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Edited by Reimund Leicht and Giuseppe Veltri

This volume contains studies based on papers delivered at the international conference of the PESHAT in Context project entitled “Themes, Terminology, and Translation Procedure in Twelfth-Century Jewish Philosophy.” The central figure in this book is Judah Ibn Tibbon. He sired the Ibn Tibbon family of translators, which influenced philosophical and scientific Hebrew writing for centuries. More broadly, the study of this early phase of the Hebrew translation movement also reveals that the formation of a standardized Hebrew terminology was a long process that was never fully completed. Terminological shifts are frequent even within the Tibbonide family, to say nothing of the fascinating terminological diversity displayed by other authors and translators discussed in this book.

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Edited by Christian H. Krijnen

The influence of Kant’s understanding of morality is too strong to be ignored, even today. Hegel, however, strongly criticized Kant for offering merely a ‘formal’ model of normativity that cannot sufficiently comprehend human action as free. Instead, Hegel argues in his doctrine of the ethical life ( Sittlichkeit) that the embeddedness of the acting subject must be taken into account when identifying normativity. However, the issue of normativity in Kant and Hegel remain contested even today, not least due to the misunderstandings of their conceptions of the topic. Thus, the present volume explores developments within recent scholarship which enable a better understanding of the concept of normativity in the thought of Kant and Hegel.

Distinctions of Reason and Reasonable Distinctions

The Academic Life of John Wallis (1616–1703)

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Jason M. Rampelt

Distinctions of Reason and Reasonable Distinctions is an intellectual biography of John Wallis (1616-1703), professor of mathematics at Oxford for over half a century. His career spans the political tumult of the English Civil Wars, the religious upheaval of the Church of England, and the fascinating developments in mathematics and natural philosophy. His ability to navigate this terrain and advance human learning in the academic world was facilitated by his use of the Jesuit Francisco Suarez’s theory of distinctions. This Roman Catholic’s philosophy in the hands of a Protestant divine fostered an instrumentalism necessary to bridge the old and new. With this tool, Wallis brought modern science into the university and helped form the Royal Society.

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Edited by Pietro Daniel Omodeo

This volume is devoted to the natural philosopher Bernardino Telesio (1509-1588) and his place in the scientific debates of the Renaissance. Telesio’s thought is emblematic of Renaissance culture in its aspiration towards universality; the volume deals with the roots and reception of his vistas from an interdisciplinary perspective ranging from the history of philosophy to that of physics, astronomy, meteorology, medicine, and psychology. The editor, Pietro Daniel Omodeo and leading specialists of intellectual history introduce Telesio’s conceptions to English-speaking historians of science through a series of studies, which aim to foster our understanding of a crucial early modern author, his world, achievement, networks, and influence.

Contributors are Roberto Bondì, Arianna Borrelli, Rodolfo Garau, Giulia Giannini, Miguel Ángel Granada, Hiro Hirai, Martin Mulsow, Elio Nenci, Pietro Daniel Omodeo, Nuccio Ordine, Alessandro Ottaviani, Jürgen Renn, Riccarda Suitner, and Oreste Trabucco.

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Edited by Simone Zurbuchen

The Law of Nations and Natural Law 1625-1800 offers innovative studies on the development of the law of nations after the Peace of Westphalia. This period was decisive for the origin and constitution of the discipline which eventually emancipated itself from natural law and became modern international law.

A specialist on the law of nations in the Swiss context and on its major figure, Emer de Vattel, Simone Zurbuchen prompted scholars to explore the law of nations in various European contexts. The volume studies little known literature related to the law of nations as an academic discipline, offers novel interpretations of classics in the field, and deconstructs ‘myths’ associated with the law of nations in the Enlightenment.

Sacrifice and Self-interest in Seventeenth-Century France

Quietism, Jansenism, and Cartesianism

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Thomas M. Lennon

How much of our own self- interest should we be willing to sacrifice for love of another? The Quietists answered, all of it, even the salvation of our own soul. Opposing them were the Jansenists, including Arnauld, who saw self-interest as inescapable. The debate swept across French society in the 17th century, with Bossuet and Fénelon on opposite sides, and was multi- dimensional, with political and ecclesiastical intrigue, charges of heresy, and many shenanigans. Initially theological, the debate’s basis lay in differing philosophical concepts of freewill, with both sides claiming support from Descartes’s views. The debate thus highlights interpretation of the Cartesians, especially Malebranche, a prominent participant in it. Nevertheless, this is the first book on the debate in English.

Exceptional Crime in Early Modern Spain

Taxonomic and Intellectual Perspectives

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Elena del Río Parra

Exceptional Crime in Early Modern Spain accounts for the representation of violent and complex murders, analysing the role of the criminal, its portrayal through rhetorical devices, and its cultural and aesthetic impact.
Proteic traits allow for an understanding of how crime is constructed within the parameters of exception, borrowing from pre-existent forms while devising new patterns and categories such as criminography, the “star killer”, the staging of crimes as suicides, serial murders, and the faking of madness. These accounts aim at bewildering and shocking demanding readers through a carefully displayed cult to excessive behaviour. The arranged “economy of death” displayed in murder accounts will set them apart from other exceptional instances, as proven by their long-standing presence in subsequent centuries.

Naturalism and Democracy

A Commentary on Spinoza's "Political Treatise" in the Context of His System

Edited by Wolfgang Bartuschat, Stephan Kirste and Manfred Walther

Naturalism and Democracy, first published in German in 2014, presents a long-awaited commentary on Spinoza’s Political Treatise (Tractatus politicus). Its contents reflect a recent intensification in the interest in Spinoza’s political philosophy in Germany. The volume addresses Spinoza’s political philosophy according to its place within his philosophical system as a whole, beginning with his theory of the natural genesis of law and state. Following from this are commentaries on the foundations of political philosophy, the relation of natural and state law, the theory of sovereignty, and theory of international relations. These chapters lay the basis for four essays interpreting Spinoza’s attempt to conceive of a systematic optimization of political and legal institutions for all three forms of governance (monarchy, aristocracy, democracy). The volume closes with an analysis of the current relevance of Spinoza’s political thinking and his influence on contemporary debates.

Fichtes Bildtheorie im Kontext

Teil I: Entwicklungsgeschichtliche und systematische Aspekte

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Edited by Christian Klotz and Matteo Vincenzo d'Alfonso

In Fichte’s late philosophy, the concept of image becomes the central notion of the Science of Knowledge. Both the representational reference of consciousness to the objects of its experience and its relation to an absolute being which transcends all appearances are explained from the image-like character which consciousness acquires through its own activity.

The present volume collects contributions which contextualize Fichte’s theory of image in various respects, focusing on its relation to pre-modern theories of image, its changing role in the development of Fichte’s thinking and its place within Fichte’s foundation of philosophy in the area between theory of truth or validity and ontology.


Der Bildbegriff wird in Fichtes Spätphilosophie zum zentralen Begriff der Wissenschaftslehre. Sowohl der repräsentationale Bezug des Bewusstseins zu den Gegenständen seiner Erfahrung, als auch sein Verhältnis zu einem alle Erscheinungen übersteigenden absoluten Sein wird hierbei aus der von ihm selbst aktiv ausgebildeten Bildeigenschaft des Bewusstseins verstanden.

Der vorliegende Band versammelt Beiträge, die Fichtes Bildtheorie in verschiedenen Hinsichten kontextualisieren, wobei ihr Verhältnis zu prä-modernen Bildtheorien, ihre wechselnde Rolle in der Entwicklung von Fichtes Denken und ihre im Spannungsfeld von Wahrheits- bzw. Geltungstheorie und Ontologie angesiedelte Stellung in Fichtes Grundlegung der Philosophie im Mittelpunkt stehen.

Enlightened Religion

From Confessional Churches to Polite Piety in the Dutch Republic

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Edited by Joke Spaans and Jetze Touber

The history of the relation between religion and Enlightenment has been virtually rewritten In recent decades. The idea of a fairly unidirectional ‘rise of paganism’, or ‘secularisation’, has been replaced by a much more variegated panorama of interlocking changes—not least in the nature of both religion and rationalism. This volume explores developments in various cultural fields—from lexicology to geographical exploration, and from philosophy and history to theology, media and the arts—involved in the transformation of worldviews in the decades around 1700. The main focus is on the Dutch Republic, where discussion culture was more inclusive than in most other countries, and where people from very different walks of life joined the conversation.

Contributors include: Wiep van Bunge, Frank Daudeij, Martin Gierl, Albert Gootjes, Trudelien van ‘t Hof, Jonathan Israel, Henri Krop, Fred van Lieburg, Jaap Nieuwstraten, Joke Spaans, Jetze Touber, and Arthur Weststeijn.