In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:It is difficult to do justice to a monumental study such as PJDS in a short review: only time will determine its real significance. We can only offer some preliminary comments, and in spite of anything we have to say, the mere fact that the book contains such a wealth of information justifies for it a permanent place on a bookshelf of a student of medieval thought.The title of (...) PJDS deserves special attention. While we have books on Scotus's theology or particular topics of his thought, there has been no comprehensive study of his "philosophy," seemingly for a good reason: Scotus is clearly a "fundamental" and systematic theologian who simply uses some classic tools of ancient philosophers and some of their texts and ideas as material for his own discussions. So first of all one needs to determine what constitutes "philosophy" in such a case. V. devotes considerable attention to this question, but unfortunately only at the very end of the study, in Part III, which constitutes almost a separate monograph on the historiography of the debate about "medieval philosophy" and Scotus's role in it. Dichotomizing medieval thought into "philosophy" and theology in recent debates comes from the post-Enlightenment habit of seeing "philosophy" , as opposed to "theology," as something positive in itself. In Chapter 14 V. makes a good observation that "philosophy" and "theology" in ancient and medieval thought are simply two systems that can be coherent in themselves but differ fundamentally as far as their premises are concerned. Using the terminology of contemporary hermeneutical-postcritical analysis, one could say that both disciplines are intratextual systems, with their own internal logic but with different "starting points," opened to a conversation ad extra to various degrees. The classification "intratextual system" based on a solid theoretical foundation in the hermeneutical-postcritical tradition would eliminate the unnecessary dichotomy in ancient and medieval thought. Indeed, it is difficult to see why some of Plato's, Aristotle's or Stoic texts should be classified as "philosophy," not to mention those of Plotinus and Proclus that are often clearly "theology." As a whole, V.'s verdict is that Scotus has his own coherent system of thought based on contingency, as opposed to the "necessitarianism" of ancient philosophers. As for the role of "philosophy," V.'s analysis of recent scholarship shows that "medieval philosophy" is often understood as the logical tools in the service of theology: the interpretation that explains the recent interest in the fourteenth-century thought where those tools were best developed.The book in general is quite readable, despite occasional infelicities in the English and some typos. V. employs a variety of styles, from purely scholarly, which includes a straightforward exposition of relevant texts, with some analysis of the diachronic development of issues, to more literary, ornate and emotional. Similarly varied is his presentation of issues: from dry exposition to creating prolonged "mystery plots" that lead to "discoveries." Unfortunately there is also some unevenness in the text flow: from very smooth to abrupt transitions from one statement to another .Although the book will definitely benefit a variety of readers, the exact readership is difficult to pinpoint. Some sections, such as the extended discussion of distinctions and relations in the section on logic, presuppose a very basic audience; often much of the material from previous sections is repeated . Yet other sections presuppose a rather sophisticated reader who is familiar with the context of the discussion and is able not only to follow but also anticipate the author's train of thought.PJDS provides an excellent coverage of Scotus's work, with one notable exception: the Reportatio tradition. Even though the Wolter/Bychkov edition-translation of Rep. I-A appeared perhaps.. (shrink)
Intentionality, mental representation, sensory perception and its reliability, sensory illusions, and the concomitant issue of epistemological skepticism are becoming an important cluster of related topics in research on medieval cognitive psychology. It is no wonder, because these topics are much more relevant to present-day discussions of cognition and sensory perception, as many of these issues remain unexplained to this date, and therefore any observations in these areas could still be of interest, while many other topics traditionally discussed in studies on (...) medieval philosophy have only historical value and gradually fade into oblivion. Although the two publications included in this review are not... (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.
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)
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)
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)
In his opening address at a discussion of the book: V. V. Bychkov, N. B. Mankovskaya, and V. V. Ivanov, Trialogue: Living Aesthetics and the Contemporary Philosophy of Art , held on 27 February 2012 at the S. Gerasimov All-Russia State University of Cinematography , the author shows that Trialogue came into existence as a result of interpretation, polemical debate, and further development of ideas formulated in his early fundamental work. The Artistic Apocalypse of Culture . The key idea (...) of both books is V. Bychkov's hypothesis of Culture -post- culture drawn from radical processes that take place in art, aesthetics, and the culture of the last century. (shrink)
The article discusses the aesthetic aspects of the symbolology introduced by the Byzantine author of the Corpus Areopagiticum that was signed in the name of the pupil of the Apostle Paul, Dionysius the Areopagite. The symbolology is understood to mean knowledge of both symbols and symbolic type of consciousness and worldview, which is implicitly present in Dionysius's works. Based on the analysis of the Corpus texts, it is shown that all levels of symbol theory developed by Dionysius—like likenesses, unlike likenesses, (...) apophatic naming, and sacral-liturgical symbolism—have an aesthetic coloration. The symbolology of the Areopagitica gave a powerful impetus to the development of European theological aesthetics and the artistic practice of the Christian culture for many centuries, in Western Europe as well as in the Byzantine Empire and medieval Russia. (shrink)
The author analyzes artistic symbolization as the process by which the artist creatively embodies metaphysical reality in the work of art and evokes a spiritual and emotional response in the recipient.
The present text is Letter No. 187 written for the Trialogue Project, whose first volume, containing 170 letters, was published in Moscow in 2012., Addressed to Nadežda B. Mankovskaya and Vladimir V. Ivanov, the letter uncovers the chief line of the artistic symbolism in a monumental film tetralogy by Aleksandr Sokurov, a famous Russian filmmaker. The author shows how through the artistic interpretation of such historical personalities as Lenin, Hitler, and Japanese emperor Hirohito as well as such cultural-mythological characters as (...) Faust and Mephistopheles, the film director reveals varying aspects of the social display of an irrational element of Power. (shrink)
This essay provides a conceptual account of contemporary aesthetics defining it as post-nonclassical. The author shows that this aesthetics, which is the direct consequence of the current state of a technogenic, globalizing civilization and is its self-consciousness, is composed of three parts: classic aesthetic metaphysics; opposed to it nonclassical aesthetics, which emerged on the base of a verbal fixation on twentieth-century art practice ; and aesthetic virtualistics, which generalizes the experience of emerging digital and network art experiments. The author introduces (...) the basic aesthetic vocabulary specific to each of the constituent parts of contemporary post-nonclassical aesthetics. (shrink)
This article analyzes the fundamental aesthetic views of two major representatives of European culture, the Croation Juraj Krizanic and the Moldavian Nicolai Spatarul, who worked in Russia in the second half of the 17th century, and who through their works made it possible for Russian culture of the time to adopt the ideas of Western European aesthetics. (edited).
In 2008, the late Allan B. Wolter, OFM worked with Oleg V. Bychkov, Ph.D. to publish a ‘safe’ version of the Reportatio IA of Franciscan Master John Duns Scotus. The publication of this first book of Scotus’s Commentary on the Sentences from his Paris teaching offered scholars an opportunity to follow the Subtle Doctor’s reasoning throughout his entire teaching career: from the earliest Lectura texts, through the Ordinatio teaching, to what many consider his final say on certain matters (...) when he taught in Paris, between 1302 and 1304.While the Ordinatio claims to have been re-worked by Scotus himself, and Reportatio IA to have been ‘examined’ by Scotus, similar claims to definitive status do not appear... (shrink)
According to Duns Scotus, the First Table of the Decalogue contains only those moral propositions whose truth value is known from their terms alone, or conclusions that necessarily follow from them. As such, God cannot make a dispensation from them. In contrast, God can make dispensations from the Second Table precepts, since these precepts are not logical deductions following necessarily from the First Table. Nevertheless, they are “highly consonant” with it. However, Scotus does not explain what he means by saying (...) the Second Table precepts are “highly consonant” with the First Table. Recently, Richard Cross and OlegBychkov have argued that consonance should be understood in terms of aesthetic considerations. This interpretation, however, falters in establishing that consonans ought to be construed aesthetically, and it contradicts explicit statements Scotus makes about divine freedom and what God can do: namely, it places constraints upon God’s will beyond mere logical possibility. (shrink)