The mnemonic arts and the idea of a universal language that would capture the essence of all things were originally associated with cryptology, mysticism, and other occult practices. And it is commonly held that these enigmatic efforts were abandoned with the development of formal logic in the seventeenth century and the beginning of the modern era. In his distinguished book, Logic and the Art of Memory Italian philosopher and historian Paolo Rossi argues that this view is belied by an examination (...) of the history of the idea of a universal language. Based on comprehensive analyses of original texts, Rossi traces the development of this idea from late medieval thinkers such as Ramon Lull through Bruno, Bacon, Descartes, and finally Leibniz in the seventeenth century. The search for a symbolic mode of communication that would be intelligible to everyone was not a mere vestige of magical thinking and occult sciences, but a fundamental component of Renaissance and Enlightenment thought. Seen from this perspective, modern science and combinatorial logic represent not a break from the past but rather its full maturity. Available for the first time in English, this book (originally titled Clavis Universalis ) remains one of the most important contributions to the history of ideas ever written. In addition to his eagerly anticipated translation, Steven Clucas offers a substantial introduction that places this book in the context of other recent works on this fascinating subject. A rich history and valuable sourcebook, Logic and the Art of Memory documents an essential chapter in the development of human reason. (shrink)
"The essays, both philosophical and historical, demonstrate the continuing significance of a neglected aspect of Kant’s thought."—Religious Studies Review Challenging the traditional view that Kant's account of religion was peripheral to his thinking, these essays demonstrate the centrality of religion to Kant's critical philosophy. Contributors are Sharon Anderson-Gold, Leslie A. Mulholland, Anthony N. Perovich, Jr., Philip J. Rossi, Joseph Runzo, Denis Savage, Walter Sparn, Burkhard Tuschling, Nicholas P. Wolterstorff, and Allen W. Wood.
Discussions about theological realism within analytic philosophy of religion, and the larger conversation between analytic and continental styles in philosophy of religion have generated relatively little interest among Catholic philosophers and theologians; conversely, the work of major figures in recent Catholic theology seems to evoke little interest from analytic philosophers of religion. Using the 1998 papal encyclical on faith and reason, Fides et ratio, as a major point of reference, this essay offers a preliminary account of the bases for such (...) seeming mutual indifference and offers some suggestions for future dialogue. (shrink)
Kant uses the term reason’s "interest" to designate human efforts to represent "the absolute totality of conditions for any conditioned thing" and the "unconditioned ground" for such totality. in the "critique of judgment" ("91), he identifies three such representations-the highest good, god, and immortality-as the only ones which can be called "things of faith"; one other-freedom-is accorded the unique status of a "fact" of reason. an analysis of the function of these representations in the answer kant gives to the question (...) "what may i hope?" will provide essential features in justification of the following claim: kant has constructed an account of hope which accords it the status of a fundamental form of human rational activity-on a par with knowing and willing-when directed toward its appropriate objects: the highest good, god, and immortality. (shrink)
L’articolo si pone il problema del perché Vico avesse pensato alla sua impresa come ad una scienza e si fosse occupato di confrontarla con la scienza della natura. Si passano in rassegna l’uso di concetti come degnità, assiomi, postulati, tenendo fermo che Vico non fu né un cartesiano, né un galileiano, e come non si lasci racchiudere nelle gabbie dell’apriorismo e del platonismo: egli ha solo fatto sue alcune idee o tesi presenti entro quelle tradizioni. Vico si guarda bene dall’effettuare (...) una scelta precisa e definitiva tra quelle realtà alle quali attribuiamo oggi il nome di razionalismo e empirismo. Si richiama contemporaneamente e negli stessi testi sia alla tradizione del geometrismo cartesiano sia a quella di Bacone e delpensiero dei baconiani del tardo Seicento, facendone un uso alquanto libero. L’articolo contiene inoltre osservazioni su Vico lettore di Cogitata et visa e di De dignitate et augmentis scientarum di Bacone. (shrink)
Evil in Modern Thought, Susan Neiman's account of the intellectual trajectory of modernity, employs the trope “homeless” to articulate deep difficulties that affirmations of divine transcendence and of human capacities to acknowledge transcendence face in a contemporary context thoroughly marked by fragmentation, fragility, and contingency. The “hospitality” of the Incarnation, which makes a fractured world a place for divine welcoming of the human in all its contingency and brokenness, is proposed as locus for theological engagement with Neiman's appropriation of a (...) Kantian sense of hope as the readiness to resist evil in a world seemingly bereft of welcome. (shrink)
“Davidson and classical pragmatism”. In this paper I wish to trace some connections between Donald Davidson´s work (1917-2003) and two major representatives of the classical pragmatist movement: Charles S. Peirce (18391914) and William James (1842-1910). I will start with a basic characterization of classical pragmatism; then, I shall examine certain conceptions in Peirce’s and James’ pragmatism, in order to establish affinities with Davidsons’ thought. Finally, and bearing in mind the previous connections, I will reflect briefly on the relevance –often unrecognized– (...) of classical pragmatist ideas in the context of contemporary philosophical discussions. (shrink)