Dante's paradiso and the theological origins of modern thought: Toward a speculative philosophy of self-reflection

New York: Routledge (2021)
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Self-reflection, as the hallmark of the modern age, originates more profoundly with Dante than with Descartes. This book rewrites modern intellectual history, taking Dante’s lyrical language in Paradiso as enacting a Trinitarian self-reflexivity that gives a theological spin to the birth of the modern subject already with the Troubadours. Dante’s thought and work indicate an alternative modernity along the path not taken. This alternative shows up in Nicholas of Cusa’s conjectural science and in Giambattista Vico’s new science of imagination as alternatives to positive empirical science.



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William Franke
Vanderbilt University

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