In a discussion-note in Mind, Father P. M. Farrell, O.P., gave an account, in what he admitted to be an embarrassingly brief compass, of the Thomist doctrine concerning evil. There is one sentence in this discussion which at first glance appears paradoxical. Father Farrell has been arguing that a universe containing ‘corruptible good’ as well as incorruptible is better than one containing ‘incorruptible good’ only. He continues: ‘If, however, they are to manifest this corruptible good, they must be corruptible and (...) they must sometimes corrupt.’ The final words, despite Father Farrell's italics, strike one as expressing, not a self-evident truth, but a non sequitur. The fact that I am capable of committing murder does not entail that I will at some time commit it. It is not immediately obvious that a similar entailment holds in the case of corruption and corruptibility. (shrink)
Christology seems to fall fairly clearly into two divisions. The first is concerned with the truth of the two propositions: ‘Christ is God’ and ‘Christ is a man’. The second is concerned with the mutual compatibility of these propositions. The first part of Christology tends to confine itself to what is sometimes called ‘positive theology’: that is to say, it is largely given over to examining the Jons revelationis —let us not prejudge currently burning issues by asking what this is—to (...) see what evidence can be found for the truth of these propositions. Clearly, the methods used will be above all those of New Testament exegesis. The second part of Christology will necessarily consist entirely of that speculative theology which is contrasted with positive theology. Even if the earliest speculation on this topic is to be found in the New Testament itself and thus becomes fair game for the exegetes, any attempt to relate the primary truths, ‘Christ is God’ and ‘Christ is a man’, to eachother is a work of reflection, and in the terminology I am using speculative. (shrink)
This collection of essays, addresses, and one interview come from the years 1966-73 and cover a wide spectrum of interest, dealing with such general topics as 'The Absence of God in Modern Culture' and 'The Future of Christianity.'.
Why is there a 'hard problem' of consciousness? Why do we seem unable to grasp intuitively that physical brain processes can be identical to experiences? Here I comment on the 'meta-problem' (Chalmers, 2018), based on previous ideas (Storm, 2014; 2018). In short: humans may be 'inborn dualists' ('neuroscepticism'), because evolution gave us two (types of) brain systems (or functional modes): one (Sp) for understanding relatively simple physical phenomena, and another (Sm) specialized for mental phenomena. Because Sp cannot deal with the (...) immense complexity of the brain processes underlying consciousness, it represents them as fundamentally different from nonmental physical phenomena (dualist intuition), using 'simulations' to produce 'Sm-type understanding'/predictions that seems radically different from 'Sp-type understanding'. (By analogy, different sensory modalities, handled by distinct brain systems, evoke qualitatively different experiences.) Brain systems for Sp representations of our brain processes never evolved, because they would be useless. When lacking a single 'template' matching different aspects of reality (objective vs. subjective = simulated), complementary 'models' are needed ('neuro-complementarity'), like the wave–particle duality in quantum mechanics. Thus, it seems plausible that Sp and Sm evolved because they were needed to cope with different challenges, and that 'problem intuitions' are side effects of these useful but different brain systems. (shrink)
The thirteen essays of this collection converge on the theme of authority in an effort to analyze its general theoretical characteristics, to evaluate its historical development, and to propose solutions to contemporary social, political, and legal problems. Hannah Arendt's contribution, "What was Authority?" best expresses the awareness, reflected in several of the other essays, of a crisis in the understanding and acceptance of authority as a significant concept in political theory; and Carl J. Friedrich and Bertrand de Jouvenel provide perceptive (...) constructive attempts to grasp the nature of authority.--J. F. D. (shrink)
_The Budapest School: Beyond Marxism_ develops a systematic reconstruction of the post-Marxist projects of the Budapest School. It charts the evolution of these thinkers from their beginnings in the ‘renaissance of Marxism’ through to their contemporary critical theories of modernity.
With the publication of these two volumes the ground has now been prepared for a long awaited event, the critical edition of the works of Henry of Ghent. Henry was one of the outstanding philosophizing-theologians at the University of Paris in the second half of the thirteenth century and, during the period between the death of Thomas Aquinas in 1274 and the ascendancy of John Duns Scotus near the beginning of the fourteenth century, no other Master surpassed him in terms (...) of influence or importance. During his tenure there as Master in the theology faculty, Henry conducted fifteen Quodlibetal disputes. His written versions of these, along with his Summa of ordinary Disputed Questions, constitute his most important surviving works. And of these, his Quodlibets rank first. Henry's philosophical and theological views were highly original and drew considerable reaction from other leading Masters of the time, especially from Giles of Rome, Godfrey of Fontaines, and somewhat later, from Duns Scotus. While his personal thought cannot be reduced to that of any earlier thinker or tradition, his views were heavily influenced by Augustine, by Avicenna, and by various other Neoplatonic currents. At the same time, while he was quite familiar with the texts and thought of Aristotle, he reacted strongly against the more radical form of Aristotelianism developed by Siger of Brabant, Boethius of Dacia, and other Masters in the Arts Faculty at Paris in the 1260s and 1270s. Aquinas's incorporation of many Aristotelian positions into his own thought was also suspect in Henry's eyes. Given this background, Henry himself may be regarded as an outstanding representative of the Neo-Augustinian philosophical current which surfaced at Paris around 1270, which triumphed with the condemnation of 219 propositions by Stephen Tempier, Bishop of Paris, in 1277, and which would continue to be a dominant philosophical force until the end of the century. The need for a critical edition of his Quodlibets and his Summa has long been recognized, since the only printed versions date from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In these first two volumes of Henry's Opera omnia Macken has prepared the way for the critical edition of Henry's works and especially of his Quodlibets. Here one finds a valuable catalog, based on first-hand inspection, of the widely scattered manuscripts of Henry's works. The catalog also contains expert codicological descriptions of the contents of these manuscripts, including works whose authenticity remains doubtful. Manuscripts are also considered which contain works that treat ex professo of Henry's doctrine. This is followed by an appendix which surveys ancient references to other manuscripts allegedly containing Henry's works, which manuscripts have not yet been found. Then there is a Répertoire, not of manuscripts but of Henry's works themselves, including certainly authentic works, works of doubtful authenticity, and finally, in another short appendix, works which have been falsely ascribed to him. A third part of this survey of Henry's works is devoted to manuscripts of other writers who discuss Henry's doctrine ex professo. The two volumes conclude with all the necessary indices. One must congratulate Macken for the care, the industry, and the meticulous scholarship with which he has prepared these two volumes. Not only are they of great value to anyone interested in the manuscript tradition of Henry's works and doctrine; they also include helpful descriptions of the writings of many other medieval authors which are contained in many of these same manuscripts. They will undoubtedly be carefully combed for decades to come by other scholars interested in these same authors and manuscripts. These volumes will be indispensable for libraries of institutions making any serious claim to expertise in the history of medieval philosophical and theological thought. One can only wish Macken and his international team of collaborators every success in their next immediate task, the actual edition of Henry's most important works, his fifteen Quodlibetal Questions.--J.F.W. (shrink)
This Festschrift in Professor Kristeller’s honor consists of contributions by scholars who have had some connection with Columbia University, his "intellectual home in the United States for three decades." It also includes a Tabula Gratulatoria listing many other friends from the United States and Europe. The editor’s opening essay provides an interesting and informative account of this scholar’s academic career, and should be read together with the complete annotated bibliography of his publications through 1974. The latter lists 149 "major publications" (...) and 220 "minor publications." Kristeller’s contributions to the history of Renaissance philosophy are well known to historians of philosophy, and deservedly so. Here reference should be made to his groundbreaking studies on Marsilio Ficino and Pomponazzi, and on others such as Pico della Mirandola and Petrarch, as well as on Renaissance Platonism, Aristotelianism in the Renaissance, Thomism in the Renaissance, Paduan Averroism, and Alexandrism. But he has also contributed greatly to the fields of medieval and Renaissance history, and especially to our understanding of Renaissance humanism, Renaissance music, and Renaissance art. He is universally recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on manuscript research, as is witnessed, for example, by the cooperative project, Catalogus Translationum et Commentariorum, which he founded, and by his Iter ltalicum. In all of these enterprises he has set an enviable example for other scholars by the exacting standards and the breadth of his expertise. It is only fitting, then, that the many essays in this Festschrift should reflect the breadth and depth of the scholarship so evident in the man to whom they are dedicated. Limitations of space will only permit us to list them here, with a few remarks reserved for those of more special interest to philosophers and historians of philosophy: Eugene F. Rice, Jr., "The De magia naturali of Jacques Lefèvre d’Etaples" ; Donald R. Kelley, "Louis Le Caron Philosophe", on Le Caron’s effort to bring together jurisprudence and classical, especially Platonic, philosophy; Richard H. Popkin, "The Pre-Adamite Theory in the Renaissance", with fascinating material about theories concerning men before Adam in La Peyrère and widely scattered earlier sources; Richard Lemay, "The Fly against the Elephant: Flandinus against Pomponazzi on Fate", on an unedited attack by an Augustinian Bishop against Pomponazzi’s espousal of the Stoic doctrine of fate; Martin Pine, "Pietro Pomponazzi and the Medieval Tradition of God’s Foreknowledge", on Pomponazzi’s solution to the problem of divine foreknowledge and human freedom inlight of his familiarity with earlier discussions by Boethius, Aquinas, Scotus, and Ockham; F. Edward Cranz, "Editions of the Latin Aristotle Accompanied by the Commentaries of Averroes", helpful to all who wish to consult late fifteenth- and sixteenth-century versions of the Latin Aristotle and especially the Latin Averroes; Josef Soudek, "A Fifteenth-Century Humanistic Bestseller: The Manuscript Diffusion of Leonardo Bruni’s Annotated Latin Version of the Aristotelian Economics" ; Edward P. Mahoney, "Nicoletto Vernia on the Soul and Immortality", which details a radical shift on Vernia’s part from an earlier Averroistic reading of Aristotle; Joan Kelly-Gadol, "Tommaso Campanella: The Agony of Political Theory in the Counter-Reformation", which attempts to account for some of the shifts and inconsistencies in Campanella’s political writings by placing them within the troubled personal and political circumstances of his life; Charles Trinkaus, "Protagoras in the Renaissance: An Exploration" ; Maristella de Panizza Lorch, "Voluptas, molle quoddam et non invidiosum nomen: Lorenzo Valla’s Defense of voluptas in the Preface to his De voluptate" ; Neal W. Gilbert, "Richard de Bury and the ‘Quires of Yesterday’s Sophisms"’, with much interesting material on the medieval tradition of sophismata, especially at Oxford; Malcolm Brown, "A Pre-Aristotelian Mathematician on Deductive Order" ; John H. Randall, Jr., "Paduan Aristotelianism Reconsidered", on evidence for influence of the Italian Aristotelian tradition on Galileo; William F. Edwards, "Niccoló Leoniceno and the Origins of Humanist Discussion of Method" ; C. Doris Hellman, "A Poem on the Occasion of the Nova of 1572" ; Edward Rosen, "Kepler’s Mastery of Greek" ; W. T. H. Jackson, "The Politics of a Poet: The Archipoeta as Revealed by his Imagery" ; John Charles Nelson, "Love and Sex in the Decameron" ; George B. Parks, "Pico della Mirandola in Tudor Translation" ; Richard Harrier, "Invention in Tudor Literature: Historical Perspectives" ; Helene Wieruszowski, "Jacob Burckhardt and Vespasiano da Bisticci " ; Morimichi Watanabe, "Gregor Heimburg and Early Humanism in Germany" ; Raymond de Roover, "Cardinal Cajetan on ‘Cambium’ or Exchange Dealings" ; and a series of text editions with introductions including Julius Kirshner, "Conscience and Public Finance: A Questio disputata of John of Legnano on the Public Debt of Genoa" ; John Mundy, "The Origins of the College of Saint-Raymond at the University of Toulouse" ; Charles B. Schmitt, "Girolamo Borro’s Multae sunt nostrarum ignorantionum causae " ; Guido Kisch, "An Unpublished Consiliumof Johannes Sichardus" ; Patricia H. Labalme, "The Last Will of a Venetian Patrician " ; Felix Gilbert, "The Last Will of a Venetian Grand Chancellor" ; Herbert S. Matsen, "Giovanni Garzoni to Alessandro Achillini : An Unpublished Letter and Defense" ; Theodore E. James, "A Fragment of An Exposition of the First Letter of Seneca to Lucilius Attributed to Peter of Mantua". The editor, his collaborators, and the contributors are all to be commended for the high quality of this volume.—J.F.W. (shrink)