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Giuseppe Capriati


Francisco Suárez’s thought has often been interpreted as paving the way for early modern philosophy, and causation is one of the themes in which his name is regularly associated with modern ideas. This is, however, an extrinsic relation – despite our lamentably poor knowledge of early modern scholasticism, Suárez’s doctrines can only be properly understood in relation to their proximate scholastic context. This article attempts a reevaluation of the importance of this context through an analysis of the definition of ‘cause’ in early modern scholasticism, focusing on the influence of Jesuit authors such as Toledo, Perera, and Fonseca on Suárez’s famous definition of ‘cause’, often considered as an anticipation of Descartes’ reduction of causality to efficiency. As it turns out, the proximate context of this definition provides not only the debate to which Suárez responds, but also the common conception of causality that Suárez tries to define more properly than his predecessors.

Adrian Blau

This paper offers a systematic analysis of Hobbes’s practical political thought. Hobbes’s abstract philosophy is rightly celebrated, but he also gave much practical advice on how to avoid disorder. Yet he is typically interpreted too narrowly in this respect, especially by those who only read him economistically. Other scholars supplement this economistic focus with sociological or political interpretations, but to my knowledge, no one stresses all three aspects of his thought. This paper thus examines each of Hobbes’s practical proposals for avoiding corruption and a state of nature. Hobbes clearly uses economistic, sociological and political approaches, which involve shaping incentives, desires/preferences, and opportunities, respectively. This intentionally anachronistic framework helps us see further, highlighting Hobbes’s rich and wide-ranging practical proposals for avoiding disorder – a crucial part of his theory.

Wojciech Wciórka


Early twelfth-century logicians invoked past-tensed statements with future-oriented contents to undermine the assumption that every proposition ‘about the past’ is determinate. In the second half of the century, the notion of future-dependence was used to restrict the scope of necessity per accidens (e.g., in the Ars Meliduna). At some point, this idea began to be applied in theology to solve puzzles surrounding predestination, prescience, prophecy, and faith. In the mid-1160s, Magister Udo quotes some thinkers who insisted that the principle of the necessity of the past should exclude dicta that ‘relate to the future’, such as that he has been predestined. Peter of Poitiers adopted this ‘Ockhamist’ strategy around 1170. We find similar accounts in Simon of Tournai and Alan of Lille, who invoked it in other contexts as well. By the time of Praepositinus of Cremona, Hubert of Pirovano, and Stephen Langton, the restricted principle became something of a common view at Paris.

Yossi Almagor

This article demonstrates how patron-client relationships in mid-eighteenth century England were shaped against the background of the transition to a more negotiated marketplace. By focusing on the twenty-five-year relationship between Thomas Birch and Philip Yorke, we learn how an interesting variant of patronage embroiled with friendship developed between the two. In exchange for his services as intelligencer and agent, Birch enjoyed the benefits of Yorke’s influential network, obtaining new livings as clergyman and advancing his career as historian. Confrontations between the two, particularly on matters involving their work as dedicated historians, did not prevent them from remaining mutually loyal throughout their decades-long affiliation.

Stefan Bauer

Onofrio Panvinio was hired by sixteenth-century Roman families to write their histories and, where necessary, be prepared to bend the facts to suit their interests. This occasionally entailed a bit of forgery, usually involving tampering with specific words in documents. In most respects, however, Panvinio employed the same techniques—archival research and material evidence such as tombs and inscriptions—which distinguished his papal and ecclesiastical histories. This suggests that genealogy, despite being commissioned by aristocratic families to glorify their ancestries, can be seen as a more serious field of historical investigation than is often assumed. Yet the contours of this genre of history for hire in sixteenth-century Italian historiography are nowhere near exact. Panvinio struck a balance between fulfilling the expectations of the noble families who commissioned him and following his own scholarly instincts as an historian, but he nevertheless did not seek their publication. By contrast, Alfonso Ceccarelli, who also composed family histories, veered considerably in the direction of flattering his patrons, even forging entire papal and imperial privileges. Indeed, he was condemned to death for the forgery of wills concerning the property rights of nobles.

Nicholas Mithen

Historians of scholarship and intellectual historians have recently been paying more attention to the social and epistemic conditioning of scholarly production. Informed by the history of science, such scholarship has shed light upon how knowledge production changed over time, and how its ‘legislation’, ‘administration’, and ‘institutionalisation’ varied in different contexts. This article explores the reform of intellectual culture in the early eighteenth-century Italian republic of letters, as a case-study in the application of such emergent methodologies. From around 1700, a nexus of ethical, aesthetical and epistemological ideals began to crystallize on the Italian peninsula, codified under the concept of ‘buon gusto’ or ‘good taste’. ‘Buon gusto’ became a point of reference for individual scholars, scholarly communities and literary journals seeking to reform scholarly practice. This led to the normalization of historical criticism as the dominant scholarly mode among Italian scholars by the mid-eighteenth century.

Harald Berger


One of the riddles of the history of late medieval philosophy is the identity of a certain Hugo who is frequently quoted in manuscripts as well as in early prints. This article offers solutions to the relevant problems, identifying the work to which these quotations refer. One of the manuscripts presents the author’s name as “Hugo de Reyss,” Reyss being identified with Rees in North-Rhine/Westphalia. A passage in that work links the author to the University of Paris. Among the Hugos documented at the University of Paris at the relevant time, Hugo de Hervorst is the most promising candidate. Hugo of Hervorst and his family had close relations to Rees. In sum, a chain of arguments leads to the identification of Hugo de Reyss as Hugo de Hervorst, whose academic and ecclesiastical careers can thus be outlined. Documented for the first time in 1372, he died in 1399.