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Journal of the History of Ideas

O Paulo Pimenta
The aim of this article is to discuss the history of the Independence of Brazil by highlighting the historiographical approaches from the so-called "History of Concepts," which in the current Brazilian historiography are related to a German intellectual branch, but often articulated to other approaches that can be referred to as intellectual history, history of languages and of political discourses. It offers a brief overview of the historiography of Independence in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, through to the diagnosis of their basic lineages, then it discusses current conceptual approaches...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Federica Morelli
The role played by free people of color in the Spanish American independence movements is at the center of this essay. Their ambiguous status makes them a privileged group to study when examining the negotiation and formation of racial identity as well as the definition of citizenship requirements in colonial and post-colonial contexts. Through an analysis of the contributions made by recent studies, this article proposes a historiographical survey of the transformation of racial and social hierarchies and of the shaping of new citizenship rights during the crisis of the Spanish Empire and the independence wars...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Elías Palti
This paper analyzes how Latin American historiography has addressed the issue of "the ideological origins of the revolution of independence," and how the formulation of that topic implies assumptions proper to the tradition of the history of ideas and leads to anachronistic conceptual transpositions. Halperín Donghi's work models a different approach, illuminating how a series of meaningful torsions within traditional languages provided the ideological framework for a result incompatible with those languages...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Gabriel Entin
The crisis of the Spanish Catholic monarchy paved the way for the creation of more than twenty republics in Latin America between 1810 and 1825. This paper analyzes early nineteenth-century Spanish American republican experiences, which have been generally neglected in the historiography, as constitutive parts of Atlantic republicanism. It focuses on the theologico-political considerations of the res publica from the seventeenth century onwards, the articulation of a patriotic discourse in the American colonies of Spain during the eighteenth century, and how Spanish-American revolutionaries used republican languages based on Roman references, natural rights, and Catholicism to create new political legitimacy...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Francisco A Ortega
The idea that Spanish American countries experienced colonialism was well accepted for most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The independence movements in the early nineteenth century were viewed as the result of struggles by oppressed nations against the metropole's tyranny. Recent historiography views the collapse of the monarchy as the result of the political and legal crisis brought about by the Napoleonic invasion and the illegal abdications in Bayonne in March 1808. Colonial and post-colonial theories and categories have been brought under scrutiny...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Jeremy Adelman
This essay examines the ways in which the age of revolutions expanded the repertoire of political ideas and identities available to new and old political subjects. It questions the traditional narrative that replaces a model of old regimes and empires with a new one of imagined unitary nation-states. Instead, it argues that the nature of the political crisis of the Iberian empires gave rise to a reinvention of familiar categories, like monarchy and empire, and sired a wider range of new ones that did not fit the national mold...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Elías Palti
Introduction to the symposium on the bicentennial of the Latin American revolutions of independence.
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins, Kevin Brookes
The French philosopher Serge Audier has perhaps become the leading authority on the history of liberalism in France. However, he is largely unknown in the United States. This article attempts to provide the first critical overview of Audier's work in English. It does so by suggesting that the major aim of Audier's work is to revive a forgotten strand of social liberalism in France. The article illustrates this by looking at Audier's writings on the works of Léon Bourgeois and Raymond Aron and also his critical studies on the history of neoliberalism in France and beyond...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Albert Gootjes
This article examines the immediate Dutch reception of the Tractatus theologico-politicus. Using newfound archival sources it demonstrates that the anti-Spinoza activity of the Cartesians in Utrecht extends far beyond the well-known writings of Lambertus van Velthuysen and Regnerus van Mansveld. Their Cartesian network not only produced the very first public refutation to appear, but also formed a center for coordinating much of the Dutch response to Spinoza. This engagement, it is argued in closing, must be accounted for in Spinoza reception history, and forms the background to the mysterious visit Spinoza paid to Utrecht in the summer of 1673...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
Tricia M Ross
Approximately thirty almost entirely overlooked books appeared in Europe between 1500 and 1700 that include the word anthropologia in their titles. At first glance, the content of these works bears no resemblance to anthropology as we think of it. They present a combination of medieval traditions, cutting-edge medical practices, and evolving natural philosophical and theological systems found in universities of all confessions across Europe. But these largely overlooked sources reveal that the disciplines we use to study ourselves may have developed from an intertwined natural philosophical and religious system...
2018: Journal of the History of Ideas
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2017: Journal of the History of Ideas
Jared Holley
This article reconstructs Leo Strauss's reading of Rousseau's Epicureanism to argue that his work is unified by an abiding concern with the problem of theory and practice. Strauss sought to clarify the distinction between theory and practice he considered a fundamental precondition of any properly philosophical reflection on political life, and he explained the pernicious obscuring of that distinction through a narrative tracing the modern modifications of classical Epicureanism. Strauss's critical history of modern political thought is thus part of his attempt to restore the classical distinction between theory and practice to the status of a philosophical problem in modernity...
2017: Journal of the History of Ideas
Laura Doan
Historians of sexuality credit marital advice with disseminating a modern discourse of the sexual, as developed by sexologists who understood sex as normal or abnormal. Marie Stopes did not reproduce their findings but drew on the methods of biometricians in attempting to normalize the natural. Thinking about Stopes's methods in discerning a naturally occurring curve of normal female sex-impulses in relation to Havelock Ellis points to constraints in his production of the normal. The article traces the impact of Stopes's attempt to measure desire by analyzing letters from her readers who became partners in the great scientific project of normalization...
2017: Journal of the History of Ideas
Greg Priest
When we read the Origin, we cannot help but hear echoes of the Wealth of Nations. Darwin's "economy of nature" features a "division of labour" that leads to complexity and productivity. We should not, however, analyze Darwin's ethics through this lens. Darwin did not draw his economic ideas from Smith, nor did he base his ethics on an economic foundation. Darwin's ethics rest on Smith's notion from the Theory of Moral Sentiments of an innate human faculty of sympathy. Darwin gave this faculty an evolutionary interpretation and built on this foundation an ethics far removed from what is commonly supposed...
2017: Journal of the History of Ideas
David Chan Smith
Richard Ligon's True and Exact History of Barbados has been recognized as a major source of information on the emergence of planter society and slavery in the English Caribbean. Curiously, however, the centrality of the text's discussion of business has been overlooked. Yet Ligon presents the History as a how-to manual on building and managing a sugar fortune. In doing so, Ligon self-consciously connects his work to Baconian ideas of improvement and useful knowledge to legitimize the position of the planters over others, and lend respectability to commercial accumulation...
2017: Journal of the History of Ideas
Eva Del Soldato
The De pietate Aristotelis erga Deum et homines (1645) by Fortunio Liceti is a one-of-a-kind text. In this book Liceti claimed that Aristotle converted to Judaism, and that he never contradicted the Scriptures in his writings. At a time when competing philosophical and scientific schools put Aristotle at odds with faith, restoring his reputation from a religious point of view could be seen as key to safeguarding Peripateticism. Nonetheless Liceti composed his work not to polemicize with anti-Aristotelians, but rather with fellow Aristotelians who were not sufficiently committed to defending his stature...
2017: Journal of the History of Ideas
Joyce E Chaplin
The fact that nonhuman animals share the power of communication, plus the likelihood that some share our capacity for ideation, demands reevaluation of why human ideas matter, and especially whether they adequately convey a sense of our place within the rest of nature. Nonhuman beings and phenomena may be intrinsically unhuman, but are not necessarily less important than us. Analysis of this difference-as-significance is an ongoing problem of the Anthropocene. This essay focuses on Arthur Lovejoy's Great Chain of Being and Edmund Burke's concept of the sublime, describing alternative ways of situating humans in relation to the nonhuman...
2017: Journal of the History of Ideas
Guido M Vanheeswijck
The deepest sources of Charles Taylor's use of the concept "social imaginaries" are often related to political philosophy or social anthropology (Anderson, Castoriadis). The purpose of this article is to show that they also form part of Taylor's struggle to overcome the epistemological construal in modern philosophy and culture. Taylor locates the concept "social imaginaries" in the Kantian tradition, identifying their role to that of transcendental schemes. However, there remains a central difference between Kant's transcendental schemes and Taylor's social imaginaries...
2017: Journal of the History of Ideas
Lawrence Cahoone
Morris Cohen is mainly remembered as a philosopher of history and law, a friend of jurists (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Felix Frankfurter), and a teacher of more prominent philosophers (e.g., Ernest Nagel, Paul Weiss, Morton White). But his unique position as a student of the work of Russell and Peirce led him to make a distinctive contribution to the debate over realism in in the 1910s. Largely ignored and completely uncited, his early papers formulated what would later be called "objective relativism," influencing the later work of Columbia naturalism, hence American philosophy, from the 1940s to the 1960s...
2017: Journal of the History of Ideas
Timothy Alborn
Given the frequency of negative references to gold in British allusions to filthy lucre, it emerges as an historical puzzle that Britons resorted to biblical metaphors of gold so often in describing heaven and their aspiration to be purified in God's crucible. This article provides evidence for the prominence of these two metaphors in British religious and secular discourse between 1750 and 1850, and argues that Britons tried to resolve the resulting tensions by celebrating their uniquely abstract valuation of gold, in contrast to less "civilized" connotations of gold in Catholic and non-Christian cultures...
2017: Journal of the History of Ideas
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