Continuity and Innovation in Medieval and Modern Philosophy: Knowledge, Mind and Language

Hardcover | August 28, 2013

EditorJohn Marenbon

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The usual division of philosophy into "medieval" and "modern" may obscure very real continuities in the ideas of thinkers in the western and Islamic traditions. This book examines three areas where these continuities are particularly clear: knowledge, the mind, and language. Dominik Perler shows how, when Descartes attacked faculty psychology, he was indeed separating himself from one strand of the medieval tradition, represented by Suarez, but at the same time he was closely following another strand, found in Ockham. Martin Lenz shows how Locke's philosophy of language fits into a long medieval tradition of thought based on Aristotle's On Interpretation. Locke introduced the requirement that a word be linked to an idea in the speaker's mind, but Lenz argues that this does not mean that Locke was proposing thatwe each have a private language. Robert Pasnau looks at an area where the continuity between the attitudes of, for instance, Aquinas and Locke contrasts with views generally held in Islam and among Jewish thinkers. Whereas Latin thinkers rarely defended the idea that some knowledge should be kept for the elite, this view was heldby al-Ghazali, Averroes and Maimonides - and it may, he argues, be a defensible philosophical position today. The chapters are based on papers given at a symposium at the British Academy and are presented here with responses by Andrew Pyle, Michael Ayers and John Hawthorne.

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The usual division of philosophy into "medieval" and "modern" may obscure very real continuities in the ideas of thinkers in the western and Islamic traditions. This book examines three areas where these continuities are particularly clear: knowledge, the mind, and language. Dominik Perler shows how, when Descartes attacked faculty psy...

John Marenbon is Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:150 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:August 28, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0197265499

ISBN - 13:9780197265499

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Table of Contents

John Marenbon: Introduction1. Dominik Perler: What Are Faculties of the Soul? Descartes and his Scholastic BackgroundAndrew Pyle: Faculties of the Soul: response to Dominik Perler2. Martin Lenz: Locke as a Social ExternalistMichael Ayers: Essences and Signification: response to Martin Lenz3. Robert Pasnau: Divisions of Epistemic Labor: Some Remarks on the History of Fideism and EsotericismJohn Hawthorne: Aquinas on Faith and Knowledge: response to Robert Pasnau