Learning from the past prepares one for being able to cope with the future. History is made up of strings of relationships. This article follows a historical line from colonialism, through apartheid to post-colonialism in order to illustrate inter-religious relations in South-Africa and how each context determines these relations. Social cohesion is enhanced by a post-colonial theology of religions based on the current context. By describing the relationship between Christians and Muslims during the 17th–18th centuries in the Cape Colony, (...) lessons can be deduced to guide inter-religious relations in a post-colonial era in South Africa. One of the most prominent Muslim leaders during the 17th century in the Cape Colony was Sheik Yusuf al-Makassari. His influence determined the future face of Islam in the Cape Colony and here, during the 18th century, ethics started playing a crucial role in determining the relationship between Christians and Muslims. The ethical guidance of the Imams formed the Muslim communities whilst ethical decline was apparent amongst the Christian colonists during the same period. The place of ethics as determinative of future inter-religious dialogue is emphasised. Denial and exclusion characterised relationships between Christians and Muslims. According to a post-colonial understanding of inter-religious contact the equality and dignity of non-Christian religions are to be acknowledged. In the postcolonial and postapartheid struggle for equality, also of religions, prof Graham Duncan, to whom this article is dedicated, contributed to the process of acknowledging the plurality of the religious reality in South Africa. (shrink)
The relationship between pain as a physical and emotional experience and the concept of suffering as an essential aspect of sanctification for faithful believers was a paradoxical and pressing theological and phenomenological issue for puritan and non-conformist communities in 17th-century England. Pain allows the paradox of non-conformists’ valorisation and suppression of corporeality to be explored due to its simultaneous impact on the mind and body and its tendency to leak across boundaries separating an individual believer from other members of (...) their family or faith community. The material world and the human body were celebrated as theatres for the display of God’s glory through the doctrines of creation and providence despite the fall. Pain as a concept and experience captures this tension as it was represented and communicated in a range of literary genres written by and about puritan and non-conformist women including manuscript letters, spiritual journals, biographies and commonplace books. For such women, targeted by state authorities for transgressing gender norms and the religion established by law, making sense of the pain they experienced was both a personal devotional duty and a political act. Three case studies comprise a microhistory of 17th-century English puritan and non-conformist women’s lived experience, interpretation and representation of pain, inscribed in a series of manuscripts designed to nurture the spiritual and political activism of their communities. This microhistory contributes to a better understanding of pain in early modern England through its excavation of the connections that such writers drew between the imperative to be visibly godly, their marginalised subject position as a proscribed religious minority and their interpretation of the pain they experienced as a result. (shrink)
This article has three main goals. Firstly, it intends to present the interesting but little-studied intellectual figure of Sir Francis Kynaston , his educational enterprises, and his contributions to 17th-century English culture. Secondly, it aims to illustrate in detail his often neglected or, at best, misunderstood political ideas and connect them to the type of debates and controversies he was involved in at the end of the 1620s. In doing so, one of the principal objectives will be to revisit (...) the traditional scholarly interpretations of Kynaston's place within the history of political thought in early modern England. In particular, attention will be paid to the language Kynaston employed to attack a specific political paradigm, that is parliamentarian “patriotism”. Finally, the essay will endeavour to show the interplay between Kynaston's educational project and cultural ideals, on one side, and his absolutist political doctrines and goals, on the other. (shrink)
The 16th and 17th centuries marked a period of transition from the vitalistic ontology that had dominated Renaissance natural philosophy to the Early Modern mechanistic paradigm endorsed by, among others, the Cartesians and Newtonians. This paper focuses on how the tensions between vitalism and mechanism played themselves out in the context of 16th and 17th century chemistry and chemical philosophy. The paper argues that, within the fields of chemistry and chemical philosophy, the significant transition that culminated in the (...) 18th century Chemical Revolution was not a transition from vitalism to full-blown mechanism. Rather, chemical philosophy shifted from a vitalistic theory of matter and spirits to a naturalistic, physicalistic, and corpuscularian conception of chemical properties and reactions. Despite being naturalistic, physicalistic, and corpuscularian, however, this theory was not fully mechanistic. Special attention is paid to the contributions made by Paracelsus, Sebastien Basso, Jan Baptista van Helmont, and Robert Boyle to this ontological transition. (shrink)
This article aims to present how paper-folding activities were integrated into recreational mathematics during the 17th and the 18th centuries. Recreational mathematics was conceived during these centuries as a way not only to pique one’s curiosity, but also to communicate mathematical knowledge to the literate classes of the population. Starting with Leurechon’s 1624 Récréation mathématique, which did not contain any exercise concerning paper folding, we show how two other traditions—Dürer’s folded nets on the one hand and napkin folding on (...) the other hand—prompted and influenced the integration of folding within subsequent books and manuscripts, especially those of Georg Philipp Harsdörffer and Daniel Schwenter. In Germany, but also to a lesser extent in France, folding was henceforth re-conceptualised within recreational mathematics as a way to transmit geometrical knowledge. Following Harsdörffer, the paper will claim that practising folding activities enabled the acquiring of a geometrical knowledge, which was haptic rather than symbolical or merely visual. This tactility reflects the Baconian conception of science and scientific experiment; and the paper will try to illuminate how folding, by advancing practice and tactility via experiments, was representing these traditions and conceptions. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the change of the meaning of “gospel” in Chinese context since the 17th Century. In the late Ming dynasty, Catholic missionaries were the first to translate “gospel” into Chinese with their writings about the Bible. Then the term became intermingled with traditional Chinese belief of seeking blessings. After the ban on Christianity imposed by the Emperor Yong Zheng, Chinese Catholics hid their faith and disguised it as Buddhism, Taoism and folk religions. At the end of (...) the 19th century, “gospel” was connected to colonialism and became a trigger for Sino-Western conflict. The critique of and hostility toward the term abruptly arose. In the 20th century, “gospel” turned into a new concept, which went beyond its religious connotation and gradually referred to all kinds of “good news”. (shrink)
In modern times the so?called consequentia mirabilis (if not-P, then P). then P) was first enthusiastically applied and commented upon by Cardano (1570) and Clavius (1574). Of later passages where it occurs Saccheri?s use (1697) has drawn a good deal of attention. It is less known that about the middle of the 17th century this remarkable mode of arguing became the subject of an interesting debate, in which the Belgian mathematician Andreas Tacquet and Christiaan Huygens were the main representatives (...) of opposite views concerning its probative force. In this article the several phases and moves of that debate are delineated. (shrink)
In 1697, the Presbyterian, William Bates, presented an address, on behalf of some dissenting ministers, to William of Orange. In this, he called for measures against the Socinians and Deists, and, in particular, for the banning of the publication of Socinian works. Bates' address was published in JOHN HOWE, Sermon Preech'd on the Day of Thanksgiving (1698). On 17th February, 1698, the House of Commons presented an address to the King, We do further, in all humility, beseech Your Majesty, (...) that Your Majesty would give such effectual order, as to Your Royal Wisdom shall seem fit, for the suppressing all pernicious books and pamphlets, which contain in them impious doctrines against the Holy Trinity, and other fundamental articles of our Faith, tending to the subversion of the Christian Religion; and that the authors and publishers thereof may be discounted and punished.The statute 9 and 19 William III, c. 32, An Act for the more effectual suppressing of Blasphemy and Profaneness, accepted these requests. It prohibited the writing, publishing and teaching of doctrines that were contrary to the Trinity, Christian truth or the divine authority of the Old and the New Testaments.It should be noted that the Toleration Act of 1689 does not extend tolerance to, amongst others, those who deny the dogma of the Trinity. It was not until 1813 that the Unitarians were free to practise their cult. The Trinity Act (An Act to relieve persons who impugn the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity from certain Penalties. 53 Geo. III, c. 160) of that year exempted the Unitarians from the penalties laid down by the Toleration Act and by the Blasphemy Act quoted above. (shrink)
Since the Renaissance, dramatic theory has been strongly influenced, sometimes even dominated by Aristotle’s Poetics. Aristotle’s concept of tragedy has been perceived as both a descriptive and a normative concept: a description of a practice as it should be continued. This biased reading of ancient theory is not exceptional, but in the case of Aristotle’s Poetics, a particular question can be raised. Aristotle has written about tragedy, at a moment that tragedy had no meaningful political or civic function anymore. As (...) political theory—e.g. as developed in the Politics and the Art of Rhetoric—should contain the risks of transgression in political practice, so poetic theory can contain the risks of the representation of transgressions in poetic practices such as the performance of tragedy. Apart from an account on Aristotle’s Poetics as a integral part of his ethical and political theory, this article argues the (mis)readings of Aristotelian dramatic theory since the Renaissance, and especially in 17th century France are not coincidental. Aristotle’s theory itself fits neatly into a political-theoretical framework or, if one puts it more brutally, an ideology. The particular theatricality of French absolutism took clearly its advantage from this ideological (mis)readings of Aristotle. (shrink)
The remarkable growth in interest in aesthetic gardens in the late Ming period has been recognized in Chinese garden culture studies. The materialist historical approach contributes to revealing the importance of gardens’ economic functions in the shift of garden culture, but is inadequate in explaining the successive burgeoning of small plain gardens in the 17th century. This article integrates the aesthetic and materialist perspectives and situates the cultural transition in the concrete social and cultural context in the late Ming (...) period. Beginning with describing a taste change and an expansion in the number of gardens, this article focuses on the small plain garden phenomenon by exploring the unique role that the arts (e.g., poetry and painting) played. A series of artistic criteria were established in the late Ming period. The application of these aesthetic rules to gardens enabled more people to own gardens. This is process that economic requirements for owning gardens were lowered, giving way to the aesthetic appreciation and exploration of literati individuals’ artistic talents. Gardens thus became more widely accessible and provided enhanced pleasure to the middle and lower class families. The conclusion is that the ‘major shift’ in garden culture was closely associated with the change of garden owners’ aesthetic tastes, in addition to the economic conditions in the Jiangnan area. In the increased popularity of gardens, the arts played a significant role. (shrink)
: This article analyses some of the anatomical waxes in the Museo della Specola in Florence. Executed in at least two different periods in the history of Florentine wax modelling (in the late 17th century and between the 18th and 19th centuries), they project culturally determined images of the body which are analysed from a historico-semiotic perspective. "Rotten corpses," a "disembowelled woman" and a "flayed man" emerge as salient figures in the collection and reveal the close tie between anatomical (...) representations and aesthetics, social relations and religious scruples, in other words, the culture tout court which produced them. (shrink)
In this work we survey reports on selected severe storms of the 17th century. Specifically, we investigate a severe storm which was accompanied by a ball lightning phenomenon in Cornwall (UK) in 1640. The “fiery Ball”, which reportedly made a “ter[r]ible sound”, entered the church, broke stones and smashed windows. It made holes in stone walls and injured about 14 people. Furthermore, we report on a 1672 storm in Bedford (UK) that tore down houses, blew down stone walls and (...) uprooted trees. We also examine two severe thunderstorms that tore off roofs and uprooted trees in Oxfordshire (UK) and Blois (F) in 1680. In Oxfordshire, hailstone killed farm animals, and later lightning caused a fire, which damaged houses and burned down barns. In Blois, houses were torn down by the wind, eight parishes were ruined by hail (hailstone were the size of a “man’s fist”). Furthermore, houses were damaged and glass windows were shattered. Based on various primary sources, we discuss the impact of these severe storms on society. Moreover, we briefly discuss how people perceived atmospheric phenomena like storms, tornadoes, and hail. Finally, we discuss selected key issues of investigating historical severe storms. (shrink)
In the first half of the 17th century the Aristotelian view that the same statement or belief may be true at one time and false at another and, on the other hand, the conception of a mental proposition as a fully explicit thought that lends a definite meaning to a declarative sentence originated a lively debate concerning the question whether a mental proposition can change its truth-value.In this article it is shown that the defenders of a negative answer and (...) the advocates of a positive answer argued on the basis of different notions of what a mental proposition is:one side taking it as more or less equivalent to a specific utterance?meaning and the other side as more or less equivalent to a generic sentence-meaning. (shrink)
In the first half of the 17th century, Dutch astronomers rapidly abandoned the practice of astrology. By the second half of the century, no trace of it was left in Dutch academic discourse. This abandonment, in its early stages, does not appear as the result of criticism or skepticism, although such skepticism was certainly known in the Dutch Republic and leading humanist scholars referred to Pico’s arguments against astrological predictions. The astronomers, however, did not really refute astrology, but simply (...) stopped paying attention to it, as other questions became the focus of their scholarship. The underlying physical view of the world, with its idea of celestial influences, remained in vigor much longer. Even convinced anti-Aristotelians, in explaining the world, tried to account for the effects of the oppositions and conjunctions of planets, and similar elements. It is only with Descartes that the by now widespread skepticism about predictions found expression in a philosophy that denied celestial influence. (shrink)
Descartes bequeathed to his successors what he and they thought to be a sharp, deep split between the mental and the material. He thought it was a split between things, with every thing belonging to one of the two kinds and no thing belonging to both. According to him, a human being is a pair, a duo, a mind and a body; or, more strictly, a human being is a mind that is tightly related to an animal body. The exact (...) nature of that relation was one of the problems that Descartes never solved to his own satisfaction, let alone to anyone else’s. Not all of those who took over the split thought that it was a split through things. It was possible to hold - as I am sometimes inclined to - that material properties are radically different from mental properties, neither being reducible to the other, and yet there are single things, not pairs or duos or small committees, that have properties of both kinds. In the language of the 17th century, that is the belief that matter can think, i.e. that an item that bumps and shoves its way through space can also be the subject of thoughts and experiences and perceptions. In that century an impressive amount of intellectual energy went into debating whether matter could think. I’m going to pick out of that debate certain strands that I hope are still of interest today. They certainly interest me. Such understanding as I have of the philosophy of mind - I mean of what is actually true about mentality, not merely of the history of men’s opinions about it - has come from tracking some of the 17th century writers as they beat their way through the undergrowth. I don’t mean that they eventually led me to true conclusions, which I gratefully swallowed. They got most things wrong, I believe; but there is a lot to be learned from working out where they were wrong and why. (shrink)
Justin Champion - The Occult Laboratory: Magic, Science and Second Sight in Late 17th Century Scotland - Journal of the History of Philosophy 40:4 Journal of the History of Philosophy 40.4 545-546 Book Review The Occult Laboratory: Magic, Science and Second Sight in Late 17th Century Scotland Michael Hunter, editor. The Occult Laboratory: Magic, Science and Second Sight in Late 17th Century Scotland. Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2001. Pp. vii + 247. Cloth, $90.00. This is a superb (...) collection of original materials related to the "strange reports" of incidence of "second sight" in Scotland from the 1680s to the 1700s. The material includes literary exchanges between powerful figures in the Anglo-Scottish intellectual community. (shrink)
.The aim of this paper is to examine the work of Tschirnhaus, La Hire and Leibniz on the theory of caustics, a subject whose history is closely linked to geometrical optics. The curves in question were examined by the most eminent mathematicians of the 17th century such as Huygens, Barrow and Newton and were subsequently studied analytically from the time of Tschirnhaus until the 19th century.Leibniz was interested in caustics and the subject probably inspired him in his discovery of (...) the concept of envelopes of lines. (shrink)
In this article, a chapter from a more general study, the butterfly is considered as an arresting `index', highlighting the evolution of children's culture and the relationships between science and literature. Comparing Furetière's knowledge of this insect, as set out in his Dictionnaire universel (1690), to its literary representations in Charles Perrault's or Fénelon's tales, helps to assess the context in which children's literature came to be written within the higher circles of the Versailles Court society. It also explains some (...) aspects of the `Querelle des Anciens et des Modernes'. Flying the flag for modernism, the butterfly stands in rhetorical opposition to the industrious bee or `zephyr' of the pastoral and idyll, as a sign of liberated childhood. An epilogue shows that butterflies in contemporary writings for children offer a postmodern illustration of the baroque trend that was initiated in children's literature at the end of the 17th century, and impart a special flavour to some of the most popular tales and picture-books. (shrink)
A key consideration in the selection of these eight titles was the scarcity of the original editions - most have never been reprinted and should therefore supplement existing library holdings of 17th and 18th century British thought. The only title published more recently, Luce's definitive biography of Berkeley, was selected because of its exceptional importance for modern scholarship - here it is included with a new introduction by David Berman.
1. Introduction: 1.1 Difficulties of Approach; 1.2 Philosophical Background. 2. The Context of Early Modern Theories of the Passions: 2.1 Changing Vocabulary; 2.2 Taxonomies; 2.3 Philosophical Issues in Theories of the Emotions. SUPPLEMENTARY DOCUMENTS: Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Theories of the Emotions; Descartes; Hobbes; Malebranche; Spinoza; Shaftsbury; Hutcheson; Hume.
ABSTRACTThis article focuses on a range of meditation practices in Siam and Laos from the early sixteenth century to the present, using primarily published materials from the early twentieth century, especially a survey of traditional or boran meditation published in 1936 by the Thammayut monk Phramahachoti Jai Yasothararat. The works he compiled stem from high-ranking Lao and Siamese clerics including three Supreme Patriarchs: Sivisuddhisom, Suk and Don. All are examples of what might be called the boran kammatthan, i.e. a traditional (...) and somewhat technical form of meditation that had flourished widely prior to the encroachment of monastic and social reforms, eventually losing out to Burmese Vipassana and Thai Forest tradition meditation techniques. To facilitate the comparison, the study focuses on nimitta and other visual aspects of meditation in the systems, revealing considerable diversity even within boran kammatthan. Continuities with contemporary meditation systems amongst three living traditions are then explored. These include meditation lineages at Wat Ratchasittharam, Wat Pradusongtham and the network of temples that adopt Sodh Candasaro’s Dhammakaya meditation method. (shrink)
One way to think logically about virtual reality systems is to think of them as interactive depictions of possible worlds. Leibniz's "Palace of the Fates" is probably the earliest description of an interactive virtual reality system. Leibniz describes a system for the simulation of possible worlds by a human user in the actual world. He describes a user-interface for interacting multiple possible worlds and their histories.
The problem of consciousness – the problem of how the matter of our brains produces perception, sensation, emotion and thought – is often described as one of the outstanding remaining problems for science. Although a lot is known in detail about how the brain works it is widely believed that the explanation of consciousness is something which still eludes us. According to a recent survey in (of all places!) The Economist, ‘consciousness awaits its Einstein’.1 Consciousness researchers are looking for that (...) missing piece of the jigsaw which will explain how the lived world of conscious experience arises out of the initially unpromising yoghurt-like matter of the brain. (shrink)
I. Logic, rationality and ideology Herbert Marcuse once claimed that the ‘“rational” is a mode of thought and action which is geared to reduce ignorance, destruction, brutality, and oppression.’ He echoed a widespread folk belief that a world in which people were rational would be a better world. This could be taken as an optimistic empirical conjecture: if people were more rational then probably the world would be a better place (a trust that ‘virtue will be rewarded’, so to speak). (...) However, it is also worth considering a stronger hypothesis: that if something did not reduce ignorance, destruction, brutality, and oppression then it would not constitute rationality. On this view there is no mere correlation between rationality and a propensity toward reduction in ignorance and the rest, it is the propensity to reduce ignorance, destruction, brutality and oppression which in part constitutes rationality. Call this a broad conception of rationality, because it expands beyond the epistemic goal of reducing ignorance, and reaches out to moral concerns like oppression. (shrink)
Introduction -- John Locke and the problem of personal identity : the principium individuationis, personal immortality, and bodily resurrection -- On separation and immortality : Descartes and the nature of the soul -- On materialism and immortality or Hobbes' rejection of the natural argument for the immortality of the soul -- Henry More and John Locke on the dangers of materialism : immateriality, immortality, immorality, and identity -- Robert Boyle : on seeds, cannibalism, and the resurrection of the body -- (...) Locke's theory of personal identity in its context : a reassessment of classic objections. (shrink)
Hobbes conception of reason as computation or reckoning is significantly different in Part I of De Corpore from what I take to be the later treatment in Leviathan. In the late actual computation with words starts with making an affirmation, framing a proposition. Reckoning then has to do with the consequences of propositions, or how they connect the facts, states of affairs or actions which they refer tor account. Starting from this it can be made clear how Hobbes understood the (...) crucial application of this conception to natural law, identified as 'right reason'. (shrink)
This book situates the development of radical English political thought within the context of the specific nature of agrarian capitalism and the struggles that ensued around the nature of the state during the revolutionary decade of the 1640s.