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Ethics in the Early Modern Period

While many of the disciplines and sub-disciplines pertaining to philosophy during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries are now part of other academic fields and subject-matters, ethics has remained as a resilient area of philosophical inquiry to this day. Textbooks on ethics were published throughout the early modern period, together with sections on ethics within encyclopaedic writings devoted in whole or in part to philosophy. And academic disputations were devoted to specific topics and questions pertaining to ethics.

Moral virtue
Within general discussions of ethics during the early modern period the concept of moral virtue (virtus moralis) normally was accorded a central role. Moral virtue was normally conceived as the mean between extremes (mediocritas). The bulk of textbooks on ethics was normally devoted to examination the individual moral virtues (e.g., fortitude, humility, justice, modesty, taciturnity, and temperance) and often accompanied by discussion of corresponding vices (e.g., audacity and cowardice as the two vices corresponding to fortitude).

Additional concepts
General discussions of ethics also focus on a number of additional concepts related in some manner to moral virtue; these generally included intellectual virtue (sub-categories of which could be wisdom, prudence, and sometimes individual arts and science disciplines), dispositions (habitus), friendship, free will, honor, happiness, and moral actions. Charity, faith, hope, and piety also were frequently given attention. From the late 17th century onwards, natural law was sometimes also discussed. Good and evil, which normally were examined within the subject-matter of metaphysics, nonetheless were generally accorded direct and/or indirect attention within ethics. Moral good (which has its origin at least in part from God) is sometimes placed alongside morality, which normally based upon human conventions.

Ethics in the 21st century
During the early modern period, ethics served as a foundation of family life, politics, and moral theology. At an elementary level, fables, phrases, and stories were used to teach ethical precepts. But in the 21st century, ethics is an increasingly important factor in the context of business, law, and health professions as well as within the realms of character education and general professional ethics.

Prof. Joseph S. Freedman, Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama

Various Authors & Editors

Faces of Eurasia

Crossroads between Europe and Asia
For centuries, Eurasia was a crossroads between Europe and Asia. In the twentieth century, the Russian Empire – and later the USSR – embraced about one third of the continent of Asia, including its entire northern region (Siberia), the western section of Central Asia, and part of the Middle East in the region of the Caucasus. This huge territory is inhabited by various peoples (Kyrgyzs, Tatars, Uzbeks, and many others) with rich historical, cultural, and religious traditions. There are also some Muslim groups in the European part of Russia, namely in the Volga and Ural regions. Eurasia has a remarkably interesting history and for centuries has been a meeting place for different cultures, religions, languages, and peoples. The geographical and strategic position of these regions, in which the interests of almost all the great powers contended, was of immense value. The history of the exploration and the colonization of these regions is full of dramatic and sometimes controversial events. Siberia, for instance, was not only a place of exile and concentration camps, but also a mysterious land offering the chance to escape from the burden of the authoritarian state.

Travel accounts
For centuries, these regions aroused the wildest speculations among Europeans. Like Russia before the reforms of Peter the Great, these regions were perceived as mysterious worlds blessed with unheard-of wealth and inexhaustible natural resources, yet inhabited by barbarians who lived at odds with the most sacred values of humanity. Rumors about giants, cynophales, and other monsters continued to tickle the European imagination until more reliable accounts became available and pushed the frontier of modern civilization further east. Since the sixteenth century – the beginning of the modern period of expansion – travel literature has recorded what was seen, mapped, and could be useful for the world. These sources are especially valuable because the detached stranger was able to observe many of life's details and nuances of which the local residents were not aware. These scientists, diplomats, businessmen, spies and adventurers who traveled through these new cultures were there both novel and little known. The collection includes, for instance, material written by the Americans Lieutenant Richard Bush and journalist George Kennan – participants in the 1865-1867 Siberian "telegraph expedition", which was organized by the Western Union telegraph company – and by the English priest Henry Lansdell, who went to Russia with mainly philanthropic purposes (he distributed the Gospel and other religious literature en route from Petersburg to Vladivostok).

The mysterious world of wildness
The first descriptions to convey travelers' impressions first hand were perhaps less spectacular than the sometimes bizarre accounts that we find in Herodotus or Pliny the Elder. However, they were not necessarily more favorable. Adam Olearius – the Holsteinian ambassador who traveled several times to Moscovia and Persia between 1633 and 1639 – was appalled by the Russians who, in his eyes, "had no civility" and were "marvelously well versed in the quality of cheating and lying." Still more barbaric, according to the Dutch painter and traveler Cornelis de Bruin, were the Samoyeds (Lapps) who lived on the northern shore and still worshipped idols. In highly developed Persia, de Bruin was shocked by the population's "infidelity and ingratitude."
As Russia's contacts with Western Europe intensified as a result of the reforms under Peter the Great, the Western image of Russia and Eurasia in general became somewhat more balanced. Though travel accounts stressing Russia's backwardness and despotic government continued to appear well into the nineteenth century, other descriptions – such as John Bell's Travels from St Petersburgh in Russia, to Various Parts of Asia (1763) – took a more benevolent view that was more in line with the regime's enlightened and civilized self-image. At the same time, the empire's military expansion toward the east and south during the eighteenth and the nineteenth century created the conditions for further exploration of the Russian hinterland and its neighboring regions. With the annexation of large parts of the North Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Far East in the second half of the nineteenth century, the Russian Empire became home to Persian-speaking Jews, Turkic-speaking nomads, and a large population of Muslims. On the eve of World War I, Russia had acquired a cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity that only its equally expansionist successor – the Soviet Union – would surpass.

Indispensable sources
The works in the present collection were once important sources of information that helped European and American governments to formulate their foreign policy toward the Russian Empire. These sources were especially significant for foreign policy departments and politicians, because the majority of the works describe the Russian expansion in Asia. Scholars who are interested in the colonization of Eurasia and the geopolitical strategies employed in that process will certainly find something to their taste here. The collection will also be a gold mine for those studying the origins and the development of national stereotypes, and will contribute to our understanding of the ways in which European travelers perceived the Russian Orient.

This collection includes the sections:
Faces of Eurasia – General
Faces of Eurasia – Caucasus
Faces of Eurasia – Central Asia
Faces of Eurasia – Siberia

Various Authors & Editors

Faces of Eurasia
Caucasus

Together with its three counterparts ( Faces of Eurasia: General, Faces of Eurasia: Central Asia, and Faces of Eurasia: Siberia), this exciting collection of travel accounts, notes, diaries, and ethnographic descriptions dating from the seventeenth through the early twentieth century, features the vast region of "Eurasia" as seen through the eyes of Western travelers. It offers a unique opportunity to experience some of the awe and bewilderment that these explorers must have felt, while simultaneously inviting one to take a critical look at the cultural and national stereotypes on which they relied. The collection will appeal to historians, ethnographers, anthropologists, linguists, and all scholars interested in the clash between Western civilization, the world of Islam, and the many different cultures that existed in the Asian parts of the Russian empire.

This collection is also included in the Faces of Eurasia collection.

Various Authors & Editors

Faces of Eurasia
Central Asia

Together with its three counterparts ( Faces of Eurasia: General, Faces of Eurasia: Caucasus, and Faces of Eurasia: Siberia), this exciting collection of travel accounts, notes, diaries, and ethnographic descriptions dating from the seventeenth through the early twentieth century, features the vast region of "Eurasia" as seen through the eyes of Western travelers. It offers a unique opportunity to experience some of the awe and bewilderment that these explorers must have felt, while simultaneously inviting one to take a critical look at the cultural and national stereotypes on which they relied. The collection will appeal to historians, ethnographers, anthropologists, linguists, and all scholars interested in the clash between Western civilization, the world of Islam, and the many different cultures that existed in the Asian parts of the Russian empire.

This collection is also included in the Faces of Eurasia collection.

Various Authors & Editors

Faces of Eurasia
General

Together with its three counterparts ( Faces of Eurasia: Caucasus, Faces of Eurasia: Central Asia, and Faces of Eurasia: Siberia), this exciting collection of travel accounts, notes, diaries, and ethnographic descriptions dating from the seventeenth through the early twentieth century, features the vast region of "Eurasia" as seen through the eyes of Western travelers. It offers a unique opportunity to experience some of the awe and bewilderment that these explorers must have felt, while simultaneously inviting one to take a critical look at the cultural and national stereotypes on which they relied. The collection will appeal to historians, ethnographers, anthropologists, linguists, and all scholars interested in the clash between Western civilization, the world of Islam, and the many different cultures that existed in the Asian parts of the Russian empire.

This collection is also included in the Faces of Eurasia collection.

Various Authors & Editors

Faces of Eurasia
Siberia

Together with its three counterparts ( Faces of Eurasia: General, Faces of Eurasia: Caucasus, and Faces of Eurasia: Central Asia), this exciting collection of travel accounts, notes, diaries, and ethnographic descriptions dating from the seventeenth through the early twentieth century, features the vast region of "Eurasia" as seen through the eyes of Western travelers. It offers a unique opportunity to experience some of the awe and bewilderment that these explorers must have felt, while simultaneously inviting one to take a critical look at the cultural and national stereotypes on which they relied. The collection will appeal to historians, ethnographers, anthropologists, linguists, and all scholars interested in the clash between Western civilization, the world of Islam, and the many different cultures that existed in the Asian parts of the Russian empire.

This collection is also included in the Faces of Eurasia collection.
Logic in the Early Modern Period

While textbooks and other writings on logic (e.g., disputations, sections within encyclopaedias) were utilized in large quantities during the early modern period, the relation between logic and philosophy was not always clear and is still sometimes a matter for debate to this day. For much of the 16th and well into the 17th century, whether logic was a part of philosophy or was preparation for the same was an issue of contention for many authors. In much of the European Continent, logic was taught in schools and then again at the university level, and sometimes with the use of highly diverse authors (e.g., Petrus Ramus at the secondary school level and Aristotle at the university level).

Reasoning process
The central focus of virtually all logic textbooks is the reasoning process, i.e., the process by means of which humans acquire knowledge. In logic one begins with themes (also referred to, for example, as categories, predicaments, or universals). With the use of arguments – which also can be referred to as predicates, places, or topics – one forms enunciations (i.e., propositions), which in turn are used to form syllogisms. The following arguments were generally among those discussed: antecedent and consequent, cause and effect, classification, comparison, definition, part and whole, relation, signs, and testimony. Among the sub-categories of enunciations commonly examined were affirmative, negative, true, false, necessary, contingent, simple, composite, non-modal, and modal enunciations. Syllogisms were usually discussed by diagramming common modes – i.e., kinds – of syllogisms (normally 48 in number) of which only 14 can result in valid syllogisms; various kinds of syllogisms – e.g., demonstrative or necessary syllogisms – were usually included.

Knowledge process
Discussion of syllogisms was normally accompanied by discussion of fallacies, induction, and demonstration / proof. Terms were discussed in one or more contexts; ideas and/or concepts were sometimes included. Scientia (which could be understood to mean knowledge and/or science), opinion, and other general topics pertaining to the knowledge process – including impediments to knowledge (e.g., error, prejudice) – were sometimes given attention. From the late 17th century onwards, logical interpretation (i.e., hermeneutics), and criticism (normally comprising or including literacy criticism) were included within the realm of logic.

Pedagogy
From the year 1550 onwards – especially within logic texts authored by Protestants – pedagogical subject-matter was also included. The concept of method and disputation theory were normally examined; sometimes discussion of the how logic should be practiced and/or logical exercises were added. Method evolved into the modern concept of teaching methods; disputations serve as the precursors of the master's thesis, the doctoral dissertation, and academic debating. The pedagogical component of early modern treatises on logic served as the basis for the academic and professional subject-matters which today comprise the general field of pedagogy.

Prof. Joseph S. Freedman, Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama

Various Authors & Editors

Mainland South-East Asia

Periodicals published in or concerning South-East Asia dated between 1822-1967. Includes periodicals published in London, Burma, Cambodia, Paris, and Singapore.

Various Authors & Editors

Rare Printed Sources and Reference Works for the History of Dutch Colonialism
Dagh-register

on microfiche

MMP116/2
Dagh-register gehouden int Casteel Batavia van passerende daer plaetse als over geheel
Nederlandts-India. 30 vols. 's Gravenhage, 1887-1931.

An important source for the history of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and for the political and economic history of Asia more generally is the “Dagh-register” of Batavia Castle, the VOC headquarters in Asia, a day by day chronical of events that took place in Batavia and of news received from all quarters concerning the greatest variety of subjects. The board of governors of the VOC, the so-called Heren Zeventien (Seventeen gentlemen) had ordered this diary to be kept and sent to them on a regular basis to keep them informed of all matters that might affect the Company. The original volumes were held in the colonial archives in Batavia and The Hague.
Thanks to cooperation between the Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen (Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences) and the Ministry of the Colonies they were published for the period 1624-1682 between 1887 and 1931. Each volume contains an index of names and places.

Various Authors & Editors

Rare Printed Sources and Reference Works for the History of Dutch Colonialism
Grothe

on microfiche

MMP114
Grothe, J.A. Archief voor de geschiedenis der oude Hollandsche zending. 6 vols. Utrecht, 1884-1891.

J.A. Grothe scoured church and colonial archives to find sources on Dutch Protestant missionary activity in the eastern and western hemispheres in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He excerpted the acts of provincial synods and other ecclesiastical bodies in two volumes covering the period 1621-1807. While most of these deliberations concerned the missions in Asia, there is also information on activities in the West Indies and Brazil (1636-1649). He further compiled two volumes of documents on Formosa (1628-1661) and two on the Moluccas (1603-1638) drawing on the archives of the Dutch East India Company (VOC).