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Displaying: 41-60 of 212 documents


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41. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Jo van Cauter Spinoza on Revealed Religion and the Uses of Fear
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This paper argues that fear constitutes an important part of Spinoza’s redefined version of revealed religion as presented in the Theological-Political Treatise. My claim is not only that obedience as conceived by Spinoza always entails fear, but that the biblical image of God as king or lawgiver requires fear to fulfill its function; and thus, by extension, that fear remains one of the very tissues that binds together the body politic. Although, throughout his corpus of work, Spinoza often associates fear with cognitive weakness and a destabilizing temperament, he also acknowledges its potential use for sustaining civic concord. My argument is both positive and negative: the state can foster support for itself by the proper utilization of religious fear, but if it neglects to do so, it undermines its stability and risks falling victim to the destructive effects of superstition.
review article
42. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Mihnea Dobre Strategies of Dissemination for Cartesian Cosmology: Philosophy, Theology and “Mosaic physics”
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43. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Daian Bica Thinking with Mechanisms: Mechanical Philosophy and Early Modern Science
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book reviews
44. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Georgiana D. Hedesan William R. Newman, Newton the Alchemist: Science, Enigma, and the Quest for Nature’s “Secret Fire”
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45. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Ioana Bujor Jetze Touber, Spinoza and Biblical Philology in the Dutch Republic, 1660–1710
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46. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Alexandru Liciu Angus Vine, Miscellaneous Order: Manuscript Culture and the Early Modern Organization of Knowledge
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47. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Guidelines for Authors
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48. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Pietro Daniel Omodeo A Cosmos Without a Creator: Cesare Cremonini’s Interpretation of Aristotle’s Heaven
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In the years after the first circulation of Sidereus Nuncius, Galileo’s Padua anti-Copernican colleague, the staunch Aristotelian philosopher, Cesare Cremonini, published a book on ‘traditional’ cosmology, Disputatio de coelo in tres partes divisa (Venice, 1613) which puzzled the Roman authorities of the Inquisition and the Index much more than any works on celestial novelties and ‘neo-Pythagorean’ astronomy. Cremonini’s disputation on the heavens has the form of an over-intricate comment of Aristotle’s conceptions, in the typi­cally argumentative style of Scholasticism. Nonetheless, it immediately raised the concern of Cardinal Bellarmin, the Pope and other Inquisitors. At a close reading, Cremonini’s interpretation of Aristotle’s cosmos proved radically anti- Christian. It represented a radicalization of Pomponazzian Alexandrism. In fact, Cremonini did not only circulate Aristotelian principles used by Pom­ponazzi to argue for the soul’s mortality (first, no thought is possible without imagination and the latter faculty is dependent on the body; secondly, all that is generated will eventually perish). He also wiped away all transcendence from the Aristotelian cosmos. In fact, he marginalized the function of the motive Intelligences by explaining heavenly motions through the action of animal-like inseparable souls although he did not erase nor reduced all Intelligences to only one, in accordance with Alexander. Also, he put at the center of Aristotle’s cosmos the idea of its eternity, a thesis which he explicitly connected with the rejection of the idea of God the Creator. Cremonini assumed that the univer­sal efficiens, that is the efficient cause of all motion and change in the world, is nothing but the first heaven. As a result of this radically naturalist reading of Aristotle, he banned God from the cosmos, reduced Him to the final cause of the world, and deprived Him of any efficiency and will. This essay on less ex­plored sources of Renaissance astronomical debates considers the institutional, cultural and religious setting of Cremonini’s teaching and conceptions. It as­sesses the reasons for his troubles with the religious authorities, and the politi­cal support he was granted by the Serenissima Republic of Venice inspite of the scandalous opinions he circulated as a university professor. My reconstruction of his views is based on the Disputatio de coelo of 1613 and later works, which are directly connected with cosmo-theological polemics with the religious au­thorities: his Apologia dictorum Aristotelis de quinta coeli substantia (1616) and the unpublished book De coeli efficientia, two manuscript copies of which are preserved in the libraries of Padua and Venice.
49. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Russell Smith Light Path: On the Realist Mathematisation of Motion in the Seventeenth Century
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This paper focuses on the mathematisation of mechanics in the seventeenth century, specifically on how the representation of compounded rectilinear motions presented in the ancient Greek Mechanica found its way into Newton’s Principia almost two thousand years later. I aim to show that the path from the former to the latter was optical: the conceptualisation of geometrical lines as paths of reflection created a physical interpretation of dia­grammatic principles of geometrical point-motion, involving the kinematics and dynamics of light reflection. Upon the atomistic conception of light, the optical interpretation of such geometrical principles entailed their mechanical generalisation to local motion; rectilinear motion via the physico-mathemat­ics of reflection and the Mechanica’s parallelogram rule; circular motion via the physico-mathematics of reflection, the Archimedean squaring of the circle and the Mechanica’s extension of the parallelogram rule to centripetal motion. This appeal to the physico-mathematics of reflection forged a realist founda­tion for the mathematisation of motion. Whereas Aristotle’s physics rested on motions which had their source in the nature of the elements, early modern thinkers such as Harriot, Descartes, and Newton based their new principles of mechanical motion upon selected elements of the mechanics of light motion, projected upon the geometry of the parallelogram rule for rectilinear and, ultimately, circular motion.
50. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Oana Matei Sur le progres des sciences: Maupertuis and Bacon on the Advancement of Knowledge
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This paper investigates the Baconian roots of Maupertuis’s Lettre XIX. Sur le Progrès des Sciences (1752). The Letter was published almost a decade after Maupertuis had accepted Frederick II’s invitation to move from Paris to Berlin and become the new President of the Prussian Academy of Sciences. Contrary to the secondary literature that identifies a distinction between Maupertuis’s Parisian and Berliner phases, this paper argues that there is in fact greater continuity between the two. Based on a reading that empha­sizes the programmatic and methodological commonalities between Bacon’s project in De augmentis scientiarum (1623) and Maupertuis’s Lettre XIX, this paper argues that, in a Baconian fashion, Maupertuis combines the roles of the “scientist” and the “natural philosopher” into an integrated plan of action with both intellectual an institutional aims. One of Maupertuis’s aims was to highlight the importance of observation and experiment not only in the development of natural philosophy but also for some aspects of speculative philosophy, while another of his aims was to reinvigorate the structure of the Berlin Academy and to model it the fashion of other similar European intellectual projects of that time.
51. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Peter Strohschneider Foreigners in Pre-Modernity: On Losses of Negatability and Gains of Unfamiliarity
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The essay draws on the concept of ‘asymmetric counter-concepts’ as developed by Reinhart Koselleck starting with twin-formulas such as ‘the familiar and the unfamiliar’ which are generally used to establish collective des­ignations of the self and others and which institutionalize the axiological and the epistemological. These counter-concepts can have different semantic temperatures. The focus is on the underlying meaning-production schemes which produce value-asymmetries. The essay tries to show that a process of heating up these value-asymmetries is only one side of the history of such asymmetric counter-concepts from medieval to modern times. Simultaneously a cooling down can be observed in written texts from different periods; examples include the 12th century Rolandslied and the 16th century Essais of Michel de Montaigne. Full negation eliminates uncertainties and value insecurities. But the complexities and contingencies that emerge since Early Modern times then lead to losses of negatability (Negierbarkeitsverluste), which in turn render gains in unfamiliarity. The modern experience of the foreign is indeterminate otherness instead of determined negation that characterized pre-modern alterity. Modern societies therefore need to mediate between validity and contingency under the circumstances of plurality. Interpretational demands and uncertainty about the relevant interpretive frames increase. Foreignness is then experienced as unfamiliarity. This presupposes intellectual attitudes like irritability, curiosity, and willingness to learn. The modern concept of ‘culture’ then is proposed as a comparative pattern where only unavoidable structural asymmetry remains. It explains cultural differences and the experience of foreignness through heterogeneity. Using this specifically modern pattern, there is no longer a legitimate value slope between one’s own position and its negation. The distinction is then between the familiar and the unfamiliar.
review article
52. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Grigore Vida From sensorium hominis to sensorium Dei
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book reviews
53. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Alexandru Liciu Dirk van Miert, The Emancipation of Biblical Philology in the Dutch Republic, 1590–1670
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54. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Alessandro Nannini Ursula Franke, Baumgartens Erfindung der Asthetik. Mit einem Anhang: Baumgartens Asthetik im Uberblick von Nicolas Kleinschmidt
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55. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Katerina Lolou Sarah Carvallo, L’Homme parfait. L’anthropologie médicale de Harvey, Rio­lan et Perrault (1628–1688)
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56. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Guidelines for Authors
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57. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Andreas Blank, Dana Jalobeanu Introduction: Common Notions. An Overview
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58. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Günter Frank “Deus vult aliquas esse certas notitias…”: Epistemological Discussions in the Philosophy of the Early Modern Period
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The theory of notitiae naturales or κοιναὶ ἔννοιαι was part of the ancient Stoic epistemology. It served as precondition of any knowledge. Within the framework of the humanist rediscovery of ancient sources this theory became an important aspect of Philipp Melanchthon’s theological anthropology. This paper examines the polyvalent perspectives of the theory of notitiae naturales in Melanchthon’s philosophy and the role it played among Lutheran and Calvinist scholars, particularly regarding Rom 1: 19, where Paul stated some kind of a natural knowledge of God. The idea of notitiae communes or “common notions” as an a priori precondition of knowledge was widely spread both on the continent and in England in early modernity. It came to an end by John Locke’s critique in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding.
59. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Miroslav Hanke The Scholastic Logic of Statistical Hypotheses: proprietates terminorum, consequentiae, necessitas moralis, and probabilitas
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Among the important conceptual innovations introduced in the second scholasticism era and motivated by theological debates following the Council of Trent were the theories of moral necessity and moral implication. As they were centred upon a view of moral necessity as a form of necessity weaker than physical (and, ipso facto, metaphysical and logical) necessity, and moral implication as weaker than physical (and, ipso facto, metaphysical and logical) implication, some interpretations of moral necessity encouraged the logic of statistical hypotheses and probability. Three branches of this debate are studied in this paper: the explanation of moral necessity in terms of suppositio (Vega, Molina, Hurtado, Sforza Pallavicino), the confrontation over the interpretation of moral necessity (Quirós, Herrera), and the theory of statistical quantification (Elizalde, Terill, de Benedictis).
60. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Mattia Mantovani Herbert of Cherbury, Descartes and Locke on Innate Ideas and Universal Consent
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The present paper investigates the seventeenth-century debate on whether the agreement of all human beings upon certain notions—designated as the “common” ones—prove these notions to be innate. It does so by focusing on Descartes’ and Locke’s rejections of the philosophy of Herbert of Cherbury, one of the most important early modern proponents of this view. The paper opens by considering the strategy used in Herbert’s arguments, as well as the difficulties involved in them. It shows that Descartes’ 1638 and 1639 reading of Herbert’s On Truth—both the 1633 second Latin edition and Mersenne’s 1639 translation—was instrumental in shaping Descartes’ views on the issue. The arguments of Locke’s Essay opposing Herbert’s case for innatism are thus revealed to be ineffective against the case which Descartes makes for this same doctrine, since Descartes had in fact framed his conception of innateness in opposition to the very same theses as Locke was arguing against. The paper concludes by explaining how two thinkers as antithetical as Locke and Descartes came to agree on at least one point, and a truly crucial one: namely, that universal consent counts as a criterion neither for innatism nor for truth.