Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 7 of 7 items for :

  • All: "presentism" x
  • Early Modern Philosophy x
Clear All

Giordano Bruno

An Introduction


Paul Richard Blum

Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) was a philosopher in his own right. However, he was famous through the centuries due to his execution as a heretic. His pronouncements against teachings of the Catholic Church, his defence of the cosmology of Nicholas Copernicus, and his provocative personality, all this made him a paradigmatic figure of modernity. Bruno’s way of philosophizing is not looking for outright solutions but rather for the depth of the problems; he knows his predecessors and their strategies as well as their weaknesses, which he exposes satirically. This introduction helps to identify the original thought of Bruno who proudly said about himself: “Philosophy is my profession!” His major achievements concern the creativity of the human mind studied through the theory of memory, the infinity of the world, and the discovery of atomism for modernity. He never held a permanent office within or without the academic world. Therefore, the way of thinking of this “Knight Errant of Philosophy” will be presented along the stations of his journey through Western Europe.

Regulae ad directionem ingenii

Rules for the Direction of the Natural Intelligence. A Bilingual Edition


René Descartes

Exactly four hundred years after the birth of René Descartes (1596-1650), the present volume now makes available, for the first time in a bilingual, philosophical edition prepared especially for English-speaking readers, his Regulae ad directionem ingenii / Rules for the Direction of the Natural Intelligence (1619-1628), the Cartesian treatise on method. This unique edition contains an improved version of the original Latin text, a new English translation intended to be as literal as possible and as liberal as necessary, an interpretive essay contextualizing the text historically, philologically, and philosophically, a com-prehensive index of Latin terms, a key glossary of English equivalents, and an extensive bibliography covering all aspects of Descartes' methodology. Stephen Gaukroger has shown, in his authoritative Descartes: An Intellectual Biography (1995), that one cannot understand Descartes without understanding the early Descartes. But one also cannot understand the early Descartes without understanding the Regulae / Rules. Nor can one understand the Regulae / Rules without understanding a philosophical edition thereof. Therein lies the justification for this project. The edition is intended, not only for students and teachers of philosophy as well as of related disciplines such as literary and cultural criticism, but also for anyone interested in seriously reflecting on the nature, expression, and exercise of human intelligence: What is it? How does it manifest itself? How does it function? How can one make the most of what one has of it? Is it equally distributed in all human beings? What is natural about it, and what, not? In the Regulae / Rules Descartes tries to provide, from a distinctively early modern perspective, answers both to these and to many other questions about what he refers to as ingenium.

Christianity, Latinity, and Culture

Two Studies on Lorenzo Valla


Salvatore I. Camporeale

Edited by Patrick Baker and Christopher S. Celenza

The work of Lorenzo Valla (1406-57) has enjoyed renewed attention in recent years, as have new critical editions of his texts. One of the most interesting interpreters of Valla, Salvatore I. Camporeale, O.P., had a following among scholars who read Italian, but very little of his work saw the light in English before his death in 2002. This book presents two of Camporeale’s studies on Valla in English, which examine in detail two of Valla’s works: his treatise on the Donation of Constantine (undoubtedly the work for which Valla is best known) and his Encomium of Saint Thomas Aquinas, delivered publicly in the last year of Valla’s life and, in Camporeale’s reading, summing up Valla’s multi-faceted thought.

Universal Right

Illustrated. Translated from Latin and Edited by Giorgio Pinton and Margaret Diehl


Edited by Giambattista Vico, Giorgio A. Pinton and Margaret Diehl

This book is the first translation from Latin into English of the juridical writings of one of the greatest minds of the Enlightenment and one of the greatest figures in Italian philosophy. The complete text is fully annotated, supplied with an extensive introduction, completed by historical and biographical documents, and graced with evocative illustrations. Legal scholars, philosophers, historians, and political scientists throughout the world may now discover a classic by one of the world’s great jurists. Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) spent his entire life in Naples, where he taught at the University of Naples from 1699, the year he won the Chair of Rhetoric and Forensic Eloquence, to 1741, the year Gennaro Vico, his son, took over the duty of lecturer. In 1723, after having written the Universal Right, he competed, though without success, for the Chair of Civil Law, at the same University. He wrote the Universal Right in Latin, the official and universal language of scholarly works, to prove his competency in the field of law and jurisprudence. The Universal Right had a continuous relevance to the development and growth of juristic studies, both in Italy and in Europe, where it was translated into French and German. From the eighteenth to the twentieth century, the Universal Right influenced the writings and teaching of the practitioners of the Forum—Emmanuele Duni, Antonio Genovesi, Jules Michelet, Francesco Lomonaco, Mario Francesco Pagano, Gian Domenico Romagnosi, Cesare Lombroso, Pasquale Galluppi, Cesare Beccaria, and, among the many recent jurists, Emilio Betti, who taught in Italy and Germany, the author of Allgemeine Auslegungslehre als Methodik der Geisteswissenschaften. Due to the influence of Benedetto Croce’s disapproving interpretation, the Universal Right remained often overshadowed by the New Science in its three editions of 1725, 1730, and 1744. As we start the twenty-first century, scholars are by-passing Croce’s statement, and are looking at the Universal Right with due objectivity and renewed interest. While the New Science has been available since 1948, the Universal Right appears now, for the first time, in English, the contemporary universal language. Contrary to the opinion of some scholars, Vico, in the New Science, stated that he did not regret having written the Universal Right; he used the copy in his possession as a reference manual for all the works written afterward, until 1735. Andrea Battistini wrote, “When an English translation of the Diritto universale [Universal Right] is available, which will be able to rectify the trend toward contemporary relevance with a greater sense of historicity through an emphasis on the debt to Roman jurisprudence, one will finally arrive at a synthetic overall view, obscured today by the numerous specialized analyses. At all events, however, it is to be hoped that the multiplicity of voices, the dialectical battle of interpretations and the duel between historicity and contemporary relevance do not subside”. Isaiah Berlin stated that, “Vico was not read,” and, thus, his ideas were the treasure-trove in the hands of a few specialists and, in like manner, they remained to our day. Other scholars have mentioned the “copiatori di [copycats of] Vico” when speaking about the history and transmission of ideas. In regard to Universal Right, contemporary research and writing is pale and scarce, given the unavailability of translations and the difficulties of the original.

Der sokratische Künstler

Studien zu Rembrandts Nachtwache


Jürgen Müller

Im Fokus der Studie steht eine neue Deutung von Rembrandts Nachtwache aus dem Jahre 1642. Zentral ist dabei die Auseinandersetzung des Malers mit der klassizistischen Kunsttheorie von Franciscus Junius. Dessen Werk "De pictura veterum" war 1637 in lateinischer und 1641 in niederländischer Sprache erschienen. So lautet die These, dass Rembrandts Gruppenporträt auf eine Kritik italienisch-klassizistischer Imitatio-Konzepte zielt und zugleich Werke der Antike und der italienischen Hochrenaissance ironisiert. Der Leidener Maler orientiert sich an Raffaels Schule von Athen, um damit implizit die Frage angemessener und unangemessener Nachahmung zu stellen. Die Studie insgesamt will zeigen, wie differenziert Rembrandt mit Vorbildern umzugehen vermag. Steht auch die Nachtwache im Zentrum der Untersuchung, so werden auch andere Gemälde sowie Radierungen und Zeichnungen interpretiert und nach der ironischen Dimension von Rembrandts Kunst im Ganzen gefragt.

The focus of Müller’s study is a new interpretation of Rembrandt’s Night Watch from 1642, which highlights the painter’s engagement with the classical art theory of Franciscus Junius. Junius’s treatise, "De pictura veterum", was published in Latin in 1637 and in Dutch in 1641. Ultimately, Müller argues that Rembrandt’s group portrait was designed to present a critique of the Italianate/classical concepts of Imitatio in addition to offering an ironic commentary on artworks of the Antique and High Renaissance periods. The Dutch artist takes Raphael’s School of Athens as a reference point, thereby implicitly posing questions about appropriate and inappropriate forms of imitation. The study as a whole shows how complex and witty Rembrandt’s approach to his models could be. Although the Night Watch occupies a central place in the inquiry, the author also engages with other paintings, etchings and drawings in order to sketch the contours of Rembrandt’s ironic image making.

The Battle of the Gods and Giants Redux

Papers Presented to Thomas M. Lennon


Edited by Patricia Easton

The Battle of Gods and Giants Redux is a collection of 14 original essays by leading scholars in the field. Part One includes figures and topics associated with Descartes, the chief idealist in the story, including Leibniz, Spinoza, and Malebranche; Part Two includes figures and topics that fall on the Gassendist materialist side of the battle, including Hobbes, Bayle, and Locke. In organizing these varied discussions along these themes and lines, something more than the sum of the parts emerges. The reader will gain a breadth and depth of insight into the battle of ideas in early modern thought—historical, philosophical, and interpretive.

Contributors are: Margaret Atherton, Martha Brandt Bolten, Patricia Easton, Lorne Falkenstein, Nicolas Jolley, José Maia Neto, Steven Nadler, Alan Nelson, Lawrence Nolan, Donald Rutherford, Tad Schmultz, Kurt Smith, Julie Walsh, and Richard Watson.

Conflicting Values of Inquiry

Ideologies of Epistemology in Early Modern Europe


Edited by Tamás Demeter, Kathryn Murphy and Claus Zittel

Historical research in previous decades has done a great deal to explore the social and political context of early modern natural and moral inquiries. Particularly since the publication of Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer’s Leviathan and the Air-Pump (1985) several studies have attributed epistemological stances and debates to clashes of political and theological ideologies. The present volume suggests that with an awareness of this context, it is now worth turning back to questions of the epistemic content itself. The contributors to the present collection were invited to explore how certain non-epistemic values had been turned into epistemic ones, how they had an effect on epistemic content, and eventually how they became ideologies of knowledge playing various roles in inquiry and application throughout early modern Europe.