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Peter of John Olivi on the Cognitive Functions of the Sensitive Soul
Author: Juhana Toivanen
In Perception and the Internal Senses Juhana Toivanen advances a detailed philosophical reconstruction of Peter of John Olivi’s (ca. 1248-98) conception of the cognitive psychology of the sensitive (i.e. animal) soul. Like most medieval philosophers, Olivi thought that higher animals and human beings have many psychological capacities in common. The book analyses these capacities by concentrating on Olivi’s conception of the metaphysics of the soul, his theory of perception, and his views about the post-sensory cognitive power which medieval philosophers called the internal senses. Being the first monograph in English that concentrates on Olivi’s philosophical psychology, Perception and the Internal Senses enables us to understand better medieval ideas concerning animal psychology and the human/animal boundary.
A Philosophical Study of the Commentary Tradition c.1260–c.1410
Author: Juhana Toivanen
In The Political Animal in Medieval Philosophy Juhana Toivanen investigates what medieval philosophers meant when they argued that human beings are political animals by nature. He analyses the notion of ‘political animal’ from various perspectives and shows its relevance to philosophical discussions concerning the foundations of human sociability, ethics, and politics.
Medieval authors believed that social life stems from the biological and rational nature of human beings, and that collaboration with other people promotes prosperity and good life. Toivanen provides a detailed philosophical interpretation of this view across a wide range of authors, including unedited manuscript sources. As the first monograph-length study on the topic, The Political Animal sheds new light on this significant period in western political thought.
Author: Juhana Toivanen

This essay discusses the views of Peter Olivi (ca. 1248-98) on the foundations of political power and agency. The central argument is that there is a strong connection between Olivi’s voluntarist psychology and his views concerning political power. According to Olivi, political power is ultimately based on the will of God, but in such a way that both the rulers and their subjects have, through their individual freedom, the liberty to use their share of power as they will. In fact, Olivi conceptualises political power as an extension of the dominion that human beings have over their wills, which is essential for being a political agent in the full sense. By providing a philosophical analysis of the role of the freedom of the will within Olivi’s political philosophy, this essay sheds light on his conception of the relation between the human and the divine will, as well as on his understanding of political power.

In: Vivarium
In: La restauration de la création
In: Medieval Perceptual Puzzles
In: Perception and the Internal Senses
In: Perception and the Internal Senses
In: Perception and the Internal Senses
In: Perception and the Internal Senses
In: Perception and the Internal Senses