One of the important theological issues for ancient and medieval thought was to account for the existence of evil. Augustine provided an aesthetic explanation: evil exists for contrast, to let the good stand out more prominently. Thus, just as a painting that uses both dark and bright colors, the universe that contains both good and evil is beautiful as a whole. The argument was debated in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Alexander of Hales, as well as the Franciscan tradition in (...) general, strongly supported the Augustinian position. The article discusses a previously unknown debate between Albert the Great and Bonaventure about this issue and suggests that Bonaventure is defending his fellow-Franciscan Alexander. (shrink)
R. Pasnau once commented that the present-day academic area of cognitive theory suits medieval thought better than epistemology. The comment seems to the point, and the focus of R. Cross’s book is thus appropriately placed. Scotus’s theory of cognition is worth a new treatment both because Scotus represents a new stage in medieval cognitive theory and because his positions are “sometimes rather fluid” and “not always as clear”. This lack of clarity extends to the most important subject in this book, (...) such as various aspects of the issue of intentionality, where Scotus’s discussion is... (shrink)
This anthology of philosophical texts by Greek and Roman authors brings together works from the late fifth century BC to the sixth century AD that comment on major aesthetic issues such as the perception of beauty and harmony in music and the visual arts, structure and style in literature, and aesthetic judgement. It includes important texts by Plato and Aristotle on the status and the role of the arts in society and in education, and Longinus' reflections on the sublime in (...) literature, in addition to less well-known writings by Philodemus, Cicero, Seneca, Plotinus, Augustine and Proclus. Most of the texts have been newly translated for this volume, and some are available in English for the first time. A detailed introduction traces the development of classical aesthetics from its roots in Platonism and Aristotelianism to its ultimate form in late Antiquity. (shrink)
Franciscan thought in the 1300's, starting with Duns Scotus, is quite a revolution in terms of a shift to relying on sensory and phenomenal experience in the construction of cognitive theories.1 However, we do not yet understand the full extent of its convergence with modern and contemporary thought. In what follows, we intend to advance this understanding. The experiential tendency in early fourteenth-century thought is undermined by a Cartesian-style doubt about the reliability of sensory perception and phenomenal experience that stems (...) from the 63rd proposition of the Condemnations of 1277, which rejects the thesis that "God cannot produce the effect of a secondary cause without the secondary cause itself":2 a... (shrink)
The issue of why God, the Trinity and Christ in Christianity can be called "beautiful" has been muddled in literature on theological aesthetics. John Duns Scotus’s detailed discussion of relations within the Trinity helps resolve this issue. The Trinity can be called "beautiful" in at least three senses, depending on whether one considers Trinitarian relations at all, whether one looks at the relation of equality, or whether one analyzes relations of origin.