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Robert Pasnau
University of Colorado, Boulder
  1.  43
    Metaphysical Themes, 1274–1671.Robert Pasnau - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    The thirty chapters work through various fundamental metaphysical issues, sometimes focusing more on scholastic thought, sometimes on the seventeenth century.
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  2.  46
    Theories of Cognition in the Later Middle Ages.Robert Pasnau - 1997 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book is a major contribution to the history of philosophy in the later medieval period (1250-1350). It focuses on cognitive theory, a subject of intense investigation during these years. In fact many of the issues that dominate philosophy of mind and epistemology today - intentionality, mental representation, scepticism, realism - were hotly debated in the later medieval period. The book offers a careful analysis of these debates, primarily through the work of Thomas Aquinas, John Olivi, and William Ockham. Each (...)
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  3. After Certainty: A History of Our Epistemic Ideals and Illusions.Robert Pasnau - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    After Certainty offers a reconstruction of the history of epistemology, understood as a series of changing expectations about the cognitive ideal that we might hope to achieve in this world. Pasnau ranges widely over philosophy from Aristotle to the 17th century, and examines in some detail the rise of science as an autonomous discipline.
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  4. Thomas Aquinas on Human Nature: A Philosophical Study of Summa Theologia 1a 75–89.Robert Pasnau - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
    This is a major new study of Thomas Aquinas, the most influential philosopher of the Middle Ages. The book offers a clear and accessible guide to the central project of Aquinas' philosophy: the understanding of human nature. Robert Pasnau sets the philosophy in the context of ancient and modern thought, and argues for some groundbreaking proposals for understanding some of the most difficult areas of Aquinas' thought: the relationship of soul to body, the workings of sense and intellect, the will (...)
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  5. Disagreement and the Value of Self-Trust.Robert Pasnau - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2315-2339.
    Controversy over the epistemology of disagreement endures because there is an unnoticed factor at work: the intrinsic value we give to self-trust. Even if there are many instances of disagreement where, from a strictly epistemic or rational point of view, we ought to suspend belief, there are other values at work that influence our all-things considered judgments about what we ought to believe. Hence those who would give equal-weight to both sides in many cases of disagreement may be right, from (...)
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  6. Epistemology Idealized.Robert Pasnau - 2013 - Mind 122 (488):987-1021.
    Epistemology today centrally concerns the conceptual analysis of knowledge. Historically, however, this is a concept that philosophers have seldom been interested in analysing, particularly when it is construed as broadly as the English language would have it. Instead, the overriding focus of epistemologists over the centuries has been, first, to describe the epistemic ideal that human beings might hope to achieve, and then go on to chart the various ways in which we ordinarily fall off from that ideal. I discuss (...)
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  7.  38
    Belief in a Fallen World.Robert Pasnau - 2018 - Res Philosophica 95 (3):531-559.
    In an ideal epistemic world, our beliefs would correspond to our evidence, and our evidence would be bountiful. In the world we live in, however, if we wish to live meaningful lives, other epistemic strategies are necessary. Here I attempt to work out, systematically, the ways in which evidentialism fails us as a guide to belief. This is so preeminently for lives of a religious character, but the point applies more broadly.
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  8. Form, Substance, and Mechanism.Robert Pasnau - 2004 - Philosophical Review 113 (1):31-88.
    Philosophers today have largely given up on the project of categorizing being. Aristotle’s ten categories now strike us as quaint, and no attempt to improve on that effort meets with much interest. Still, no one supposes that reality is smoothly distributed over space. The world at large comes in chunks, and there remains a widespread intuition, even among philosophers, that some of these chunks have a special sort of unity and persistence. These, we tend to suppose, are most truly agents (...)
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  9.  31
    Snatching Hope From the Jaws of Epistemic Defeat.Robert Pasnau - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2):257--275.
    Reflection on the history of skepticism shows that philosophers have often conjoined as a single doctrine various theses that are best kept apart. Some of these theses are incredible – literally almost impossible to accept – whereas others seem quite plausible, and even verging on the platitudinous. Mixing them together, one arrives at a view – skepticism – that is as a whole indefensible. My aim is to pull these different elements apart, and to focus on one particular strand of (...)
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  10. On Existing All at Once.Robert Pasnau - 2011 - In C. Tapp (ed.), God, Eternity, and Time. Ashgate.
    It is important to distinguish between two ways in which God might be timelessly eternal: eternality as being wholly outside of time, versus the sort of timelessness that consists in lacking temporal parts, and so existing “all at once.” A prominent but neglected historical tradition, most clearly evident in Anselm, advocates putting God in time, but in an all-at-once sort of way that makes God immune to temporal change. This is an intrinsically plausible conception of divine eternality, which also sheds (...)
     
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  11. Science and Certainty.Robert Pasnau - 2010 - In The Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
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  12. Form and Matter.Robert Pasnau - 2009 - In The Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
    The first unquestionably big idea in the history of philosophy was the idea of form. The idea of course belonged to Plato, and was then domesticated at the hands of Aristotle, who paired form with matter as the two chief principles of his metaphysics and natural philosophy. In the medieval period, it was Aristotle’s conception of form and matter that generally dominated. This was true for both the Islamic and the Christian tradition, once the entire Aristotelian corpus became available. For (...)
     
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  13. The Event of Color.Robert Pasnau - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 142 (3):353 - 369.
    When objects are illuminated, the light they reflect does not simply bounce off their surface. Rather, that light is entirely reabsorbed and then reemitted, as the result of a complex microphysical event near the surface of the object. If we are to be physicalists regarding color, then we should analyze colors in terms of that event, just as we analyze heat in terms of molecular motion, and sound in terms of vibrations. On this account, colors are not standing properties of (...)
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  14.  84
    Sensible Qualities: The Case of Sound.Robert Pasnau - 2000 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 38 (1):27-40.
  15. The Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy.Robert Pasnau & Christina Van Dyke (eds.) - 2010 - Cambridge University Press.
    The Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy comprises over fifty specially commissioned essays by experts on the philosophy of this period. Starting in the late eighth century, with the renewal of learning some centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, a sequence of chapters takes the reader through developments in many and varied fields, including logic and language, natural philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, and theology. Close attention is paid to the context of medieval philosophy, with discussions of the rise of the (...)
     
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  16. Ancient and Medieval Theories of Intentionality.Myles Burnyeat, Richard Gaskin, Joël Biard, Peter Simons, Victor Caston, Richard Sorabji, Christof Rapp, Hermann Weidemann, Dorothea Frede, Claude Panaccio, Elizabeth Karger, Robert Pasnau & Cyrille Michon - 2001 - Brill.
    This volume, including sixteen contributions, analyses ancient and medieval theories of intentionality in various contexts: perception, imagination, and intellectual thinking. It sheds new light on classical theories and examines neglected sources, both Greek and Latin.
     
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  17.  5
    Cognition.Robert Pasnau - 2003 - In Thomas Williams (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Duns Scotus. Cambridge University Press. pp. 285.
  18.  83
    Souls and the Beginning of Life (a Reply to Haldane and Lee).Robert Pasnau - 2003 - Philosophy 78 (4):521-531.
    In a recent book, I attempt to use the metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas to defend a moderate view regarding abortion: that an abortion at any time during a pregnancy should be considered a grave loss, but that it should be considered murder only after roughly the middle of the second trimester. John Haldane and Patrick Lee contend that I have misunderstood the implications of Aquinas's view, and that in fact his metaphysics supports the conclusion that a human being comes into (...)
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  19.  22
    On Efficient Causality: Metaphysical Disputations 17, 18, and 19.Robert Pasnau, Francisco Suarez & Alfred J. Freddoso - 1996 - Philosophical Review 105 (4):533.
    A quick scan of the leading figures in western philosophy reveals that relatively few have made a name for themselves by defending intuitive, natural, and sensible positions. Aristotle is one, and perhaps Aquinas is another. Francisco Suarez, the sixteenth-century Spanish scholastic, would be a third. His invariable working procedure is to give copious consideration to the various ancient and medieval views, and then to find some sensible compromise position. But today Suarez can hardly claim to have a broad readership. Of (...)
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  20. Philosophy of Mind and Human Nature.Robert Pasnau - 2011 - In Brian Davies & Eleonore Stump (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Aquinas. Oxford University Press.
    A theory of human nature must consider from the start whether it sees human beings in fundamentally biological terms, as animals like other animals, or else in fundamentally supernatural terms, as creatures of God who are like God in some special way, and so importantly unlike other animals. Many of the perennial philosophical disputes have proved so intractable in part because their adherents divide along these lines. The friends of materialism, seeing human beings as just a particularly complex example of (...)
     
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  21.  25
    Olivi on the Metaphysics of Soul.Robert Pasnau - 1997 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 6 (2):109-132.
  22.  50
    Divine Illumination.Robert Pasnau - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  23.  67
    Veiled Disagreement.Robert Pasnau - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (11):608-630.
    A theory of how rationally to respond to disagreement requires a clear account of how to measure comparative reliability. Such an account faces a Generality Problem analogous to the well-known problem that besets reliabilist theories of knowledge. But whereas the problem for reliabilism has proved recalcitrant, I show that a solution in the case of disagreement is available. That solution is to measure reliability in the most fine-grained way possible, in light of all the circumstances of the present disagreement, but (...)
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  24. Medieval Social Epistemology: Scientia for Mere Mortals.Robert Pasnau - 2010 - Episteme 7 (1):23-41.
    Medieval epistemology begins as ideal theory: when is one ideally situated with regard to one's grasp of the way things are? Taking as their starting point Aristotle's Posterior Analytics, scholastic authors conceive of the goal of cognitive inquiry as the achievement of scientia, a systematic body of beliefs, grasped as certain, and grounded in demonstrative reasons that show the reason why things are so. Obviously, however, there is not much we know in this way. The very strictness of this ideal (...)
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  25.  23
    Intentionality and Final Causes.Robert Pasnau - 2001 - In Dominik Perler (ed.), Ancient and Medieval Theories of Intentionality. Brill. pp. 301--24.
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  26.  80
    Aquinas and the Content Fallacy.Robert Pasnau - 1998 - Modern Schoolman 75 (4):293-314.
  27.  33
    William Heytesbury on Knowledge: Epistemology Without Necessary and Sufficient Conditions.Robert Pasnau - 1995 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 12 (4):347 - 366.
  28. A Theory of Secondary Qualities.Robert Pasnau - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):568-591.
    The secondary qualities are those qualities of objects that bear a certain relation to our sensory powers: roughly, they are those qualities that we can readily detect only through a certain distinctive phenomenal experience. Contrary to what is sometimes supposed, there is nothing about the world itself (independent of our minds) that determines the distinction between primary and secondary qualities. Instead, a theory of the secondary qualities must be grounded in facts about how we conceive of these qualities, and ultimately (...)
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  29. Democritus and Secondary Qualities.Robert Pasnau - 2007 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 89 (2):99-121.
    Democritus is generally understood to have anticipated the seventeenthcentury distinction between primary and secondary qualities. I argue that this is not the case, and that instead for Democritus all sensible qualities are conventional.
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  30.  48
    Henry of Ghent and the Twilight of Divine Illumination.Robert Pasnau - 1995 - Review of Metaphysics 49 (1):49 - 75.
    The first doctrine Peckham mentions as being under attack is of undoubtedly the TDI, according to which human beings are illuminated by "the unchangeable light" so as to attain the "eternal rules." This language of light and illumination is of course most closely associated with Augustine, but it permeates the entire Christian medieval tradition. Until Aquinas's time the TDI had played a prominent role in all the most influential medieval theories of knowledge, including those of Anselm, Albert the Great, Roger (...)
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  31.  16
    Scholastic Qualities, Primary and Secondary.Robert Pasnau - 2011 - In Lawrence Nolan (ed.), Primary and Secondary Qualities: The Historical and Ongoing Debate. Oxford University Press. pp. 41.
  32.  9
    Aquinas on Mind.Robert Pasnau - 1994 - Philosophical Review 103 (4):745.
  33.  8
    Id Quo Cognoscimus.Robert Pasnau - 2008 - In Kärkkäinen Knuuttila (ed.), Theories of Perception in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy. pp. 131--149.
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  34. Mind, Metaphysics and Value in the Thomistic and Analytical Traditions.John Haldane, James Mcevoy, Michael Dunne, Fergus Kerr, Brian Davies & Robert Pasnau - 2004 - Philosophical Quarterly 54 (216):469-473.
     
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  35.  27
    Therapeutic Reflections on Our Bipolar History of Perception.Robert Pasnau - 2016 - Analytic Philosophy 57 (4):253-284.
    The long history of theorizing about perception divides into two quite distinct and irreconcilable camps, one that takes sensory experience to show us external reality just as it is, and one that takes such experience to reveal our own mind. I argue that we should reject both sides of this debate, and admit that the phenomenal character of experience, as such, reveals little about the nature of the external world and even less about the mind.
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  36. Mind and Hylomorphism.Robert Pasnau - 2012 - In John Marenbon (ed.), The Oxford Handbook to Medieval Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    For later medieval philosophers, writing under the influence of Aristotle’s natural philosophy and metaphysics, the human soul plays two quite different roles, serving as both a substantial form and a mind. To ask the natural question of why we need a soul at all – why we might not instead simply be a body, a material thing – therefore requires considering two very different sets of issues. The first set of issues is metaphysical, and revolves around the central question of (...)
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  37.  19
    Peter John Olivi.Robert Pasnau - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  38.  73
    What Is Cognition? A Reply to Some Critics.Robert Pasnau - 2002 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 76 (3):483-490.
    In an earlier work, I proposed understanding Aquinas’s theory of cognition in terms of the possession of information about the world. This proposal has seemed problematic in various ways. It has been said to include too much, and too little, and to be the wrong sort of account altogether. Nevertheless, I continue to think of it as the most plausible interpretation of Aquinas’s theory.
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  39.  66
    Aquinas on Thought’s Linguistic Nature.Robert Pasnau - 1997 - The Monist 80 (4):558-575.
    Thomas Aquinas gives us many reasons to think that conceptual thought is linguistic in nature. Most notably, he refers to a mental concept as a verbum or word. He further says that such concepts may be either simple or complex, and that complex concepts are formed out of simple ones, through composition or division. These complex concepts may either affirm or deny a predicate of a subject. All of these claims suggest that conceptual thought is somehow language-like. Moreover, Aquinas would (...)
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  40.  31
    Experience of God and the Rationality of Theistic Belief.Robert Pasnau - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (4):624.
    In August of 1989, as an eighteen-year-old atheist spending his last night at home before setting off cross-country for college, I had the one and only mystical experience of my life to date. Rather than grapple with expressing the content of that experience, let me quote from part of the record Blaise Pascal made of his own mystical experience, one that seems to have been similar in many respects to my own.
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  41.  22
    Petri Iohannis Olivi Tractatus de Verbo.Robert Pasnau - 1993 - Franciscan Studies 53 (1):121-133.
  42.  85
    Review: Aquinas. [REVIEW]Robert Pasnau - 2005 - Mind 114 (453):203-206.
  43. Mind and Knowledge.Robert Pasnau (ed.) - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
    The third volume of The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Texts will allow scholars and students access, for the first time in English, to major texts that form the debate over mind and knowledge at the center of medieval philosophy. Beginning with thirteenth-century attempts to classify the soul's powers and to explain the mind's place within the soul, the volume proceeds systematically to consider the scope of human knowledge and the role of divine illumination, intentionality and mental representation, and attempts (...)
     
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  44.  21
    Plotting Augustine's Confessions.Robert Pasnau - 2000 - Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 3 (2):77-106.
    Some ideas on how to teach the Confessions in an introductory philosophy class.
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  45.  33
    A Realistic Theory of Categories: An Essay on Ontology.Robert Pasnau - 1998 - Review of Metaphysics 51 (3):666-667.
  46.  25
    Who Needs an Answer to Skepticism?Robert Pasnau - 1996 - American Philosophical Quarterly 33 (4):421 - 432.
  47.  5
    Petrus Iohannis Olivi_: _Tractatus de Verbo.Robert Pasnau - 1993 - Franciscan Studies 53 (1):134-153.
  48. Aquinas's Summa Theologiae.Leonard Boyle, Victor White, John Wippel, Peter Geach, Robert Pasnau, Anthony Kenny, Herbert McCabe, Eleonore Stump, Bonnie Kent & Fergus Kerr - 2005 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    Thomas Aquinas was first and foremost a Christian theologian. Yet he was also one of the greatest philosophers of the Middle Ages. Drawing on classical authors, and incorporating ideas from Jewish and Arab sources, he came to offer a rounded and lasting account of the origin of the universe and of the things to be found within it, especially human beings.
     
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  49. Aquinas: Basic Works.Jeffrey Hause & Robert Pasnau (eds.) - 2014 - Hackett Publishing Company.
    Drawn from a wide range of writings and featuring state-of-the-art translations, _Basic Works_ offers convenient access to Thomas Aquinas' most important discussions of nature, being and essence, divine and human nature, and ethics and human action. The translations all capture Aquinas's sharp, transparent style and display terminological consistency. Many were originally published in the acclaimed translation-cum-commentary series _The Hackett Aquinas_, edited by Robert Pasnau and Jeffrey Hause. Others appear here for the first time: Eleonore Stump and Stephen Chanderbahn's translation of (...)
     
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  50.  8
    Questiones super Physicam by Nicole Oresme.Tyler Huismann & Robert Pasnau - 2014 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (3):610-611.
    A review of the Latin text of Oresme's important work.
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