicule in Enlightenment Britain, by Ross Carroll, Princeton, NJ, and Oxford, UK, Princeton University Press, 2022, 280 pp., £28.00(pb), ISBN 978-06-91-24177-7. [REVIEW]Rebecca Anne Barr - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):511-514.
    In contemporary thought, as in the long eighteenth century, the politics of ridicule is split between those who see it as fundamentally uncivil and those who advocate for its emancipatory potential...
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  3.  9
    Colonial capitalism and the dilemmas of liberalism Colonial capitalism and the dilemmas of liberalism, by Onur Ulas Ince. New York, Oxford University Press, 2018, 232 pp., £67(hb), ISBN 9780190637293. [REVIEW]C. B. Bow - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):514-516.
    Colonial Capitalism and the Dilemmas of Liberalism explores early modern theories that underpinned eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British imperialism, liberalism, and capitalism. In a novel con...
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  4.  8
    Republican nostalgia, the division of labour, and the origins of inequality in the thought of the Abbé Sieyès.Angus Harwood Brown - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):433-456.
    The Abbé Sieyès is usually portrayed as a thoroughly modern thinker and a critic of the nostalgic Classical Republicanism of some of his contemporaries, in favour of a “modern republicanism”, founded upon the division of labour and commercial sociability in a nation composed of equal labourers and producers. But Sieyès’s unpublished manuscripts suggest he, in fact, regarded modern labourers as unskilled “Machines du Travail”, dulled by work and incapable of exercising the duties of citizenship, a critique grounded in a critical (...)
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  5.  29
    Against the backdrop of sovereignty and absolutism. The theology of God’s power and its bearing on the western legal tradition, 1100–1600 Against the backdrop of sovereignty and absolutism. The theology of God’s power and its bearing on the western legal tradition, 1100–1600, by Massimiliano Traversino di Cristo. Scientific and Learned Cultures and Their Institutions, 34. Leiden, Brill, 2022, xiv + 242 pp., €118.72 (hb), ISBN 978-90-04-50369-4. [REVIEW]Jean-Paul De Lucca - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):487-489.
    The keenly contested debates over the passage from the Middle Ages to modernity have steadily revealed how this transition was itself characterised by tensions and complexities. Narratives and inte...
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  6.  9
    The Dark Bible: cultures of interpretation in early modern England The Dark Bible: cultures of interpretation in early modern England, by Alison Knight. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2022, 337 pp., £81 (hb), ISBN 978-0-19-289632-2. [REVIEW]Colin Donnelly - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):498-500.
    The contradictions, obscurities, and downright strangeness of the Bible are not fresh discoveries of our own age, as Alison Knight persuasively shows in this compelling study; still less those of “...
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  7.  8
    The rise of modern Chinese thought The rise of modern Chinese thought, by Wang Hui, edited by Michael Gibbs Hill. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2023, 1088 pp., $75.00(hb), ISBN 9780674046764. [REVIEW]B. V. E. Hyde - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):485-487.
    The Rise of Modern Chinese Thought is an abridged translation of the first two of four volumes of 《現代中國思想的興起》 or, transliterated, Xiandai Zhongguo sixiangde xingqi (Beijing: Sanlian Shudian, 2004)...
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  8.  25
    The structure of Hume’s historical thought before the History of England.Pedro Faria - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):365-387.
    David Hume’s historical thought was shaped before he even began writing the History of Great Britain in 1752. This article shows how Hume developed his historical thought in an attempt to combine two historical structures: the natural-jurisprudential conjectural history of the Treatise of Human Nature and the early eighteenth-century historical narratives of modern Europe that featured in his Essays. The Treatise’s conjectural history used the developmental categories “rude” and “civilised” to explain the origins of justice, government and the moral sentiment. (...)
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  9.  8
    La Vie de Monsieur Descartes La Vie de Monsieur Descartes, by Adrien Baillet, introduced and annotated byAnnie Bitbol-Hespériès, Paris, Les belles lettres, collection ‘Encre Marine’, 2020, 1328 pp., €79 (hb), ISBN 978-2-35088-199-7. [REVIEW]Stephen Gaukroger - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):497-498.
    Baillet’s La Vie de Monsieur Descartes was the first biography of Descartes that had any claims on being more than a sketch. Published in two large volumes in 1691, the year of a royal ban on the t...
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  10.  17
    The religious innatism debate in early modern Britain: intellectual change beyond Locke The religious innatism debate in early modern Britain: intellectual change beyond Locke, by Robin Mills. London - New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2021, ix + 132 pp., £55 (Hardback), ISBN 978-3-030-84322-9. [REVIEW]James A. Harris - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):504-506.
    One of the several good questions asked by Robin Mills in this short but rich book concerns the explanation of change in the intellectual climate of a particular time and place. In mid-seventeenth-...
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  11.  28
    Adam Smith reconsidered: history, liberty, and the foundations of modern politics Adam Smith reconsidered: history, liberty, and the foundations of modern politics, by Paul Sagar. New Jersey/Oxford, Princeton University Press, 2022, 248 pp., $35.00(hardcover), ISBN 9780691210834. [REVIEW]Eveline Campos Hauck - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):509-511.
    In 2023 we celebrate the tricentenary of Adam Smith’s birth with the publication of an amazing amount of critical work, even though the story of Smith’s reading and reception is rather uneven. From...
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  12.  14
    Posterity: inventing tradition from Petrarch to Gramsci Posterity: inventing tradition from Petrarch to Gramsci, by Rocco Rubini. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2022, 360 pp., $45.00 (hb, epub), ISBN 978-0-226-80755-3. [REVIEW]Timothy Kircher - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):516-518.
    Rocco Rubini’s far-ranging book proposes that an “intellectual tradition” (1) took shape in Italy beginning with the work of Francesco Petrarch (1404–1472) and found fruition in the writings of Ant...
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  13.  11
    Humanists and scholastics in early sixteenth-century Paris: new sources from the Faculty of Theology.Christa Lundberg - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):299-315.
    Historians often compare the relationship between humanists and scholastics in the early sixteenth century to a battle. In such accounts, the Parisian Faculty of Theology plays the role of a major combatant keeping humanists away from religious studies. This article paints a different and more harmonious picture of humanists and scholastics in the decade before the Reformation. It draws on hitherto little explored evidence from manuscripts authored by official orators at the University of Paris: their speeches to graduating students at (...)
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  14.  15
    Hobbesian resistance and the law of nature.Samuel Mansell - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):317-341.
    Hobbes’s account of the individual’s right to resist sovereign authority is nuanced. His allowance for cases in which a sovereign’s command falls outside the terms of the social contract, despite recent reappraisals, cannot rescue him from the accusation that his system is contradictory. It has been suggested that some Hobbesian rights can be transferred whilst others are quarantined, or that it is the institution of law, rather than the particular commands of the sovereign, which Hobbes ultimately upholds. By reconsidering Hobbes’s (...)
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  15.  3
    Conceived in chains: slavery and American philosophy Fighting for the Higher Law: Black and White Transcendentalists Against Slavery, Peter Wirzbicki. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021, 336 pp., $39.95(hb), ISBN: 9780812252910. [REVIEW]Ryan McIlhenny - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):471-483.
    Using Peter Wirzbicki's Fighting for the Higher Law as its analytic starting, this review essay considers the place of antislavery in the developments of American philosophy. Wirzbicki considers the role of African American Transcendentalists and their appeal to a “higher law,” a concept articulated significantly by a diverse group of thinkers associated with Transcendentalism. By 1850, such thinkers appropriated aspects of British and continental idealism, especially the relationship between “understanding” and “Reason,” to aggressively attack human chattel bondage. In doing so, (...)
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  16. The private is political: Anna Becker on the Renaissance household Gendering the Renaissance Commonwealth, by Anna Becker, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2020, 282 pp., £78.99 (hard back), ISBN 978-1-108-48705-4. [REVIEW]Sara Miglietti - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):489-494.
    With Gendering the Commonwealth, Anna Becker has given us one of the most stimulating discussions of the “language and concepts of Renaissance political thought” (1) in recent years. Over five chap...
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  17.  19
    Enslaved by African angels: Swedenborg on African superiority, evangelization, and slavery.Vincent Roy-Di Piazza - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):401-431.
    This article provides the first extensive study of Emanuel Swedenborg’s (1688–1772) views on Africans and slavery. Although significant scholarship has been devoted to Swedenborg’s influence on the British abolitionist movement in the 1780s-1790s, comparably little has been written on the ideas and context which inspired this influence in the first place. This article explores Swedenborg’s ties to networks and debates about African evangelization, colonization, and slavery during the neglected period of the Swedish Age of Liberty (1719–1772). It shows that Swedenborg (...)
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  18.  21
    The Descriptio Silentii of Celio Calcagnini: deconstructing the ineffable?Robin Raybould - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):271-297.
    This article investigates the essay the Descriptio Silentii (Description of Silence) by Celio Calcagnini, a humanist scholar from Ferrara, an essay written in the early sixteenth century and published in 1544. The article provides the first English translation of the essay, describes its inspiration and sources and reviews the content of the essay in order to assess Calcagnini’s contribution to the philosophy of silence from the Renaissance and before. Calcagnini’s essay is an ekphrasis of a picture supposedly located in the (...)
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  19.  6
    Self-observational life in eighteenth-century Germany.Andreas Rydberg - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):343-364.
    In recent decades historians of science have argued that observation became something of a way of life in the early modern period. This article expands this analysis by shifting focus from observational practices within natural and experimental philosophy to a number of discourses and practices of self-examination and self-observation in eighteenth-century Germany. While the initial aim of these was therapeutic rather than scientific, therapeutic connotations were partly replaced by epistemic virtues and techniques adopted from natural and experimental philosophy toward the (...)
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  20.  9
    What is Enlightenment? Religion and the Rise of Capitalism_, by Benjamin M. Friedman. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 2021, xv, 534 pp., $37.50 (hb), ISBN: 978–0593317983; $20.00 (pb), ISBN 978-0593311097 [also available as an Ebook] _The Enlightenment: The Pursuit of Happiness, 1680-1790, by Ritchie Robertson. London, Allen Lane, 2020, xxi, 984 pp., £40.00 (hb), ISBN: 978-024-1004821 [also published in New York under the Harper imprint]. [REVIEW]David Harris Sacks - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):457-469.
    Although both books discussed in this review essay address problems with relevance to our present day and its dilemmas, they have different chronological scopes and employ different methods of interpretation. Robertson focuses exclusively on the era of the “Enlightenment” (c. 1680–1790), eschewing overt “presentism” to treat a wide range of authors and works as they addressed one another in the context of the events and developments of the period, mainly in Britain, France, and Germany. Friedman's aim, emphasizing the role of (...)
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  21.  8
    A philosophy of beauty: Shaftesbury on nature, virtue, and art A philosophy of beauty: Shaftesbury on nature, virtue, and art, by Michael B. Gill, Princeton, Oxford, Princeton University Press, 2022, 238 pp., £35(hb), ISBN 978-0-691-22661-3. [REVIEW]Endre Szécsényi - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):501-504.
    Michael B. Gill’s new book on the third Earl of Shaftesbury’s philosophy of beauty gathers his articles on the same topic of the last few years, adds new chapters to them, and gives an elegant fini...
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  22.  12
    Seeing and telling the invisible: problems of a new epistemic category in the second half of the eighteenth century.Nathalie Vuillemin - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):389-400.
    The invisible object, in the eighteenth century, is not an evidence. It is the result of textual and semantic learning. Which concrete strategies are used to construct and depict objects out of sight? How do we make them a cognitive reality acceptable to a scientific community? This paper first highlights the conditions for the emergence of a field of microscopic knowledge and its epistemological consequences. Then we consider the microscopic gaze in terms of learning, situated between the act of observation (...)
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  23.  13
    Elisabeth of Bohemia (1618–1680): A Philosopher in her Historical Context Elisabeth of Bohemia (1618–1680): A Philosopher in her Historical Context, edited by Sabrina Ebbersmeyer and Sarah Hutton. Women in the History of Philosophy and Science, vol. 9. Springer Nature Switzerland AG, 2021, 218 pp., $64.99 (hb), ISBN 978-3-030-71526-7. [REVIEW]Rebecca Wilkin - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):494-497.
    Sabrina Ebbersmeyer and Sarah Hutton have assembled a rich collection of essays on Elisabeth of Bohemia that were initially presented at a 2018 conference at the Center for the History of Women Phi...
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  24.  23
    L’Antiquité politique de Jean-Jacques Rousseau: entre exemples et modèles L’Antiquité politique de Jean-Jacques Rousseau: entre exemples et modèles, by Flora Champy. Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2022, 632 pp., 32€(pb), ISBN 978-2-406-12530-3. [REVIEW]Rebecca Wilkin - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):506-509.
    Flora Champy shows how Rousseau developed his political philosophy by reference to ancient examples, intertexts, and interlocutors. Her literary methodology involves close readings of published tex...
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  25.  16
    ad Jacob Taubes, Historischer und politischer Theologe, moderner Gnostiker ad Jacob Taubes, Historischer und politischer Theologe, moderner Gnostiker, by Richard Faber. Hamburg: Europäische Verlagsanstalt, 2022, 143 pp., €16(pb), ISBN 978-3-86393-126-1. [REVIEW]Samuel Garrett Zeitlin - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (2):518-520.
    Richard Faber, the author of learned studies of Novalis, Vergil, Brecht, and Carl Schmitt, is aware that this is not the first book he has published with the same title. ad Jacob Taubes, the title...
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  26.  18
    Renaissance magic as a step towards secularism: Agrippa, Bruno, Campanella.Elisabeth Blum - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (1):67-74.
    Renaissance magic was an attempt to supply Platonism with a philosophy of nature that could compete with Aristotelian physics. It was expected to heal the increasing breach between science and faith. However, the basic presupposition of every magic worldview, the notion of a living universe, favors immanentism and arguably hastened the rise of secularism. Secularism, it should be noted, was not an identifiable set of theories but a process towards modernity with its correspondent philosophical theology. Three different stages in that (...)
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  27.  40
    Pantheism and panpsychism in the Renaissance and the emergence of secularism.Elisabeth Blum, Paul Richard Blum, Tomáš Nejeschleba & Martin Žemla - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (1):1-3.
    Pantheism, Panpsychism, and secularism? To any historian of ideas still under the die-hard spell of the Enlightenment narrative, this would appear as an unlikely connection.1 If ever the theory of...
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  28.  10
    Giovanni Pico’s warning against pantheistic implications in Ficino’s Neoplatonism.Paul Richard Blum - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (1):49-66.
    The famous controversy between Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola is known to regard the proper use of Platonism in humanist and Christian context. With special attention to Pico’s Commentary on a Canzone, the point of disagreement with Ficino, which is not at all obvious, is examined through a close reading. The result is that Pico sees the temptation of a pantheistic and anthropocentric understanding of the relationship between the human realm and God. Whereas Ficino engaged in making pagan (...)
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  29.  25
    Dilthey’s and Misch’s “Nachverstehen” of the neo-stoic “natural system of the human sciences” in their unfinished projects on pantheism.Gábor Boros - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (1):231-249.
    This paper focuses on a neglected part of Dilthey’s œuvre that consists of papers on 16th–17th century philosophical issues. These papers are closer to interpretive articles than to original works, and so they are neither considered Dilthey’s original contributions to his own philosophy nor studied as part of the secondary literature. One of the most characteristic features of Dilthey’s philosophic style is the historical-systematic method mostly repudiated as concealing the real statement of the author “between the lines,” i.e. behind historical (...)
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  30.  13
    The soul and force in Patricius’s Nova de universis philosophia.Luka Boršić - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (1):107-125.
    One of the key concepts in modern science is force (F). In present studies on the history of dynamics, Patricius is either completely omitted or only cursorily mentioned. The aim of this text is to show that Patricius’s concept of the soul, as he developed it in his Nova de universis philosophia from 1591, comes close to the modern (i.e. Newtonian) understanding of force. This should support the more general position that one of the most intriguing aspects of Patricius’s philosophy (...)
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  31.  21
    Schelling, Bruno, and the sacred abyss.Dale E. Snow - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (1):203-212.
    Schelling’s “Bruno” provides a provocative illustration of his conviction that early modern science has adopted a radically flawed and impoverished concept of matter, and therefore of nature. The “Bruno” has been read as a settling of scores with Fichte, with whom Schelling had recently quarreled, and as a critique of Kant’s idealism. I propose to look at how the dialogue reveals Schelling’s developing understanding of pantheism, as reflected in the arguments he borrows from Giordano Bruno and then transforms. “Bruno” is (...)
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  32.  17
    Giordano Bruno, universal animation and living atoms.Hiro Hirai - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (1):127-144.
    One of the most striking features of Giordano Bruno’s philosophy is the marriage of universal animation with atomism. This unusual combination produced an extraordinary image of the universe, which was governed by the World-Soul and its universal intellect along with an infinite number of living atoms or corpuscles, animated by their internal spiritual principle. After examining Bruno’s principal arguments on the World-Soul, universal animation and living atoms or corpuscles, this article explores two possible sources among the works of his near-contemporaries. (...)
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  33.  22
    Patrizi, panpsychism, and the Presocratics.Vojtěch Hladký - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (1):5-32.
    The main aim of the article is to show how panpsychism, that is, the idea the everything in the world is endowed with a soul, was varied even during the periods in the history of philosophy when it flourished. In the Renaissance, I focus on Francesco Patrizi: he coined the term, which originally meant that everything is ensouled. The article starts by an investigation of Patrizi’s attempt to trace panpsychism back to the most ancient thinkers. His conclusions are, in general, (...)
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  34.  60
    Panpsychism and the mind-body problem in contemporary analytic philosophy.Emmett L. Holman - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (1):251-269.
    Not so long ago, the idea that analytic philosophers would be taking panpsychism seriously would have been hard to believe. That is because in its early, logical positivist, stage, the analytic movement earned the reputation of being militantly anti-metaphysical. But analytic philosophy has come a long way since the heyday of logical positivism; and, in fact, the dialectic of recent debates on the mind–body problem among analytic philosophers has pushed many of them in the direction of panpsychism. In this paper, (...)
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  35.  7
    God, space and the Spirit of Nature: Morean trialism revisited.Jacques Joseph - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (1):165-184.
    In my paper, I dispute Christian Hengstermann’s analysis of More’s philosophical system as a form of panentheistic panpsychism in which matter is alive by virtue of being the last emanation from God. I show that, in his mature period, More explicitly rejected such an emanationist doctrine and attributed the non-mechanical powers of matter to an outside immaterial principle, the Spirit of Nature. Ultimately, this leads to a system in which divine space, the Spirit of Nature and the spirit of God (...)
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  36.  40
    Translating Renaissance Neoplatonic panpsychism into seventeenth-century corpuscularism: the case of Sir Kenelm Digby (1603–1665). [REVIEW]Sergius Kodera - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (1):145-163.
    Kenelm Digby was among the first authors in England to embrace Cartesianism. Yet Digby’s approach to the mind–body problem was irenic: in his massive Two treatises (Paris, 1644), the author advocates a corpuscular philosophy that is applied to physical bodies, whereas the intellectual capacities of human beings remain inexplicable through the powers of matter. The aim of the present article is to highlight the (rather reticent) relationship of Digby’s corpuscularism with doctrines of spirits in connection with the Renaissance Neoplatonic tradition. (...)
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  37.  24
    Anton Günther’s critique of pantheism as introduction to his philosophy of revelation.Balázs M. Mezei - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (1):185-202.
    The ingenious thought of Anton Günther (1783–1863) is rarely mentioned in the annals of nineteenth-century philosophy. However, in the eyes of his contemporaries, Günther belonged to the key thinkers of his age on par with Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and Schelling. Günther was an original writer yet he left many of his insights undeveloped or ambiguously formulated. As a flamboyant and popular debater, he attacked the most influential philosophers of his time. His attacks were aimed especially at what he termed the (...)
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  38.  23
    Panpsychism represented. The animate world of Bernard Palissy, 1510–1590.François Quiviger - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (1):91-105.
    This research paper proceeds in three parts. After a brief presentation of Bernard Palissy, the first part examines his panpsychic ideas, the second part his ideas on art, which I connect in the third part to some of his remaining works and projects.
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  39.  19
    Cosmopsychology around 1900: Paul Scheerbart in the context of Plato, Cusanus, Kant, Fechner, and Lovelock.Detlef Thiel - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (1):213-229.
    Paul Scheerbart (1863–1915) is rarely referred to as a philosopher. He is known as the author of Glasarchitektur (1914), and of numerous books, essays, and stories of “fantasy” and anti-militarism. As a follower of Berkeley’s skepticism, he proposed an aesthetic of the fantastic, an art program in contrast to current realism and impressionism. Studying technical and scientific progress, he developed alternative ideas, in a unique blend of fiction and science. His “astro-” or “cosmopsychology” is a variant of ancient panpsychism or, (...)
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  40.  14
    An introduction to God’s omnipresence through the “four ways” of Francis of Meyronnes OFM (fl. 1320).Jeffrey C. Witt - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (1):33-47.
    This article offers an introduction to the question of God’s omnipresence as debated within the late medieval scholastic tradition as seen through the lens of Francis of Meyronnes. In Meyronnes’s commentary on distinction 37 of Peter Lombard’s Sentences, he attempts to categorize the various ways one might prove God’s existence in all things through a four-fold classification. In following his classifications, we are able to look back at some of the historical ways earlier scholastics have attempted to prove God’s omnipresence (...)
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  41.  24
    A balsamic mummy. The medical-alchemical panpsychism of Paracelsus.Martin Žemla - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (1):75-90.
    In this paper, I will argue how Paracelsus's concept of the universal ensoulment of nature may relate to his understanding of the self-healing capacity of the body, as shown in his Grosse Wundartzney (1536). Here, his new approach to medicine is visible, focusing not on retaining or restoring the balance of bodily humours but on strengthening the inner “essence” of life (the so-called “balsam,” “mummy,” “astral spirit,” etc.). This is possible by means of life-endowed essences of healing substances which can (...)
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