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Jason Aleksander
San Jose State University
  1.  9
    Faith as Poeisis in Nicholas of Cusa's Pursuit of Wisdom.Jason Aleksander - 2018 - In Thomas Izbicki, Jason Aleksander & Donald Duclow (eds.), Nicholas of Cusa in Ages of Transition. Leiden: E. J. Brill. pp. 197-218.
    This article discusses how Nicholas of Cusa’s speculative philosophy harbors an ecumenical spirit that is deeply entwined and in tension with his commitment to incarnational mystical theology. On the basis of my discussion of this tension, I intend to show that Nicholas understands “faith” as a poietic activity whose legitimacy is rooted less in the independent veracity of the beliefs in question than in the potential of particular religious conventions to aid intellectual processes of self-interpretation. In undertaking this analysis, the (...)
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  2. Modern Paradoxes of Aristotle’s Logic.Jason Aleksander - 2004 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 9 (1):79-99.
    This paper intends to explain key differences between Aristotle’s understanding of the relationships between nous, epistêmê, and the art of syllogistic reasoning(both analytic and dialectical) and the corresponding modern conceptions of intuition, knowledge, and reason. By uncovering paradoxa that Aristotle’s understanding of syllogistic reasoning presents in relation to modern philosophical conceptions of logic and science, I highlight problems of a shift in modern philosophy—a shift that occurs most dramatically in the seventeenth century—toward a project of construction, a pervasive desire for (...)
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  3.  5
    Book Review: Paul Stern, Dante's Philosophical Life: Politics and Human Wisdom in Purgatorio. [REVIEW]Jason Aleksander - 2018 - The Medieval Review 12 (6).
    A review of Paul Stern's Dante's Philosophical Life: Politics and Human Wisdom in Purgatorio (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018).
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  4.  4
    Book Review: Maria Luisa Ardizzone, Reading as the Angels Read: Speculation and Politics in Dante's Banquet. [REVIEW]Jason Aleksander - 2017 - Renaissance Quarterly 70 (4):1625.
    A review of Maria Luisa Ardizzone's Reading as the Angels Read: Speculation and Politics in Dante’s Banquet. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016. xii 1 454 pp. $95.
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  5.  74
    The Problem of Temporality in the Literary Framework of Nicholas of Cusa’s De Pace Fidei.Jason Aleksander - 2014 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 1 (2):135-145.
    This paper explores Nicholas of Cusa’s framing of the De pace fidei as a dialogue taking place incaelo rationis. On the one hand, this framing allows Nicholas of Cusa to argue that all religious rites presuppose the truth of a single, unified faith and so temporally manifest divine logos in a way accommodated to the historically unique conventions of different political communities. On the other hand, at the end of the De pace fidei, the interlocutors in the heavenly dialogue are (...)
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  6.  6
    Providence, Temporal Authority, and the Illustrious Vernacular in Dante's Political Philosophy.Jason Aleksander - 2016 - In Nancy van Deusen & Leonard Michael Koff (eds.), Time: Sense, Space, Structure. Leiden: E.J. Brill. pp. 231-260.
    Drawing primarily upon Dante’s three major philosophical treatises (De vulgari eloquentia, Convivio, and Monarchia), this essay explores how Dante’s ethico-political philosophy operates within the crucial tension between the phenomenology of time as the condition for the possibility of human moral development and yet also as, metaphysically speaking, the privation and imitation of eternity. I begin by showing that, in the De vulgari eloquentia, Dante’s understanding of the poetic and rhetorical function of the illustrious vernacular is tied to his political philosophy (...)
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  7.  6
    The Divine Comedy’s Construction of its Audience in Paradiso 2.1-18.Jason Aleksander - 2015 - Essays in Medieval Studies 30:1-10.
    Paradiso 2’s sustained direct address warns readers unprepared for its complexities to “turn back to see your shores again…for perhaps losing me, you would be lost,” but then offers the “other few” who crave “the bread of angels” the promise of a marvel that would rival the deeds of the mythological hero Jason. I will argue that, by appearing to impose this choice on its readers, this direct address in fact activates the craving for the bread of angels (for who, (...)
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  8.  5
    Nicholas of Cusa.Jason Aleksander - 2016 - Oxford Bibliographies in Medieval Studies.
    Given the significance of Nicholas of Cusa’s ecclesiastical career, it is no surprise that a good deal of academic attention on Nicholas has focused on his role in the history of the church. Nevertheless, it would also be fair to say that a good deal of the attention that is focused on the life and thought of Nicholas of Cusa is the legacy of prior generations of scholars who saw in his theoretical work an opportunity to define the most salient (...)
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  9.  5
    The Significance Of The Erosion Of The Prohibition Against Metabasis To The Success And Legacy Of The Copernican Revolution.Jason Aleksander - 2011 - Annales Philosophici 3:9-21.
    Although one would not wish to classify Copernicus’ own intentions as belonging to the late-medieval and Renaissance tradition of nominalist philosophy, if we are to turn our consideration to what was responsible for the eventual success of the Copernican Revolution, we must also attend to other features of the dialectical context in relation to which the views of Copernicus and his followers were articulated, interpreted, and evaluated. Accordingly, this paper discusses the significance of the erosion of the Aristotelian prohibition against (...)
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  10.  5
    Teaching the Divine Comedy's Understanding of Philosophy.Jason Aleksander - 2012 - Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture 13 (1):67-76.
    This essay discusses five main topoi in the Divine Comedy through which teachers might encourage students to explore the question of the Divine Comedy’s treatment of philosophy. These topoi are: (1) The Divine Comedy’s representations in Inferno of noble pagans who are allegorically or historically associated with philosophy or natural reason; (2) its treatment of the relationship between faith and reason and that relationship’s consequences for the text’s understanding of the respective authoritativeness of theology and philosophy; (3) representations in the (...)
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  11.  4
    'But Following the Literal Sense, the Jews Refuse to Understand': Hermeneutic Conflicts in the Nicholas of Cusa's De Pace Fidei.Jason Aleksander - 2014 - American Cusanus Society Newsletter 31:13-19.
    In the midst of the De pace fidei’s imagined heavenly conference on the theme of the possibility of religious harmony, Nicholas of Cusa has Saint Peter acknowledge to the Persian interlocutor that it will be difficult to bring Jews to the acceptance of Christ’s divine nature because they refuse to accept the implicit meaning of their own history of revelation. What is peculiar about this line in the dialogue is not merely that it flies in the face of what Cusanus (...)
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  12.  4
    Time, History, and Providence in the Philosophy of Nicholas of Cusa.Jason Aleksander - 2014 - Mirabilia 19 (2).
    Although Nicholas of Cusa occasionally discussed how the universe must be understood as the unfolding of the absolutely infinite in time, he left open questions about any distinction between natural time and historical time, how either notion of time might depend upon the nature of divine providence, and how his understanding of divine providence relates to other traditional philosophical views. From texts in which Cusanus discussed these questions, this paper will attempt to make explicit how Cusanus understood divine providence. The (...)
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  13. All Philosophers Go to Hell: Dante and the Problem of Infernal Punishment.Scott Aikin & Jason Aleksander - 2014 - Sophia 53 (1):19-31.
    We discuss the philosophical problems attendant to the justice of eternal punishments in Hell, particularly those portrayed in Dante’s Inferno. We conclude that, under Dante’s description, a unique version of the problem of Hell (and Heaven) can be posed.
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  14.  3
    The Future of Cusanus Research and the Modern Legacy of Renaissance Philosophy and Theology.Jason Aleksander - 2008 - American Cusanus Society Newsletter 25 (1):45-48.
    With respect to the issue of the future of Cusanus research, the paper seeks to motivate questions about the degree to which dominant concerns of modern philosophy exhibit an often unacknowledged relationship to those of Renaissance philosophy and theology. Although the author has no wish to “modernize” Nicholas of Cusa, he contends that Cusanus research may be uniquely capable of providing insights into the question of the extent to which dominant habits of modern philosophy are significantly constituted by major commitments (...)
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  15.  84
    Nicholas of Cusa's De Pace Fidei and the Meta-Exclusivism of Religious Pluralism.Scott F. Aikin & Jason Aleksander - 2013 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (2):219-235.
    In response to the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Nicholas of Cusa wrote De pace fidei defending a commitment to religious tolerance on the basis of the notion that all diverse rites are but manifestations of one true religion. Drawing on a discussion of why Nicholas of Cusa is unable to square the two objectives of arguing for pluralistic tolerance and explaining the contents of the one true faith, we outline why theological pluralism is compromised by its own meta-exclusivism.
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  16.  1
    Dante Alighieri.Winthrop Wetherbee & Jason Aleksander - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Dante’s engagement with philosophy cannot be studied apart from his vocation as a writer, in which he sought to raise the level of public discourse by educating his countrymen and inspiring them to pursue happiness in the contemplative life. He was one of the most learned Italian laymen of his day, intimately familiar with Aristotelian logic and natural philosophy, theology, and classical literature. He is, of course,most famous for having written the Divine Comedy, but in his poetry as well as (...)
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  17.  59
    Dante's Understanding of the Two Ends of Human Desire and the Relationship Between Philosophy and Theology.Jason Aleksander - 2011 - Journal of Religion 91 (2):158-187.
    I discuss Dante’s understanding that human existence is “ordered by two final goals” and how this understanding defines philosophy’s and theology’s respective scopes of authority in guiding human conduct. I show that, while Dante devalues the philosophical authority associated with the traditional Aristotelian emphasis on the significance of contemplative activity, he does so in order to highlight philosophy’s ethico-political authority to guide human conduct toward its “earthly beatitude.” Moreover, I argue that, although Dante subordinates earthly beatitude to spiritual beatitude, he (...)
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  18.  47
    The Aporetic Ground of Revelation’s Authority in the Divine Comedy and Dante’s Demarcation and Defense of Philosophical Authority.Jason Aleksander - 2010 - Essays in Medieval Studies 26:1-14.
    I discuss Dante’s understanding that human existence is “ordered by two final goals” and how, for Dante, this understanding defines philosophy’s and revelation’s respective scopes of authority in guiding human conduct. Specifically, I show that, although Dante subordinates our earthly beatitude to spiritual beatitude in a way that seems to suggest the subordination of the authority of philosophy to that of revelation, he in fact limits philosophy’s scope to an arena in which its authority is not only legitimate but also (...)
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  19.  24
    Guillelmus de Aragonia, De Nobilitate Animi., Ed. And Trans., William D. Paden and Mario Trovato. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012. Pp. Xvi, 193. $40. ISBN: 978-0-674-06812-4. [REVIEW]Jason Aleksander - 2015 - Speculum 90 (2):548-549.
    Review of: Guillelmus de Aragonia, De nobilitate animi, ed. and trans. William D. Paden and Mario Trovato. (Harvard Studies in Medieval Latin 2.) Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012. Pp. xvi, 193. $40. ISBN: 978-0-674-06812-4.
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  20.  15
    The Problem of Theophany in Paradiso 33.Jason Aleksander - 2011 - Essays in Medieval Studies 27:61-78.
    One widely discussed feature of Paradiso 33 is Dante’s emphasis on his failure to represent in words and memory his pilgrim’s exalted vision of the Trinity. Against other interpretations of this canto, I will discuss why, despite the fact that the language of failure seeks to reinforce the poetic illusion that revelation’s authority is grounded in an unmediated access to divine truth, the theophantic moment “represented” in Paradiso 33 instead shows that revelatory experience is nothing but a product of the (...)
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  21.  11
    Nicholas of Cusa in Ages of Transition: Essays in Honor of Gerald Christianson.Thomas Izbicki, Jason Aleksander & Donald Duclow (eds.) - 2018 - Leiden: E. J. Brill.
    Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464) was active during the Renaissance, developing adventurous ideas even while serving as a churchman. The religious issues with which he engaged – spiritual, apocalyptic and institutional – were to play out in the Reformation. These essays reflect the interests of Cusanus but also those of Gerald Christianson, who has studied church history, the Renaissance and the Reformation. The book places Nicholas into his times but also looks at his later reception. The first part addresses institutional issues, (...)
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