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In: Journal of the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists
In: Aries
Author:

Abstract

In this paper I compare various aspects of the philosophies of Frances Power Cobbe and Karl Marx, with a focus on their arguments regarding religion and science. I argue that while these two philosophers begin from radically different ideological standpoints, they still share fascinating areas of overlap that deserve attention and can shed new light on aspects of each of their philosophies. This paper is heavy on evaluation as a tool to recover the ignored philosophy of Cobbe, showing that her works have value despite their omission from the traditional philosophical canon. I argue that by comparing Cobbe as a neglected figure to a well-known figure such as Marx, not only do we gain insight into the complex ideas of Cobbe by choosing a well-known foundation on which to base our analysis, but at the same time we also establish her relevance to modern discourse.

In: Journal of the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists

Abstract

In this article I analyze the different historiographical models that have contributed to the ‘interpretative heritage’ of Anne Conway. I argue that, due to the current state of scholarship on the history of women philosophers, the main mission of this scholarship is to increase the interpretative heritage of their works in general and of Anne Conway in particular. For this purpose, it is necessary to apply a pluralistic perspective regarding models. A pluralist perspective would argue that there are different historiographical models that apply to the study of the text and that each model, even the failed ones, increases the interpretative heritage. In this sense, I identify six main models used in the study of Conway’s Principia and propose that the sixth, the contextual/eclectic model, is more fundamental for the study of Anne Conway because it assists us in laying the foundations for other more restricted or specialized models.

In: Journal of the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists
Author:

Abstract

According to an anecdote in al-Tanūkhī’s Nishwār al-Muḥāḍara, a merchant by the name of Ibn Abī ʿAwf (d.297/910) realized every capitalist’s fantasy: he monopolized the market for olive oil in the Abbasid capital of Baghdad, and manipulated market prices for immense personal profit. By examining a series of related anecdotes, this article poses several questions regarding Baghdadi society: What was Ibn Abī ʿAwf’s background? What was the source of his capital, and what social relations did he develop in order to become a prominent merchant? What financial tools were available to him in his mercantile activity? What social norms governed the pursuit of profit? And what sources can we mine for analyzing such socio-economic norms? We will see that the financial world of third/ninth century Baghdad had a variety of tools for debt financing; that an ambitious merchant needed to maneuver a complex web of relationships in order to succeed; and that contemporary sources reflect an ambivalent attitude — a grudging appreciation but also discomfort — with the pursuit of profit.

In: Journal of Abbasid Studies
Author:

Abstract

This article introduces a hitherto overlooked work on the science of talismans attributed to Jābir b. Ḥayyān, called Kitāb al-Nukhab (The Compendium), but widely known as Kitāb al-Baḥth (The Book of the Quest). The work contains a long and rich text on the natural and metaphysical foundations of the science of talismans, primarily, but also alchemy, and artificial generation. The author explicitly promotes his book as a textbook for learning talismanry that also describes the proper teacher-student relationship needed for this craft. This affords us important insights on the professionalisation of talismanry as science and craft, and a glimpse into how the occult sciences were integrated in the teaching structures of the Abbasid era.

Open Access
In: Journal of Abbasid Studies
Author:

Abstract

In 1798 Sophie de Grouchy (1764–1822) appended her eight Lettres sur la sympathie to her translation of Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments. In recent years her Lettres have attracted considerable scholarly attention, but interpretative errors, resulting from considering selections in isolation, have slipped into readings of de Grouchy’s work that undermine her originality and the unity of her views regarding ethical theory. The purpose of this paper is to correct prior readings and to properly recover Sophie de Grouchy’s voice for the philosophical canon. Topics include the origin of sympathy, the significance of pleasure and pain in de Grouchy, sympathy and social relations, the role of reason and sentiments in our moral disposition, and mislabeling de Grouchy’s philosophy. In all, de Grouchy grounds her complex ethics and political philosophy in sympathy, reason, reflection, and human dependency in an overarching vision of humanity that is hopeful and optimistic.

In: Journal of the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists

Abstract

Many Jewish communities around the world have maintained a special site, known as a genizah, for discarding written materials. This article focuses on the genizah of the town of Safed in the Galilee. At the end of the sixteenth century, the Safed Genizah preserved Hebrew manuscripts written by Ḥayyim Vital (d. 1620), foremost student of the influential kabbalist Yitsḥaḳ Luria (d. 1572). These manuscripts were excavated and edited in the mid-seventeenth century and became authoritative texts in the history of Jewish esotericism. My study describes Vital’s burial of his manuscripts and the editorial efforts of the Jewish scholars who followed him, particularly Avraham Azulai (d. 1643) in Hebron and Ya‘akov Tsemaḥ (d. 1666) and his fellowship in Jerusalem. Through analysis of their rhetoric and scribal practices, I explore the ethical, philological, and material aspects of this chapter in the pre-history of Genizah research.

Open Access
In: Philological Encounters
Author:

Abstract

The first part of this paper investigates the purpose, methodological approach, and fundamental thesis of Du Châtelet’s theory of simple beings. The paper shows that ‘simple beings’ in Du Châtelet is a theory concerned with the understanding of extended bodies. The second part of the paper shows that her theory of simple beings, while it has important roots in both Leibniz and Wolff, is remarkably different from theirs. Thus, contrary to a common thread in the literature, Du Châtelet’s theory of simple beings does not commit her to an ontology that can be equated with that of Leibniz or Wolff. Instead, her theory of simple beings is faculty-centred and draws a fundamental and novel distinction between the phenomenal realm of the senses and ‘real’ substances, which can only be grasped through the understanding.

Open Access
In: Journal of the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists