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Sophia Vasalou
University of Birmingham
  1.  5
    Schopenhauer and the Aesthetic Standpoint: Philosophy as a Practice of the Sublime.Sophia Vasalou - 2013 - Cambridge University Press.
    With its pessimistic vision and bleak message of world-denial, it has often been difficult to know how to engage with Schopenhauer's philosophy. Schopenhauer's arguments have seemed flawed and his doctrines marred by inconsistencies; his very pessimism almost too flamboyant to be believable. Yet a way of redrawing this engagement stands open, Sophia Vasalou argues, if we attend more closely to the visionary power of Schopenhauer's work. The aim of this book is to place the aesthetic character of Schopenhauer's standpoint at (...)
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  2.  2
    Admiration, Emulation, and the Description of Character.Sophia Vasalou - 2020 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 54 (3):47.
    The experience of admiration has become the focus of renewed philosophical attention in recent times, singled out by many as an emotion with an important role to play in the moral life. Taken as it stands, this is a claim that invites distinctions, given the complex ways in which this emotion concept features in our ordinary experience and expressive habits. We speak of admiring a person’s integrity and selflessness, but we also speak of admiring her wit or sense of humor, (...)
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  3. Moral Agents and Their Deserts: The Character of Mu'tazilite Ethics.Sophia Vasalou - 2008 - Princeton University Press.
    Must good deeds be rewarded and wrongdoers punished? Would God be unjust if He failed to punish and reward? And what is it about good or evil actions and moral identity that might generate such necessities? These were some of the vital religious and philosophical questions that eighth- and ninth-century Mu'tazilite theologians and their sophisticated successors attempted to answer, giving rise to a distinctive ethical position and one of the most prominent and controversial intellectual trends in medieval Islam. The Mu'tazilites (...)
     
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  4.  37
    Educating Virtue as a Mastery of Language.Sophia Vasalou - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (1):67-87.
    That only those who have mastered language can be virtuous is something that may strike us as an obvious truism. It would seem to follow naturally from, indeed simply restate, a view that is far more commonly held and expressed by philosophers of the virtues, namely that only those who can reason can be virtuous properly said. My aim in this paper is to draw attention to this truism and argue its importance. In doing so, I will take the starting (...)
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  5.  43
    Subject and Body in Baṣran Mu‘Tazilism, Or: Mu‘Tazilite Kalām and the Fear of Triviality: Sophia Vasalou.Sophia Vasalou - 2007 - Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 17 (2):267-298.
    In this paper, my aim is to offer some comments on the study of Mu‘tazilite kalām, framed around the study of a particular episode in the Mu‘tazilite dispute about man – a question with a deceptively Aristotelian cadence that is not too difficult to dispel. Within this episode, my focus is on one of the major arguments used by the late Baṣrans to hold up their side of the dispute, and on the relationship between the mental and the physical which (...)
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  6.  23
    Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski: Exemplarist Moral Theory: New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. Hardcover . $ 69. 274 + Xiii Pp.Sophia Vasalou - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (2):429-431.
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  7.  29
    Helen de Cruz and Johan de Smedt A Natural History of Natural Theology: The Cognitive Science of Theology and Philosophy of Religion. . Pp. Xvii + 246. £27.95 . ISBN 978 0 262 02854 7. [REVIEW]Sophia Vasalou - 2016 - Religious Studies 52 (3):424-429.
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  8.  76
    "Their Intention Was Shown by Their Bodily Movements": The Baṣran Mu'tazilites on the Institution of Language.Sophia Vasalou - 2009 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (2):pp. 201-221.
    Following the initiative of Abū Hāshim al-Jubbā'ī, the Baṣran Mu'tazilites rejected the view of language, dominant till then in the Islamic milieu, according to which humanity had received it by way of divine revelation, and defended the position that language had arisen by means of a human convention. On the Baṣran understanding of this convention, the connection between words and things was effected by means of a momentous act of intention to assign a name, which was revealed to another through (...)
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  9.  18
    An Ancient Virtue and Its Heirs: The Reception of Greatness of Soul in the Arabic Tradition.Sophia Vasalou - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (4):688-731.
    This essay examines the reception of the ancient virtue of greatness of soul in the Arabic tradition, touching on a range of figures but focusing especially on Miskawayh and even more concertedly on al-Ghazālī. Influenced by a number of Greek ethical texts available in Arabic translation, both of these thinkers incorporate greatness of soul into their classifications of the virtues and the vices. Yet a closer scrutiny raises questions about this amicable inclusion, and suggests that this virtue stands in an (...)
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  10.  13
    Excellent Beauty: The Naturalness of Religion and the Unnaturalness of the World.Sophia Vasalou - 2018 - British Journal of Aesthetics 58 (1):105-108.
    © British Society of Aesthetics 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society of Aesthetics. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.comAnyone who follows the debates between religion and science will be instantly baited by the subject of this book and by the seductive terms of its title. This is a book about a well-worn topic which proposes to enter it through a little-worn door, the notion of mystery, for which the title’s ‘excellent beauty’ turns (...)
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  11.  48
    Equal Before the Law: The Evilness of Human and Divine Lies ‘Abd Al-Gabbar's Rational Ethics.Sophia Vasalou - 2003 - Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 13 (2):243-268.
    This paper sets out to chart the fortunes of one of the most significant moral propositions in Mu'tazilite moral theory — namely, that it is evil to lie, and it is evil irrespective of the consequences of so doing. The reasons which promote this principle to significance relate to the broader context of Mu'tazilite theological orientation, which aims to vindicate God's justice through demonstrating that moral value does not derive from revelation. Yet this principle suffers the difficulties which commonly afflict (...)
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  12.  39
    'The Mind as an Object of God's Knowledge': Another Cartesian Temptation?Sophia Vasalou - 2009 - Philosophical Investigations 32 (1):44-64.
    In this paper my aim is to consider the picture of God's immediate knowledge of the mind as this appears in Wittgenstein's work, where its soundness seems to be brought into question. My argument is that the response to this denial should take the form, not of an investigation of a theological position concerning God's knowledge ("can God look into the human mind?"), but of a negotiation of the difficulties affecting our use of this picture. A great part of the (...)
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  13.  35
    Personal Identity as a Task.Sophia Vasalou - 2008 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 51 (3):288 – 311.
    In this paper, I explore a mode of concern with the question of personal identity in which the latter is raised as a problem of a practical order. What provokes this is a concern with the experience of discontinuity within the self and with the perception of continuity as a fragile and uncontrollable good. I discuss the relation which this practically oriented perspective bears to the philosophical form of engagement with personal identity, and the reasons which make the perspective of (...)
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  14.  8
    Greatness of Spirit: A New Virtue for Our Taxonomies?Sophia Vasalou - 2017 - Dialogue 56 (2):291-316.
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  15.  18
    The Expression of Wonderment.Sophia Vasalou - 2007 - Philosophical Investigations 30 (2):138–155.
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  16.  2
    Character and Moral Psychology CHRISTIAN B. MILLER Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014; 288 Pp.; $55.00. [REVIEW]Sophia Vasalou - 2016 - Dialogue 55 (4):795-796.
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  17. Ibn Taymiyya's Theological Ethics.Sophia Vasalou - 2015 - Oxford University Press USA.
    Icon of modern-day fundamentalist movements, firebrand religious purist, tireless polemicist against the intellectual schools of his time-the Ibn Taymiyya we know is a thinker we often associate with hard attitudes and dogmatic stances. Yet there is another Ibn Taymiyya that stands out from the pages of his work, the thinker who fashions himself as a master of the via media and as a defender of the harmony between human reason and the religious faith. The aim of this book is to (...)
     
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  18.  7
    The Measure of Greatness: Philosophers on Magnanimity.Sophia Vasalou (ed.) - 2019 - Oxford University Press.
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  19. Virtues of Greatness in the Arabic Tradition.Sophia Vasalou - 2019 - Oxford University Press.
    Sophia Vasalou investigates the 'virtues of greatness' in the Islamic world. Examining the virtue of magnanimity in ancient philosophical ethics and the 'greatness of spirit' in the Arabic tradition, she traces the genealogy of these ideals, explores the influences that shaped them, and highlights the contemporary relevance of these ideals.
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  20. Wonder: A Grammar.Sophia Vasalou - 2015 - State University of New York Press.
    _Synthesizes the most important recent work on wonder and brings a number of disciplines into conversation. _.
     
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