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Wisdom's Odyssey

From Philosophy to Transcendental Sophistry

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Peter A. Redpath

This book establishes that the ancient Greeks had a prevailing method of doing philosophy which was rooted in philosophical realism. Through extensive historical and philosophical analysis, it demonstrates that this method was challenged in ancient times by an apocryphal notion of philosophy which eventually became confused with philosophical reasoning, and was passed on to posterity through the work of Christian theologians until it was called into question by leading thinkers of the thirteenth century. It shows how this thirteenth-century challenge influenced the growth of the Renaissance humanist movement and how this movement, in turn, passed on to modernity the same apocryphal notion of philosophy as a rhetorical theology of allegorical prefiguration.

"And Never Know the Joy"

Sex and the Erotic in English Poetry

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Edited by C.C. Barfoot

“And Never Know the Joy” : Sex and the Erotic in English Poetry promises the reader much to enjoy and to reflect on: riddles and sex games; the grammar of relationships; the cunning psychology of bodily fantasies; sexuality as the ambiguous performance of words; the allure of music and its instruments; the erotics of death and remembrance, are just a few of the initial themes that emerge from the twenty-five articles to be found in this volume, with many an invitation “to seize the day”. Reproduction, pregnancy, and fear; discredited and degraded libertines; the ventriloquism of sexual objects; the ease with which men are reduced to impotence by the carnality of women; orgasm and melancholy; erotic mysticism and religious sexuality; the potency and dangers of fruit and flowers; the delights of the recumbent male body and of dancing girls; the fertile ritual use of poetic texts; striptease and revolution; silent women reclaimed as active vessels, are amongst the many engaging topics that emerge out of the ongoing and entertaining scholarly discussion of sex and eroticism in English poetry.

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Edited by Konrad Eisenbichler and Wim Hüsken

From the Fool to the Wildman, from the irate Reformer to the festive Masqueraders, this collection of articles offers a variety of topics, approaches, and agendas in the study of early modern European theatre. With samplings from Scandinavia, Germany, England, France, the Iberian peninsula, and even the New World, this collection also spans time, from the late fifteenth century to the present. In the process, Carnival and the carnivalesque are examined from archival, Bakhtinian, cultural, and even political points of view. The articles in this collection reveal the variety and inherent vitality of scholarship in early modern theatre. The thirteen essays have been selected from presentations made at the Eighth Triennial Congress of the Société Internationale pour l'Etude du Théâtre Médiéval held in Toronto (1995), under the auspices of the Records of Early English Drama project and Victoria University in the University of Toronto.

The Art of Rhetoric (Institutiones Oratoriae, 1711-1741)

From the definitive Latin text and notes, Italian commentary and introduction by Giuliano Crifò. Translated and Edited by Giorgio A. Pinton and Arthur W. Shippee

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Giambattista Vico

Gustavo Costa reviewing the Italian edition of Vico's Institutiones Oratoriae in New Vico Studies 9 (1991), has written that Rhetoric is the mainspring of an important trend of Vichian studies which initiated at the beginning of the twentieth century and had its manifestation in John D. Schaeffer's Sensus Communis: Vico, Rhetoric, and the Limits of Relativism (Durham: Duke University Press, 1990), where Schaeffer aptly noted, summing up a long exegetic tradition, Vico was imbued with rhetoric and convinced of its centrality to Western civilization. Unfortunately, the editions of Vico's works published in English have not yet included the Institutiones Oratoriae, which more or less reflects the lectures on rhetoric given by Vico at the University of Naples, starting with the academic year 1699-1700 and going through 1739-1741. The manual on rhetoric was used in Italy up to the end of the nineteenth century and established the common curriculum in rhetoric to be followed in all Universities. This English edition offers a text of the Institutiones complete on the base of the four known extant manuscripts. It offers the marginal glosses made by Vico's students, a collection of Vico's phrases and explanations of terms collected by some of the students, a glossary of Latin words and rhetorical terms from the Latin text, and a wealth of information in the commentary. The Art of Rhetoric is the manual for everyone who wants to know what rhetoric is, how it was employed in the forum or the courts, how it could be learned from the classic orators, and how it can be used whenever we speak for convincing, praising or motivating.

Cartesian Nightmare

An Introduction to Transcendental Sophistry

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Peter A. Redpath

This book challenges the presupposition among professional philosophers that René Descartes is the Father of Modern Philosophy. It demonstrates by intensive textual analysis of Descartes's Discourse and Meditations that he inaugurated a new type of sophistry rather than a new way of conducting philosophy. Transcendental Sophistry is a synthesis of Renaissance humanism and Christian theology, especially the theology of creation. This striking re-evaluation of the achievement of Descartes opens the history of Western philosophy to radical reinterpretation.

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Edited by Hugo Keiper, Christoph Bode and Richard J. Utz

Influential accounts of European cultural history variously suggest that the rise of nominalism and its ultimate victory over realist orientations were highly implemental factors in the formation of Modern Europe since the later Middle Ages, but particularly the Reformation. Quite probably, this is a simplification of a state of affairs that is in fact more complex, indeed ambiguous. However, if there is any truth in such propositions - which have, after all, been made by many prominent commentators, such as Panofsky, Heer, Blumenberg, Foucault, Eco, Kristeva - we may no doubt assume that literary texts will have responded and in turn contributed, in a variety of ways, to these processes of cultural transformation. It seems of considerable interest, therefore, to take a close look at the complex, precarious position which literature, as basically a symbolic mode of signification, held in the perennial struggles and discursive negotiations between the semiotic 'twin paradigms' of nominalism and realism.
This collection of essays (many of them by leading scholars in the field) is a first comprehensive attempt to tackle such issues - by analyzing representative literary texts in terms of their underlying semiotic orientations, specifically of nominalism, but also by studying pertinent historical, theoretical and discursive co(n)texts of such developments in their relation to literary discourse. At the same time, since 'literary nominalism' and 'realism' are conceived as fundamentally aesthetic phenomena instantiating a genuinely 'literary debate over universals', consistent emphasis is placed on the discursive dimension of the texts scrutinized, in an endeavour to re-orient and consolidate an emergent research paradigm which promises to open up entirely new perspectives for the study of literary semiotics, as well as of aesthetics in general. Historical focus is provided by concentrating on the English situation in the era of transition from late medieval to early modern (c. 1350-1650), but readers will also find contributions on Chrétien de Troyes and Rabelais, as well as on the 'aftermath' of the earlier debates - as exemplified in studies of Locke and (post)modern critical altercations, respectively, which serve to point up the continuing relevance of the issues involved. A substantial introductory essay seeks to develop an overarching theoretical framework for the study of nominalism and literary discourse, in addition to offering an in-depth exploration of the 'nominalism/realism-complex' in its relation to literature. An extensive bibliography and index are further features of interest to both specialists and general readers.

Dressing up for War

Transformations of Gender and Genre in the Discourse and Literature of War

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Edited by Aránzazu Usandizaga and Andrew Monnickendam

Modelling the Individual

Biography and Portrait in the Renaissance

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Edited by Karl A.E. Enenkel, Betsy de Jong-Crane and Peter Liebregts

One of the most noticeable features of the Renaissance is what Jacob Burckhardt called the rise of the individual - in politics and religion, in its social life and in the arts, and in the mentality of Renaissance man, with his inclination to explore, to invent and to make new discoveries. Yet this characteristic is also very puzzling to modern people, who see that although the categories of art which depict particular people increased to a spectacular degree in a period when biography and portrait painting were among the most popular genres, and autobiography began to emerge as a genre in itself and painters began to produce self-portraits, an interest individuals is not necessarily the same thing as the more recent interest in the purely personal aspects of individuals. Literary and artistic traditions, social and ideological backgrounds, and the motives for the production of literature have changed profoundly: Renaissance biography and autobiography, portraiture and self-portraiture have little to do with their modern counterparts. Therefore this book stresses that the Renaissance is not predominantly a mirror of modernity, but rather a period of stimulating difference or alterity. The contributors to this collection of essays aim to create a better understanding of Renaissance biographies and portraits through the analysis and reconstruction of the traditions, contexts, backgrounds and circumstances of their production.