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Ideas, Mental Faculties and Method

The Logic of Ideas of Descartes and Locke and Its Reception in the Dutch Republic, 1630-1750

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Paul Schuurman

The seventeenth century was a period of dramatic change in the field of philosophy. In logic, traditional Aristotelian textbooks were transformed by the emergence of an alternative ‘logic of ideas’. This new logic was developed by Descartes and Locke, its main representatives, and by Arnauld and Malebranche. The present study starts with a fresh and detailed analysis of the logic of ideas. The author then puts the fruitfulness of his characterization of the new logic to the test, by studying its reception in the eclectic intellectual environment of the Dutch Republic between 1690 and 1750. This is the first comprehensive study of the early modern logic of ideas. It is also a profound contribution to our understanding of the interaction between Aristotelianism and new philosophy and between rationalism and empiricism.

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Edited by Marcel Sarot and W. Stoker

Studies in Theology and Religion,10

In this volume, fourteen philosophers of religion reflect on religious views of the good life. Some authors focus on positive religion and its specific religious representations of the good life, while others abstract from these and focus on philosophical religion and its conceptual articulations of the good life. The tension between positive religion and philosophical religion, between representation and concept, is itself also analyzed.

This volume is a result of the co-operation of the philosophers of religion who are senior members of the Netherlands School for Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion NOSTER.

Religion and the Good Life

Religion and the Good Life: Introduction - Marcel Sarot (Utrecht) and Wessel Stoker (Amsterdam)

PART I – THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN REPRESENTATION AND CONCEPT

The Tension between Representation and Concept as a Challenge for Philosophy of Religion - Peter Jonkers (Utrecht)
Beyond Representation and Concept: The Language of Testimony - R.D.N. van Riessen (Kampen)

PART II – THE TENSION BETWEEN REPRESENTATION AND CONCEPT
Seduction and Guidance: Some Remarks on the Ambiguities of Reason and Reflective Thought in Connection with Religion and
the Good Life - W. Dupré (Nijmegen)

The Good Life is Historical - Ben Vedder (Nijmegen)

The Quality of Life: Comic Vision in Charles Dickens and Iris Murdoch - Henry Jansen (Amsterdam)

Narrative, Atonement, and the Christian Conception of the Good Life - Gijsbert van den Brink (Leyden)

Myths and the Good Life: Ricoeur’s Hermeneutical Approach to Myth - Wessel Stoker (Amsterdam)

Bhajans and their Symbols: Religious Hermeneutics of “the Good Life” - Hendrik M. Vroom (Amsterdam)

PART III – REPRESENTATIONS OF THE GOOD LIFE

Models of the Good Life - Marcel Sarot (Utrecht)

The Highest Good and the Kingdom of God in the Philosophy of Kant: A Moral Concept and a Religious Metaphor of the Good Life - Donald Loose (Tilburg-Rotterdam)

Jacques Derrida and Messianity - Victor Kal (Amsterdam)

Skepticism and the Meaning of Life - Michael Scott (Manchester)

Ultimate Happiness and the Love of God - Vincent Brümmer (Utrecht)

Human Being and the Natural Desire for God: Reflections on the Natural and the Supernatural - Eef Dekker (Utrecht)

The Soul and its Instrumental Body

A Reinterpretation of Aristotle's Philosophy of Living Nature

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A.P. Bos

For more than 1800 years it has been supposed that Aristotle viewed the soul as the entelechy of the visible body which is 'equipped with organs'. This book argues that in actual fact he saw the soul as the entelechy of a natural body 'that serves as its instrument'. This correction puts paid to W. Jaeger's hypothesis of a three-phase development in Aristotle. The author of this book defends the unity of Aristotle's philosophy of living nature in De anima, in the biological treatises, and in the lost dialogues. Aristotle should therefore be regarded as the author of the notion of the 'vehicle of the soul' and of a 'non-Platonic' dualism. The current understanding of his influence on Hellenistic philosophy needs to change accordingly.

Beauty in Context

Towards an Anthropological Approach to Aesthetics

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Wilfried van Damme

This is the first study to survey the field of the anthropology of aesthetics, which during the last few decades has emerged on the cross-roads between anthropology and non-Western art scholarship.
While critically examining the available literature, thereby addressing such basic issues as the existence of aesthetic universals, the author elaborates on a central thesis which concerns the relationship between aesthetic preference and sociocultural ideals. Drawing on empirical data from several African cultures, he demonstrates that varying notions of beauty are inspired by varying sociocultural ideals, thus shedding light on the phenomenon of cultural relativism in aesthetic preference.
Emphasizing unity within diversity, the systematic anthropological approach offered in this volume invites the reader to reconsider aesthetic preference from an empirical, cross-cultural, and contextual perspective.

Theology and Music at the Early University

The Case of Robert Grosseteste and Anonymous IV

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Nancy van Deusen

At the climax of one of his most important and comprehensive works, De cessatione legalium, the thirteenth-century theologian and natural philosopher, Robert Grosseteste, uses a musical example to make a point fundamental to the treatise. Music, using time as its material, located between the abstract and the concrete, served as an analogy, thus making a difficult philosophical concept perceptible. In using music as an analogy, Gorsseteste drew upon a long tradition established by Augustine, confirmed within the new Aristotelian reception, and a newly-translated Platonic dialogue. But the first rector of the University of Oxford was also demonstrating music's place within the curriculum of the early university, namely, as a ministry discipline, efficiently and efficaciously exemplifying traditional Augustinian, as well as new Aristotelian principles.
This book unites the most important theological-philosophical subjects discussed by Robert Grosseteste throughout his prodigious output, with those exemplified by an anonymous contemporary English writer on music. The work shows how music collaborated with the other liberal arts, operating within the early university curriculum as a ministry discipline. Music made accessible through the figurae of its notation, and through sound, otherwise nearly unapproachable, new Aristotelian concepts. The influence was reciprocal in that new Aristotelian tools and conceptualization greatly influenced music notation and style. Music theory has been studied in isolation, as pertaining only to music. This study is the first to relate music of the early thirteenth century to its intellectual context, overturning dogma, uncritically accepted since the beginning of this century, concerning so-called “modal rhythm,” and showing how “contrary motion,” rather than forming a musical convention, demonstrated a key Aristotelian concept.

John Sergeant and his Circle

A Study of Three Seventeenth-Century English Aristotelians

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Dorothea Krook

Edited by Beverley C. Southgate

This book presents an account of the essentially Aristotelian philosophy of John Sergeant (1623-1707) and his Blackloist colleagues, Kenelm Digby and Thomas White. Despite their notoriety as Catholic controversialists in the mid-seventeenth century, Sergeant and his circle have long suffered from historical neglect, and Professor Krook's work provides a useful corrective to conventional historiography.
Digby, White and Sergeant were all concerned to present a coherent philosophical and theological framework, which would provide some certainty in the face of the contemporary sceptical challenge, and the author shows how their work was securely based on traditional Aristotelian foundations. Through a detailed discussion of Aristotelian methodology, she shows how, in the face of Protestant misunderstanding, they justified their own claims for certainty.
This study restores Sergeant and his circle to their proper historical importance and provides an original and illuminating study of late seventeenth-century Aristotelian philosophy.

Dales

This work presents a connected account of western European thought from the Patristic age to the mid-fourteenth century. Dales aims to keep his reader close to the sense of the texts, which he translates, frequently at some length, or summarizes in his exposition.
He attempts to include important matters which are generally omitted in broad treatments — the chapter on the tenth century is the longest in the book — but the author's choice of topics is fully justified by his special intimacy with what he elects to discuss, particularly the hexameral tradition (ancient and medieval), the scientific tradition, twelfth-century treatises on nature and cosmology, discussions of the eternity of the world, and the thought of Robert Grosseteste. This adds a personal and distinctive character to the word.
Dales stresses throughout the diversity and vigor of medieval thought, qualities which he illustrates widely from Latin and vernacular poetry and literature of various kinds as well as from philosophical and theological texts.

The Rose Cross and the Age of Reason

Eighteenth-century Rosicrucianism in Central Europe and its Relationship to the Enlightenment

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Christopher McIntosh

The Rose Cross deals with the interaction between two movements of thought in eighteenth-century Germany: the philosophy of the Enlightenment, and the complex of ideas known as Rosicrucian. Dating from the early seventeenth century and drawing on Pietism, Freemasonry, Kabbalah and alchemy, the Rosicrucianism movement enjoyed a revival in Germany during the eighteenth century.
Historians have often depicted this neo-Rosicrucianism as a Counter-Enlightenment force. Dr. McIntosh argues rather that it was part of a "third force", which allied itself sometimes with the Enlightenment, sometimes with the Counter-Enlightenment.
This book is the first in-depth, comprehensive study of the German Rosicrucian revival and in particular of the order known as the Golden and Rosy Cross (Gold und Rosenkreuz). Drawing on hitherto unpublished material, Dr. McIntosh shows how the order exerted a significant influence on the cultural, political and religious life of its age.

Jonathan Swift and the Millennium of Madness

The Information Age in Swift's A Tale of a Tub

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Kenneth Craven

Casting aside critical shibboleths in place for centuries, Kenneth Craven's Jonathan Swift and the Millennium of Madness proposes a new view of intellectual history. This revisionary study documents Swift's intimate knowledge of seventeenth-century science from Bacon and the Invisible College at Oxford to the Newtonian synthesis within the context of Paracelsian medicine and the chemical-mechanical split. Craven shows that Swift joins the philosophies of a neoplatonic divine order, Epicurean atomism, the Reformation, and scientific millenarianism as permeating his time with millennial myths sure eventually to detonate the sense of composure of individuals and societies. In contradistinction, Swift elucidates links between the humors traditions in medicine and literature, saturnine melancholy and the dreaming god Kronos. He proposes the somber realism of the Kronos myth as providing awareness of the self-imposed restraints on ego needed to preclude the proliferation of modern information systems into trivialization of the human enterprise to meaninglessness.
This fresh and exhaustive examination of the Anglo-Irish writer's first masterpiece, A Tale of a Tub (1704) unlocks barriers to seeing the nature of Swift's complex integrity, passion, and literary achievements throughout a career studded with disappointments. Specifically, this study authoritatively reveals the identity of unnamed victims of Swift's satire as the deist John Toland and his republican hero, John Milton, for their advocacy of the Puritan Revolution and regicide; Toland's mentor John Locke and another Lockean disciple, Lord Shaftesbury, who confused happiness and self-interest with delusion and the public weal; and his tormentors in the Church of Ireland, Narcissus Marsh and Peter Browne.